The Foundations of Great Customer Service
- By Stephana Gaudin
- May 16 2019
We live in a fast-paced world that wants immediate results. If your organization is falling short when it comes to customer service, then you are well aware that a stellar customer service team isn’t born overnight. Business leaders looking for a good place to start were among the 78 registrants of Studer Community Institute’s Foundations of Great Customer Service workshop on May 7th. Attendees received the recipe for customer service success from esteemed speaker Bob Murphy.
Bob’s presentation was full of great information. From his excellent storytelling to real-life practical advice, there truly wasn’t a dull moment.
“[He was] extremely knowledgeable, charming and spot on with customer service tips.”
What does it take to be a top performing customer service organization? What are some things companies can start doing today to facilitate that change and start better serving others?
1. Great customer service starts with the right people
Not everyone is made for serving others. Hiring the right people for the right job is vital. Remember that just because an applicant may have extensive experience in the service industry, that does not mean they are a fit for your organization. Given the choice between someone with the attitude to serve or the skills required to serve, always hire attitude and teach skill. People are difficult to change, so if their values don’t align with your organizations, it’s better to find someone who does share your values and train them with the skills they need to succeed.
You can learn more about Hiring and Onboarding at our workshop on Dec 5th.
2. Set standards of behavior
Create a set of standards for your employees to follow (or better yet, let them create the standards), and have it align with your mission and values. Everything should be tied together. When communicating these standards to your staff, be sure to provide details, not just a list of items. For example, don’t just tell your employees that appearance is important. Be specific. Tell them what they should or shouldn’t wear to work so there is no confusion.
At this point, you may be wondering what hiring and standards of behavior have to do with customer service. The truth is, if you don’t have the right employees, and you don’t have them in agreement with your mission and values, you will never successfully serve your customers.
Bob had one last great piece of advice I’d like to share with you: Being great is intentional. You can’t just want to be an organization that is known for great customer service. It takes work and dedication. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ve probably heard the instructor begin the class by asking you to set an intention. If, like me, you’ve actually followed these instructions and attempted to focus on an intention through the entirety of the class, you’ve noticed how easy it is to drift. At some point in the class, the instructor will remind you to go back to your intention, and your experience changes. Now, think of your employees. Do they always have your mission and values at top of mind? If not, maybe it’s time for that gentle reminder.
“Bob broke down so many elements with real-life examples. This was such an informative and entertaining 4-hour session. Wonderful!”
Participating and investing in employee and leadership training will provide you with an excellent return. Business leaders spend their time doing just that: leading. Tap into the wealth of knowledge that is available through workshops and seminars taught by the experts in their fields. By providing your employees with the skills they need through training, you are showing that you care about the future of not only your business, but your employee’s success.
Perspective employees will see your investment in your staff as something you value, and given the low unemployment rate, this will make you a more attractive employer to the best and brightest. Many companies will cut training when the budget gets tight and then wonder why their leadership is failing or they aren’t attracting top talent. Don’t make this mistake. Your employees, your customers, and the community will thank you.
Being a great leader means getting the fundamentals right. It also means consistently doing the “little things” that make a positive difference in the lives of employees, customers, and other stakeholders. To learn more about becoming a great leader, join us for part two of Quint Studer’s Busy Leader Handbook Series workshop on June 7th. This workshop will cover proven best practices, tools, tips, and tactics for engaging employees, revitalizing cultures, delighting customers and building high-performance companies. Plus, the strategies, approaches, and tactics are designed to be put into action immediately.