Providing great client service is a claim that nearly every business makes.
But being able to provide that great service isn’t just about staffing and resources and quick responses. It’s about something deeper.
It’s about what you want your clients to experience every time they have an interaction with your business. Which starts with your internal definition of what great service means to your organization. And that starts with why you exist in the first place.
Why you do it
Your purpose must be clearly defined so everyone knows why he or she works so hard every day. What are their efforts intended to achieve? And what role do they play in the big picture?
- If your purpose is simply to put money in the owner’s pocket, that’s not a very good motivator for treating clients well or wanting to go beyond selling them a product or answering their basic questions.
- If your purpose is to help clients solve specific problems, that’s a different focus altogether. Knowing that your goal is to help clients achieve their goals allows your team to proactively make suggestions toward that end.
What you value
Your organizational values are used to help shape and direct behaviors. When the values are known, everyone can use consistent ideas in treating clients and making decisions.
Without defined values, everyone is left to use their own set of decision-making criteria, which might not produce the results your company wants or expects.
Who you are
Some say you can’t define a culture and that it just develops naturally. To some degree, this is true. Culture is a naturally developing personality of any organization, but it must be done with intention.
Everyone needs to clearly understand the cultural expectations of the company, and leadership needs to actively reinforce it. It’s important to promote/reward appropriate behaviors and reprimand ones that don’t reinforce the cultural expectations. Without this, the culture becomes a fractured grouping of behaviors and doesn’t promote consistency across the organization.
What do you want for your customers?
After you have your company values and behaviors defined, it’s time to decide what you want a client to experience when they interact with your organization. In order to deliver great service, you and your team must know what your definition of “great” is.
Making it happen
To deliver on your company purpose and client experience, you’ll need the right people in the right roles. You’ll also need to empower them to be successful. This means giving them the responsibility and authority to make decisions and deliver on good service.
Once you’ve determined how to effectively deliver on the service you’ve defined, you will need to train the team for success. Whether you need to focus on technical skills or people skills, consistency in training will help reinforce those key, consistent behaviors needed to deliver on your promises.
To keep this happening over the long term, leadership must regularly communicate and reinforce the organizational purpose, values, and expected behaviors. Using multiple forms of communication is important, but even more so is demonstrating these things through behaviors and actions.
As you’re starting down this path, be sure to take an honest assessment of what your customer experience looks like today. Is everyone in the business actively working to “Wow!” clients and make them exceptionally happy?
If not, ask yourself:
- What will this look like?
- Why does it matter?
- How will we get there?
- Who will lead the way?
Everyone has his or her own individual ideas about what good, best, and exceptional look like. Don’t leave client experience and the success of your company up to chance by simply hoping your definitions match those of each of your staff members.
The clearer you make it, the happier everyone will be. Including your clients.
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