Many organizations struggle to gain and maintain strong customer and brand loyalty. However, what they often fail to do right is to create a service culture that nurtures and supports customers.
The following are some common characteristics for leading-edge customer-focused organizations that you might use to help create a positive customer service culture in your own organization.
- They have and support internal customers (for example, peers, co-workers, bosses, subordinates, people from other areas of their organization) and/or external customers (for example, vendors, suppliers, various telephone callers, walk-in customers, other organizations, others not from within the organization).
- Their focus is on determining and meeting the needs, wants and expectations of customers while treating everyone with respect and as if he or she is special.
- Information, products, and services are easily accessible by customers.
- Policies are in place to allow employees to make decisions in order to better serve customers.
- Management and systems support and appropriately reward employee efforts to serve customers.
- Reevaluation and quantitative measurement of the way business is conducted is ongoing and results in necessary changes and upgrades to deliver timely quality service to the customer.
- Continual benchmarking or comparison with competitors and related organizations helps maintain an acute awareness and implementation of best service practices by the organization.
- The latest technology is used to connect with and provide service to customers, vendors, or suppliers and to support business operations.
- They build relationships through customer relationship management (CRM) programs.
For additional ideas and strategies for building a strong service culture, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success.