Partner With Customers When Building Positive Customer Service Cultures

Partner With Customers When Building Positive Customer Service Cultures

Being a customer service representative can sometimes be a stressful and frustrating job if you work in an organization that does not effectively value and support customers. In such organizations, customer service training and supervisory coaching needed for you to develop the customer service skills to deliver excellent customer service are lacking. Even so, if you adopt a positive attitude of a professional customer service provider, you can effectively contribute to a customer-centric environment in which you and your customers work together for a win-win outcome.

Partner With Customers When Building Positive Customer Service Cultures

Probably the most important strategy for employees in any organization to adopt in order to create a positive customer-centric service culture is to form a solid relationship with customers. Such partnerships can lead to a meeting or exceeding your customers’ needs, wants and expectations. After all, customers are the reason you have a job and the reason your organization continues to exist. With that in mind, you should do whatever you can to promote a positive, healthy customer-provider relationship. This can be done in a number of ways.

Here are a few simple customer relationship-building techniques:

  • Communicate openly and effectively.
  • Smile—project a positive image.
  • Listen intently, and then respond appropriately.
  • Facilitate situations in which customer needs are met and you succeed in win/win situations helping accomplish organizational goals.
  • Focus on developing an ongoing relationship with customers instead of taking a one-time service or sales opportunity approach.

If you are looking for additional ideas and strategies on how to create a more positive customer-centric environment that can lead to customer satisfaction and customer retention, get copies of Customer Service Skills for Success.

About Robert C. Lucas

Bob Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author who has written thirty-seven books on topics such as, writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Bob retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

Creating a Service Culture

Creating a Service Culture

Creating a Service Culture

Most workers do not realize that everyone in the organization, from the CEO down, is in the service business and is responsible for helping create and maintain the service culture. This means that whether you world with external customers (people who contact you and pay for your products and services) or internal customers (people who work in other areas of the organization, and to whom you provide or get information and services to allow you to do your job) you are a service representative to others.

It does not matter whether your work for a large multi-national organization or a small business, the principle is the same; nor, does it matter if your title is Customer Service Representative or CEO. You are the “face” of the organization when interacting with others. By the way, this applies when you are standing in line in your uniform or with a company nametag on at a fast-food restaurant at lunchtime and someone asks a question or complains about a situation with your company. What you do and say next reflects on you as a person and as a representative of your organization. Depending on how you handle such situations, you can project a positive professional image or can come across as someone, or an organization, with whom the person does not want to patronize. If you forget this point, you potentially lose customers and revenue for your organization. That means fewer dollars for raises, benefits, training and upgraded equipment or supplies to do your job.

Exactly what is a service culture in an organization? The answer is that it is different for each organization. No two organizations operate in the same manner, have the same focus, or provide management that accomplishes the same results. Among other things, culture includes the values, beliefs, norms, rituals, and practices of a group or organization. Any policy, procedure, action, or inaction on the part of your organization contributes to the service culture. Other elements may be specific to your organization or industry.

As an employee, you may communicate the culture through your appearance, your interaction with customers, and your knowledge, skill, and attitude. The latter element is crucial in your success and that of your organization.

As a service provider, if you take a job just to have a paycheck without buying into the service culture and supporting the goals of the organization, both you and the organization will lose. Each person in an organization should strive to help build strong customer-provider relationships

For you to be successful in the service industry (or any other for that matter) you must take ownership of your roles and responsibilities and show commitment to doing the best you can every day that you go to work. Even further, you must project a positive attitude when you are not at work as well. All the time, your goal should not be to deliver the best customer service possible.

A big challenge to any organizational culture comes in the form of social media. Many people have become a victim to careless comments that they placed about their organization, supervisors or peers on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media site.  Think about the number of times you have heard friends “bad mouth” their boss, organization, products, and services. Did their attitude toward their job inspire you to want to patronize their workplace or apply for a job there? If you were to take the same approach in sharing information about your organization or the people in it, there can be a negative effect on you and the organization. What you do or say around others in any environment sends a powerful message about you, your level of professionalism and your organization. If you cannot support your employer; quit and find a job where you can. To do less is being unfair to yourself and your organization.

The bottom line is that contributing to the service culture of your organization is the responsibility and everyone else who works there.

For more ideas on how to provide excellent customer service and help create a positive customer service culture, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success.

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