When we think about customer service, we often relate it with complaints and people calling in because they don’t know how to use a certain product. We tend to think that customer service starts after the product or service is already provided and that other employees working on different stages of the process are excluded. Well, we are wrong. In order to build long-term customer relationships, every employee should be dedicated to offering customer support, ever since the purchase experience to expert advice, return policies, and product knowledge.
This is the only way to deliver top-notch service and to have customers come back. Every one of your employees can have a role in delivering customer service. But what are the core elements that create an extraordinary service culture?
1. Employee-centric work-places
When the founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher said that his employees are not only encouraged to help control costs but to have fun, most people thought of him as a weird leader. Nevertheless, he was recognized from Fortune Magazine as America’s best CEO.
He puts the importance of investing in your employees first, like this:
“If the employees come first, then they’re happy…. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy, so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. It’s not one of the enduring green mysteries of all time, it is just the way it works.” And we don’t want to add more or shrink any of his words, to this matter.
2. Train employees in the art of customer service
You should never assume that your employees will simply know. Coming up with regular training programs to improve their performance is one of the best steps you could take. Try to approach your employees with a positive approach, by addressing them with recognition for their efforts and the work they do daily. It turns out that the way you communicate with your staff reflects in all aspects of your business, whether that is customer service or profit vise. Bear in mind that appreciation and motivation are what keeps your team going.
It is necessary for every employee to have a core basic concept on how to provide customer service; however, leading by example is the ultimate suggestion. Good leaders and managers know that employees will often treat customers the way you treat them.
3. Invest in your HR department
A good Human Resources team is often underrated. While you might be busy dealing with other aspects of managing your business, an HR team can take care of every aspect that fulfills your staff professionally. We know that those will include decent health insurance, vacation time, salaries, special occasions, and direct training. They can even provide training materials and employee handbooks related to your business, adding up to your employee’s empowerment process.
Nowadays, HR teams are sometimes being replaced with different LMS programs, which evaluate employee performance, educate, and train concisely. These are all innovative strategies that can take your staff to the next level.
4. Believe in your services
It is hard to engage customers if you are not fully convinced of the quality of the services you provide. Whether we are talking about a product or a service, we should make it clear that we stand behind them. This way, you show the customer that you actually care about them and that you are trying to help them, instead of simply taking their money. Take Patagonia, for instance, a famous international brand who relies on transparency. They go so far on actually discouraging their customers from purchasing too many of their products. This is why your employees need empathy and understanding if they want to deliver honest customer service. And that is how these good practices starting from the foundation of work-places built long-lasting customer relationships.
About the author:
Valmira Rashiti is a practical mystic, book worm and very much fond of words, whether written or spoken. She currently writes for Kiwi, which is a restaurant LMS that aims to help restaurant owners train their staff in an easier and more effective way. In addition, they offer online training courses for different restaurant services.