How to Create a Customer-Focused Culture
Automation is changing the way we live and work, and in most cases, the change is for the better. But there are some things that still require the human touch and despite all the technological advances in recent years, no one has figured out how to automate great customer service. It’s a very human thing that must be embraced by your entire company to be truly successful. In short, it must be at the center of your corporate culture.
According to customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author Shep Hyken, “you must start on the inside, with your employees. What’s happening on the inside is felt on the outside by customers, and to be the best place to buy from, you must first be the best company to work for.” To achieve this goal Hyken recommends that business owners adhere to what he calls the “Employee Golden Rule” which states “Do unto your employees as you want done unto the customer – or better!”
In a recent article, Hyken outlined his six steps to creating a customer-focused culture.
Step One is to create a definite vision of what customer service is and make that vision easy for employees to understand and remember. Basically, your vision establishes the kind of experience you want your employees to provide for your customers. The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotels and resorts’ vision states “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” It’s brief, to the point and easily understood by every employee.
Step Two involves communicating your vision. Ultimately, every employee should be able to answer three simple but thoughtful questions:
- What is the vision?
- What does it mean?
- How do I contribute?
Step Three is to continually train every employee to adopt your company’s core values and customer service expectations. According to Hyken, customer service training is an ongoing process that requires repetition and reinforcement. “Customer service training,” he says, “isn’t something you did -it’s something you do, ongoing.”
Step four in the process makes it personal by requiring leadership and management to exemplify the vision to inspire others. Hyken says, “Leadership and management should treat the employees with the same respect and dignity that is afforded the customer, and employees should serve each other as well.”
Step five is all about aligning every corporate decision with the vision, or as Hyken states it, “defending the culture.” This includes how you interact with individuals and teams.
Step six in the process is celebrating successes. Acknowledging individual employees for delivering exceptional customer service is a great way to encourage your staff to achieve similar results. As Hyken puts it, “What gets rewarded and reinforced becomes part of the company’s culture.”
For more information about American Receivable’s personalized factoring solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, visit us online at www.americanreceivable.com or give us a call at 1-800-297-6652 and learn why we’ve been ranked #1 among factoring companies nationally by Business.com.
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