World class customer service isn’t a myth, and it doesn’t happen by accident. World class customer service takes intentional thought, consistent reinforcement and constant communication. Aristotle once said, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” It’s easy to say you want excellent customer service, but it takes work to make the myth into reality. Here are three ways to instill exceptional customer service at the forefront of your company culture.
1. Attitude follows leadership. If you lead, the culture will follow. As always, actions of leadership speak louder than words (or policies). If you want exceptional customer service in your organization, it must be modeled first by leadership. Then you need to positively recognize and reinforce team members who are demonstrating their commitment to customer service. “Make it clear that you’re interested in hearing about – and emulating – great customer service practices no matter where those practices originated.” (Solomon, Michah. “13 Ways Leadership Can Lead Employees To Provide World-Class Customer Service”. Forbes, 9 Jun 2016)
2. Don’t wait for the sound of silence. Just because you don’t hear about a problem, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. It just means you don’t have the information you need to proactively address the situation. If you passively wait for a customer or a team member to approach you, by the time you hear about the problem it may be too late to address. The same is true if you aren’t regularly and actively communicating with your team and your customers. “96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.” (“Are You Undervaluing Customer Service?” 1Financial Training Services)
3. Go beyond the page. Customer service training is about more than developing policies, manuals or a one-time orientation training. Exceptional customer service training requires an ongoing and relentless commitment to listen to your team and to ensure that they are empowered to make decisions. In the facilities maintenance industry, it is critical that your frontline team members can act as needed. They often will be the first to notice potential security or safety issues, to interact with visitors and to be knowledgeable about potential process improvement opportunities. “The best managers get outstanding performance from ordinary human beings.” (Kasanoff, Bruce. “The best managers get outstanding performance from ordinary human beings.” Forbes, 24 Mar. 16)
Excellence is never an accident. To have world class customer service, you need intentional commitment and communication. With more than 100 years of collective management experience, our people, our passion and our performance have helped us build the excellent customer service for which we are proud to be known.