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The service culture of tomorrow — are you doing it right?

customer service mindset featured image

It’s no secret that customer service is evolving. With the advent of new technologies, customers now expect more from the companies they do business with.

There is also solid proof that companies building a customer service culture are 60% more profitable than the ones that aren’t.

Customers want their concerns and questions answered quickly. They are after personalized experiences that consider their past interactions with the company. But, what is service culture to start with? 

Here’s our beginner-friendly guide into customer service culture and what companies need to do to stay ahead of the curve when creating a customer service culture.

What is service culture?

The term “service culture” has been bandied about a lot in recent years, but what does it actually mean? A service culture is a culture or environment in which the customer is always the top priority, one where you put the customer first. But it certainly doesn’t mean that the customer is always right. Or that you should always sacrifice the interests of your agents for those of the (unreasonable) customer.   

In fact, customer service culture is a systemized and planned obsession with providing the best customer service experiences.

It means going above and beyond expectations to ensure clients are delighted by your organization’s goods or the services they’ve paid for; it also helps set the company apart in today’s crowded marketplace.

Every interaction with a customer should be an opportunity to deliver exceptional service, demonstrate your customer service culture, and build a strong customer-brand relationship.

What are the benefits of a strong customer service culture?

service culture benefits

RSU — Retention. Satisfaction. Upselling — all of these come as a reward for a strong customer service culture and stellar customer experiences. 

McKinsey found that 70% of customer experiences are determined by the way the customer feels they are being treated. Your service culture or lack thereof has a causal relationship with customer experiences and them becoming a brand advocates later on. 

There are actually many benefits to having a strong service culture in your organization. 

Perhaps the most obvious is that it can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

But a strong customer service culture is more than just a nice way to do business. It’s a tool that lets you build an audience of loyal, happy customers. People who will tell their friends about your business, and who will rave about it online (Net Promoter Score).

A service culture can also improve employee morale and agent motivation, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. 

What is a customer service culture example?

One company that sets some service culture examples with a solid culture is Zappos

This online retailer is known for its excellent customer service. It has built a loyal following, which resulted in 75% of their business revenue coming from repeat customers.

repeat customers in service culture

Zappos has been a case study for the customer service industry for years now. The results come from great company strategy and no reservations related to creating a service culture. 

A great example of how daring Zappos has been on their strategy is their core values:

  1. Deliver ‘wow’ through service.
  2.  Embrace and drive change.
  3.  Create fun and a little weirdness.
  4.  Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.
  5.  Pursue growth and learning.
  6.  Build open and honest relationships with communication.
  7.  Build a positive team and family spirit.
  8.  Do more with less.
  9.  Be passionate and determined.
  10.  Be humble.

Zappos has done such a great job and achieved remarkable results that even giants like Amazon have learnt a thing or two from them. This enterprise and many others only proves that the way you define service culture and later design it into a strategy can be detrimental to business success. 

What’s the customer service culture of tomorrow?

So what is the customer culture of the future?

The service culture of tomorrow is all about delivering personalized experiences to customers

automated service culture

People want their concerns and questions answered quickly. They also want a personalized experience that takes into account their past interactions and personal tastes with the company. This is where data-driven customer service comes in and a customer intelligence department comes handy.

Data-driven customer service is a process in which you gather and analyze customer data to improve the customer experience

The data you collect from the customers can come from a variety of sources, including surveys, social media, and customer support channels. 

By analyzing CX data, businesses can gain a better understanding of what customers want and need. And they can use this information to personalize their interactions.

The benefits of data-driven customer service are clear. By collecting and analyzing customer data, businesses can improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. In addition, businesses can use this data to make decisions about product development and marketing strategies that can support building a service culture.

There are many companies that are already using data-driven customer service to improve their businesses. Amazon, for example, uses big data to improve customer experience. The online retailer collects data from a variety of sources, including its website, mobile app, and Amazon Echo device. 

Amazon collected data is used to personalize the shopping experience for customers and to make recommendations about products they might be interested in.

As consumer behavior continues to change, businesses will need to increasingly rely on data-driven customer service in order to stay ahead of the curve and on AI — to analyze the massive amount of information it brings.

By collecting and analyzing customer data with tools, businesses can gain a better understanding of what customers want and need. And they can use this information to personalize their interactions with customers — easy!

Building a service culture: 5 main steps

steps to improve service culture

But what are some of the key elements that make up a service culture? Here we made a handy list for you!

Hire the right people

Hiring individuals with the right mix of skills, empathy, and a desire to help others is critical.

You always want to have the right people in place — people who care about service if you want to create a strong service culture. These individuals will be responsible for delivering exceptional customer service and building relationships with customers. And, what’s most important, they will actually be interested in achieving success in customer service.

Your agents need to be able to empathize with customers and understand their needs. So always make sure they are motivated to go the extra mile for their customers — which you can do by building a system of rewards, establishing a strong customer service culture from day one, and providing them with a healthy workplace environment where they can thrive. 

Establish strong company values 

One of the most important things you can do to create a good customer service culture is to teach your employees about your company’s values and how they can help customers. That way you will ensure that everyone is on the same page, gets all the protocols of conduct, and knows what you expect of them. 

Agents need to understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and be motivated to go the extra mile for their customers to create a customer culture and demonstrate proactive behavior

When everyone is working towards the same goal, it can lead to improved morale and productivity

For example, Foot Locker, an international fashion retailer, have build their brand, name, and success strategy by relying on four core goals:

customer service culture goals

Read more: How Foot Locker Europe cut Resolution Time by 75% with Kaizo

Develop a customer experience vision

How can you provide something that you don’t understand? 

Businesses must ensure their agents know what the customer’s experience should be like, what they want customers to associate the brand with. 

By ensuring your teams know what the customer’s experience should be like, you are setting the standard for how they should be treated. This standard can focus on many things like tone of voice, refund policies, modes of communication, etc. 

You are also ensuring that employees clearly understand what you expect from them. Having clear goals  and KPIs can lead to improved morale, productivity, and more satisfied customers. 

Here are some of the KPIs you should always be looking at:

service culture kpis

Coach agents on new customer service technologies

With the rise of new technologies, customer service will increasingly be delivered through automated channels like self-service chatbots, for example.

Businesses provide training to their employees to use these AI technologies to help customers solve most common requests automatically as they focus on more complex cases. 

Good training and coaching will ensure customer service representatives can efficiently and effectively resolve customer concerns. 

In addition, training your employees on new technologies can help improve morale and productivity, as they will be able to use these technologies to their full potential. By training your employees on how to use new technologies, you are ensuring they can provide the best possible customer service. 

Create a rewards system

When employees go above and beyond to help a customer, it’s important to reward them. This shows your appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

Rewarding helps to motivate agents to continue providing excellent customer service. 

A good rewarding system sets the standard for others in your organization, as they will see that you are willing to invest in those who deliver exceptional customer service.

You are also motivating them to continue providing excellent customer service. This can lead to improved morale and productivity within your organization, as well as more satisfied customers.

Here are some rewards ideas you could easily implement.

service culture rewards

Provide regular feedback

Regular communication is key to creating a strong service culture. It allows you to keep employees updated on changes within the company, new policies or procedures, and goals for the department or team.

It also gives employees a chance to provide feedback and suggest improvements for the product or service you are selling. Feedback can also help identify areas where your agents need more training or guidance, and it can help you track progress over time.

By communicating with your employees regularly, you are reinforcing your commitment to providing excellent customer service. You are also giving employees a voice and letting them know their opinions matter.

Wrapping Up

The customer service culture of the future is one of empowerment, not obligation. 

It is a culture that values experiential service and experiences valued by customers, instead of valuing the same standard or “traditional” experiences that have been forced upon us through advertising. 

It is a culture where service providers are not afraid to offer their opinions and suggestions, where they are not afraid to be original, whether it be in the form of their ideas for service-oriented products or in the way that they deliver their services.

Are you ready to embrace it?

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