As a boss, you have to walk the talk and be part of the solution. Change begins from you. Did you know that to administer a good customer service, it actually starts from you
and those above, because creating a customer-focused culture is a priority for most leaders. And this is because they have the courage to take actionable steps to execute and create a culture of excellence. Often times employees complains that their leaders are not walking their customer service talk. In other words, the communication is not backed up by their own example or action.
Be reminded that, customer service isn’t just a slogan. Your commitment should carry through in everything you do, and in every interaction. Develop clear policies and procedures for working with customers, and provide the training and communication necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Some boss work on their communication and that’s where it usually stops. Providing great customer service should be at the top of any leaders’ priority list, but all too often, many managers leave customer service in the hands of their employees, expecting that they will know what to do. This usually ends up in disappointment and lack of employee engagement.
And besides, businesses that go to great lengths to hire customer service employees with the right attitude and skills in this area, they still need to provide training, serve as role models, and establish performance standards for service excellence. So how do we create more actionable leadership? What can leaders do in their organization today to move forward and create service excellence?
So first, learn to create a culture of Service
The first step to providing great customer service is to build a culture of service; that is, everyone who works for your company not only understands what it means to deliver great service, but is passionate about it and committed to giving customers great service. It’s more than just a catchy slogan and directing people to deliver great service, but includes giving employees the tools they need to make customers happy and empowering them to do it.
Be ready to Coach, Mentor and Train your subordinates
It’s your responsibility as a leader to ensure that your employees are trained in exactly how service should be delivered. This can include everything from how to greet customers, to helping them find items, to how they should handle complaints. Customer service doesn’t stop with the hiring process. You cannot leave your employees guessing as to what they should do. Coach, Mentor and Train people to deliver excellence for the long term.
Then Set Clear Service Expectations
Does everyone in your organization understands the customer service expectations? Can they clearly communicate it? Often times, you will find out that the leadership team knows the expectations, but the rest of the organization does not. As a leader, you must be an effective communicator. Take the time diligently to communicate and set clear expectations of service. The more clearly people understand the expectations of excellence, the better they will know they are held to those high standards.
Don’t forget you should be a Role Model
Leaders must practice what they preach. It’s about integrity. Do you walk the talk? Your own personal example is the best way to get buy-in from your employees. You can talk all day long about customer service, but if your employees don’t see the words backed up by actions, they will lose the trust and credibility. There are great ways to be more engaged and committed to service excellence. You can spend a day in your customer service operations, take customer calls and listen to customer feedback. More importantly, be part of the solution. Great leaders are servant leaders. They want to serve by helping their teams engage and connect with the customer every day.
Accountability and Results
Being in a leadership position, you know that what’s gets measured gets people to be more accountable for their actions. This is not punishment. How will you and your team know if you are reaching your goals? How will you know whether you need to coach and give feedback? That’s why accountability with honest feedback on performance can create a sense of ownership. Otherwise, people will not know whether they are doing the right thing.
Celebrate and Continue To Improve
For the people that do the right thing and deliver excellent service, give them a lot of praise, recognition and appreciation. This is the time where you reinforce positive behaviour and encourage more of it. The other side of it is – to continue to improve and find new ways to raise the bar even higher for excellence.