7 Values That Play A Critical Role In Your Customer Service Team
Everyone’s talking about the importance of a customer service culture. Leaders like to spend a lot of time creating strategy, which sets out your goals in a logical way.
But as the saying goes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture communicates goals through values. It permeates the company and guides group behavior through (often unspoken) beliefs.
Your corporate culture will always exist – even if you don’t do anything to create it. That just means your culture will come from unconscious values and beliefs.
Deliberately setting your team’s values can go a long way towards building a workplace mindset that brings all of you together with a shared purpose.
It engages employees and attracts customers.
The important thing to remember when declaring a company value is that it must be shared by the entire structure from the top down.
The best way to promote a value is to lead your team by demonstrating and modeling that value yourself. Take action to correct people who disregard your values, whether they are management, staffers, suppliers, or even customers.
The customer is always the customer, but that doesn’t mean you must tolerate disrespect. Setting firm boundaries show how important your values are to you. It demonstrates your commitment to creating a culture in line with your beliefs.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to express your values by your actions and words, through public statements and inter-office communication. If your values are to make a real difference to your company, you must exhibit sincerity and dedication over time.
Once you have an established corporate culture you’ll attract people who are in line with your values. By the same token, people who are opposed to them will tend to stay away.
These seven values play an important role in guiding and supporting your customer-facing team in providing the best service they can.
Your customers expect your business to be accountable to your promises, and your customer service team creates the ‘face’ of your company. Customers turn to them when problems arise. The value of accountability means that your agent takes responsibility for the issue and does their best to fix it.
In order to fulfill this value, an agent must be empowered to make decisions in the moment. “I’m so sorry you had to experience that. Let me resolve that issue for you,” is a statement of accountability. “I’ll have to ask my manager,” passes the buck and (usually) frustrates the customer.
Wouldn’t you rather spend time with someone who has a cheerful outlook? Negativity isn’t just a personal pain, it rubs off on customers too. Not only is it unpleasant to deal with, it shows a lack of confidence in your brand. Customer service agents should face problems with a can-do attitude.
Phrase statements in a positive way and even severe issues won’t seem unsolvable.
Don’t say something can’t be done. Open yourself to an optimistic state of mind that looks for solutions instead of thinking of the negative.
Good customer service feels fresh and real. Customers don’t want to interact with robotic representatives repeating prepared scripts. They’ve probably already talked to your chatbot. They want real people who are reacting to them in a personal, human way.
Encourage authenticity by asking for your staffers’ input and welcoming their contributions. Ask them to express themselves and show interest in who they are as a person. When the customer calls, they’ll reflect that attitude.
The first order of business is to have respect for your staff. When respect permeates your organization, you attract people who respect you. They respect themselves and their job. As a natural outgrowth of this, they have respect for the customer.
It’s vital to have respect for the customer service department too. Don’t see it as a cost center.
It is a solutions center, an answers center, and an opportunity center. When customers call in they can feel the difference in the energy and attitude that your agents will have.
Trust is the basis of good communication. It means telling the truth, even if you’ve made a mistake. After all, everyone is human. Errors are inevitable. The key is to own up to it and do your best to fix it. Making mistakes in the right spirit actually increases customer loyalty.
Show your trust in your agents by empowering them to handle problems on their own. If they have to go up the chain of command to ask permission for every little thing, it shows that you think they’re not honest or competent enough to do it on their own. You hired them because they had talent and fit the position. Train them up and then trust them to do their job.
The playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” It can be very easy to assume that you understand what the other person has communicated. This is true for friends, colleagues, and customers. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re feeling a little confused. Really listen to what people are saying rather than waiting for your turn to speak.
Loyalty must flow both ways if you are to earn it from your staff and customers. When your staff sees that you value them as people, and don’t just see them as task-performing robots, you’ll get the best they have to offer.
When you demonstrate the values of accountability, optimism, authenticity, respect, trust, and communication, you can earn the loyalty of your customers. People nowadays choose brands that are a reflection of their values. Keeping your values strong is good business as well as good karma.