Delivering great customer service through driving great culture Part 2

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In Part one of this two series blog, I wrote about the four cornerstones of driving great culture and the value this culture can bring to your business. In part two, I’d like to look at how to externalize your culture in raising the bar on customer service.  

Having spent the last few years developing The Recruitment Company's culture, working tirelessly as a team, to transform our business into the recruitment agency we want it to be, we realized that our external  brand no longer matched who we'd become. It was all very well to be recognized out in the market as a Best Place to Work, and an Employer of Choice, but what kind of a company did our customers think we were, did they know what made us great, and most importantly  how did this strength of culture benefit them?

We realized that in order for us to take our service offering to the next level, and give our customers the best possible experience, we needed to involve our customers in who we had become and match our new personality to our brand.

So how do you externalize culture?

Take a step back. Ask yourself, do your outsides match your insides? When your customers come into contact with you, interact with you, do they get an immediate feel for who you are as a business and what you stand for in terms of your service offering? When you look from the outside in, do you like what you see, and does it have you written all over it? 

Invest in your brand. Your brand is your vehicle to externalizing your personality and stamping it all over your marketplace, creating synergy between who you actually are and how you’re perceived. Embed your culture into your brand at every opportunity, treating them as one and the same.

Make every employee a brand ambassador. Empower every person in your business, from your front line entry level employees to your highest ranking execs, to live your brand at every opportunity.

How do you raise the bar on customer service?

Centre everything you do on making the customer experience exceptional.

In part one I talked about the importance of having a clear idea of why you exist. At The Recruitment Company we exist to raise the bar, one exceptional recruitment experience at a time.  Every morning we talk about how we are going to make it exceptional today.  Talk about it, and talk about it some more, until it is engrained into fiber of your business, and be amazed at the impact this undiluted focus will have on your customer service offering.

Make great culture and great customer service synonymous.

Your brand ambassadors are at the heart of this bit. Take this happy and engaged team that you work so hard to keep happy and engaged, and get them involved. If they are living and breathing your company values, and experience the benefits of great culture everyday, get their ideas on how to take this one step further to positively impacting the lives of your customers.

Hold think tanks and focus groups on how you can improve customer touch points across every facet of your business. Find out what it is that your customers would love to see from you in terms of your service offering, and challenge your people to make it a reality. From their first point of contact through to the end of their journey with you, empower your people to make it exceptional.

Recognize great customer service when it happens, and celebrate it.

Make sure you’ve got a finger on the pulse of what your team is doing to go above and beyond, and every time it happens, no matter how big or small the gesture, recognize it, communicate it, and celebrate it.

In summary, driving great culture creates an engaged, happy, lasting team that brings untold value to your business. Use your brand to externalize this strength of culture, taking it one step further to directly impact your customer experience. Centre everything you do around making great culture and great customer service synonymous and be amazed at the impact this can have on making your customer service offering exceptional.

What are your thoughts on, and experiences around, driving great customer service? I’d love to get your take on it.