You can’t buy any of them!
A culture of service yields great customer experiences – and a healthier bottom line for your staffing firm. But while this statement sounds “nice and neat,” the process of building a strong customer service culture can be quite complex.
So let’s make it a little easier for you.
Since you can’t bribe your employees to deliver consistently exceptional service (at least not legally), use these six tips to create a thriving customer service culture:
- Articulate a customer service mantra. (This is one of the toughest, yet most important, parts of culture-building.) Craft a sentence which describes your company’s overall customer service mission and goals. Why? Because everyone on your team – from the owner to the receptionist – must understand what your company stands for when it comes to service. Only when everyone is on the same page can you work together to build the right culture.
- Start at the top. Senior managers must set the right tone and lead by example. Instead of just preaching about customer service, they should also provide exceptional service (especially to internal customers).
- Don’t just train; educate. Customer service “training” teaches your employees how to do things that are tactical and prescriptive. Education, however, imparts fundamental service principles that every employee can apply to his job – regardless of his role or the situation. So move the needle in your staffing firm. Instead of merely training employees to respond to specific problems, educate them on how to think proactively, focus on solutions, and deliver desired outcomes.
- Empower your team. To live out a service culture, employees must have the authority, training and resources to satisfy customers.
- Hire for your culture. As you grow your team, take the advice you give your own clients – and hire people who mesh with the service culture you’re trying to build.
- Give your team a reason to change. If you expect employees to change the way they treat clients and candidates, explain the “WIIFM.” Make the connection in their minds between exceptional service and your company’s success. Consider creating financial incentives tied to individuals’, teams’ or your entire organization’s customer service performance metrics.
Are you proud of your staffing firm’s service culture? If so, how did you build yours? Which strategies worked – and which didn’t? We’d love to know. Share your comments below.