The following is a guest contribution from HelpCrunch, an all-in-one customer communication platform.
Client service embraces the customer’s experience before, during, and after purchasing your business. To achieve the highest quality of customer service, some companies organize entire departments dedicated to addressing customer needs while others integrate it into virtually every role.
Customer service and corporate values both influence your company’s culture. We should also keep in mind that employee empowerment plays a crucial role in customer relations. Consumers are more likely to return to a brand if they have received quality service there. And happy customers often mean happy employees. Consequently, employee engagement directly impacts sales and brings tremendous potential to the company’s growth. These are two big reasons to integrate it into your customer service philosophy.
What makes for a great customer service philosophy?
First of all, let’s define what a customer service philosophy is. A customer service philosophy is a significant part of your approach to customer relationships, shaping your strategy for handling both service and support issues. It is an approach that your company uses to develop, enable, and maintain a support policy.
A customer service philosophy describes how your employees treat consumers to build loyalty and trust with a brand. It collects a set of standards everyone in the company should follow. It’s unique for every company and mainly based on brand values and principles.
I realize that it might sound vague or conceptual, but a customer service philosophy defines the quality of your customer service. Customer service is about resolving buyer issues and impacting their lives positively. It’s exactly what a customer service philosophy has to achieve.
Make sure that everyone on your team knows what your company stands for. A great customer service philosophy means the combination and implementation of the following concepts:
Similar to internal company values, businesses often make their customer service philosophies publicly available. An excellent example is a company-wide customer service vision from Kellog. Here you can read its abstract:
“We act with integrity and show respect. Demonstrate a commitment to integrity and ethics. Show respect for and value all individuals for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, styles, approaches, and ideas. Listen to others for understanding. Assume positive intent.”
Why is employee engagement key?
While realizing the importance of a customer service philosophy is key to the business, an employer should also consider it as a basis for hiring and managing employees. Thus, a customer service philosophy determines what kind of people should be in your team and how you should treat them.
You might have already heard the saying, “Treat your employees as you want your customers to be treated.” That rings true — employee empowerment is an important factor affecting the quality of your customer relationship management. Gallup reports that the most successful managers engage 77% of their employees. They understand that without the buy-in of your team, a customer service culture just can’t come true. Therefore, employee engagement should be integrated into a customer service philosophy.
Bringing Engagement and Customer Service Together
Integrating engagement into your customer service philosophy is critical for healthy customer relationships and overall business performance. It brings multiple benefits to a company, including stronger team alignment, improved customer experiences, smoother in-team collaboration, and better customer relations. Here we are considering several proven practices that will help you make employee engagement an integral part of a customer service philosophy.
1. Hire employees based on values.
When selecting candidates for your customer support team, keep in mind that these people must be able to proactively follow and enable your customer service philosophy as you do. Your brand values statement and custom service philosophy must align with these people’s mindset and the way they treat others in their daily lives. Thus, hiring based on your company values is essential for collecting a powerful customer support team.
2. Invest in professional development.
All tips here are focused on employees, and it’s for a good reason. These people must breathe and live your company’s culture to provide high-quality support to customers every day. It can’t go without investing in their professional development and personal growth. If the company wants its employees to deliver excellent customer service, it has to invest in their training, education, and regular workshops. It helps employees set the right professional goals and deliver on purpose. Ensure also that all customer support team members have proper knowledge about your product and company to be able to respond to all customer queries.
3. Develop a knowledge base.
Empowering employees goes beyond training them. It’s also about arming them with the right tools and information to manage customer relations easily. Develop a knowledge base that would provide a more effective way to structure and share the information within a company.
Moreover, the way you organize knowledge plays a crucial role in customer service. Performed correctly, it allows employees to find the necessary information about the product and the company’s processes in minutes. As a result, agents are able to give comprehensive answers to customers. An organization can also make a knowledge base available in the help center on a website so that customers can get self-service and turn to support agents only in case of complicated situations.
4. Listen to employee feedback.
Employee feedback enables you to stay tuned with important information from customers since your support team serves as an intermedium between the brand and the end-user. This strategy allows you to collect customer feedback directly from your support agents and take action on it accordingly.
On the other hand, listening to your employee’s feedback allows an organization to improve its corporate culture and working environment. Using eNPS surveys enables you to understand what employees think of the company, their workplace, business processes, and what needs urgent enhancements there.
5. Emphasize customer empowerment and value.
Customer centricity is a primary tenet for all successful companies. Instill the right values and priorities, putting customer centricity at the top of them. Understanding that they work to empower, support, and help others can be an additional motivation for your employees.
Empower customer service teams with a philosophy and vision that will take them on the right path to professional achievements and success. It will benefit both employees and the company itself. You can’t develop a customer service philosophy or employee engagement strategy in a day. These tips will help guide you on how to implement it faster and in the most effective way.