Great customer service is the lifeblood of any business. I don't care if you sell chocolate chip cookies or enterprise consulting services - when customers are happy, they’ll keep coming back. When they're really happy, they might even tell their friends and family about your business. But providing great customer service isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment from every member of your team. Here are five tips on how to build a culture of fantastic customer service in your small business.
1. Define what excellent customer service means for your business.
Start here; this will vary depending on your business, but there are some commonalities that all businesses should aim for: friendly and professional staff, efficient service, helpfulness, and attention to detail. Once you’ve defined what excellent customer service looks like for your business, you can start working on cultivating that culture within your team.
2. Hire people who share your commitment to great customer service.
When you’re hiring new employees, look for people who understand the value of providing great customer service. You can gauge this during the interview process by asking them about times when they’ve gone above and beyond for a customer or how they would handle a difficult customer interaction.
It’s also important to hire employees who are a good fit for your core values. If you have a fun and relaxed company culture, hire employees who will mesh well with that environment. On the other hand, if you have a more formal company culture, hire employees who will fit in with that atmosphere.
3. Train your employees on how to provide great customer service.
Once you’ve hired the right employees, it’s important to train them on the ways of great customer service. This training should cover topics like handling difficult customers, working as part of a team, and staying calm under pressure. Providing this training will ensure that your employees are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to provide great customer service.
4. Lead by example.
As the owner or manager of a small business, it’s important to lead by example when it comes to providing excellent customer service . Your employees will take their cue from you, so if you’re friendly and helpful with customers, they’re likely to do the same. Similarly, if you cut corners or fail to resolve issues, your employees will likely do the same. Leading by example is an important part of creating a culture of fantastic customer service.
5. Track the right metrics
It's easy to track the lagging indicators of success in customer service. These are customer satisfaction and net promoter score. The harder, but more effective method is to track the leading indicators of customer service. For some businesses, it might be project turnaround time; for others, it might be consistency of the product delivered. To determine this, get out of the building and talk to your customers!
Building a culture of fantastic customer service doesn’t happen overnight—it takes time, effort, and commitment from everyone on your team. But it is possible to build a team that is passionate about providing great customer service. By following these tips, you can create a company culture where everyone works together to provide an outstanding experience for each and every customer.