“When you do whatever is necessary to ensure the customer has a good experience with you and your company, you will have customers who are loyal for life and wouldn’t dream of doing business elsewhere,” Tschohl says. “I’m not talking about a media campaign that lauds your service; I’m talking about providing customers with great service day in and day out. If there is no consistency, there is no service.”
Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru. “Creating that culture isn’t easy and it doesn’t come without a price tag, but it will reap great rewards,” he says.
6 Steps to Creating a Service Culture:1. Develop and drive a customer service strategy. In order to be effective, it requires a long-term commitment by top management. You can develop a customer service strategy right under the noses of your competitors and have at least a 10-year lead-time, because unlike pricing, they won’t copy your efforts.
2. Eliminate policies and procedures that impede a service culture. Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Southwest Airlines does not charge its customers when they make a change in their reservation. Other airlines force customers to pay substantial change fees or even purchase new tickets. In 2005, Southwest earned $548 million.
3. Hire the right people, and treat them well. Look for people who are intelligent, personable and who view service as a critical element in any task they perform. Train them, treat them well, recognize and reward their efforts.
4. Empower everyone in the organization. Employees must have the authority to make a decision on the spot to bend or break the rules in order to serve the customer.
5. Train the entire workforce every four to six months. If you want high-performing, customer-driven employees, you must provide the training they need to do the job. And, to be effective, that training must be provided on a continuous basis.
6. Measure the results. When you breed a service culture in your organization, it will become a way of life, and the bottom-line impact will blow you away.