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customer-service

In February’s blog we hear from Sarah Savvas, one of our customer service specialists to look at the importance of Service Culture in an organisation. Sarah shares her thoughts on why a Service Culture is so important.

“By definition, a Service Culture is a culture within an organisation where customer satisfaction is the top priority.

No business exists without customers. How you treat—or mistreat—them can determine how long your doors will stay open. And bad service can be a one way ticket to business failure.

For many years, customer service has been seriously lacking in Australia, but what we are currently seeing is an emerging trend being driven by some of Australia’s largest corporate players, which sees a shift of focus from ‘sales at any cost’ to a much more customer centric focus. What we are seeing is the emergence of a Service Culture.

Why build a Service Culture?

Building a service culture will enable your organisation to achieve key business objectives and set you apart from your competitors, allowing you to compete beyond price. It will also help achieve the following objectives:

♣ Strengthen staff and customer loyalty

♣ Create a level of consistency at all customer touch-points

♣ Increase referral and sales rates

♣ Build better long term business relationships

♣ Understand customer acquisition vs retention

♣ Improve net promoter scores and other customer metrics

♣ Increase the long term value of your customers

♣ Retain your best customers by going beyond customer satisfaction and really delivering on service and value

How do you create a service culture and how will it help your business?

1. Understand you’re in the service business Most companies think they’re in manufacturing or retail or any other number of industries. But the truth is that we are all in the service industry.

2. Eliminate policies, procedures, and systems that don’t put your customers first If your business has restrictive hours, regulations or procedures that are making life difficult for your customers, change them. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to customer service. How can you make your customers’ life easier?

3. Empower your employees Every single employee has to be able to make fast and powerful decisions on the spot, and always with the customer’s interest in mind.

4. It starts with hiring Industry service leaders are the ones that hire 1 out of 50 applicants, maybe even 1 out of 100. You have to hire the strongest customer centric team and then continue to invest in their ongoing development to keep them the best.

5. Retrain the whole staff every four to six months No matter if you have 10 or 1000 employees—constantly refresh your team’s capabilities with new ideas and skills.

6. Measure the results You have to track the numbers so you understand that it’s worth the time and effort because it’s making an impact on revenue, profit, and market share. It won’t take you long to realise the power of the service culture and the rewards it will bring to your business in terms of customer retention and loyalty, increased sales and revenue and ultimately, an improved bottom line.

Exceptional service is your strongest and most cost effective marketing strategy for increasing sales as it can result in repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, which can be worth a significant chunk of your annual revenue.”

To your success

Judeth

Judeth Wilson Founder & Lead Trainer at Upfront Communications