Customer Service Philosophy: What It Is + 7 Tips on How To Create One
Lots of factors go into making a great customer service philosophy. You need to have the right attitude, be organized, efficient and know how to handle difficult situations. But most importantly, you need to set clear boundaries for your team and get them all on the same page.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what customer service philosophy is and give you seven super useful tips for creating one for your team. Let’s get started!
What Is a Customer Service Philosophy?
A customer service (CS) philosophy is a set of beliefs and guiding principles that a company uses to shape its customer service policies and practices. You might value customer feedback, striving to meet customer needs, or maintaining a positive attitude.
A good customer service philosophy should be tailored to the needs of the company and its customers. Having one can help you create a positive and consistent customer experience, regardless of who on your team a customer is talking to.
Why is having a customer service policy important?
Once you have strong foundations in place, you can use your customer service philosophy to help make decisions about everything from hiring and training new employees to handling challenging customer situations.
An effective customer service philosophy is an important tool that allows companies to provide superior service and increase their customers’ loyalty.
How Does Customer Service Philosophy Impact Core Values?
A company’s customer service philosophy is the heart of its core values. After all, without customers, there is no business.
Putting your core values at the forefront of your customer service philosophy keeps your business honest, transparent, and accountable.
Examples of Customer Service Philosophies
What better place to find inspiration than our own backyard?
To help kick off your creation process, we will examine some successful statements that are in line with the philosophies of several different companies.
- “We’re not happy until our customers are” ~ Nordstrom
- “If it matters to you, it matters to us” ~ Virgin
- “Only the best is good enough” ~ LEGO
- “Treat others as you’d like to be treated” ~ Warby Parker
- “We’re a team that’s passionate about making things easy for our customers” ~ Zappos
How To Create a Strong Customer Service Philosophy
Creating a customer service philosophy that goes beyond just making light promises is harder than it seems.
A company’s customer service philosophy should be more than just a list of values or a mission statement. It should be a living document that guides the actions of everyone in the organization.
Thorough pre-planning is needed to create a customer service philosophy that your employees really believe in. Here are a few tips to make that happen.
Tip 1: Build Your Customer Service Philosophy on Your Values, Mission, and Vision
Your business’ customer service philosophy should be built upon three cornerstones:
- Your values, which are the beliefs that guide your business decisions. They should be reflected in the way you treat your customers.
- Your mission, which briefly describes what your business does and why it exists. It should guide your customer service decisions and help you prioritize your customers’ needs.
- Your vision, which outlines what you hope to achieve in the future.
By aligning your customer service philosophy with your company’s core values, mission, and vision, you can create a consistent, positive experience that will build loyalty and trust among your customer base.
Tip 2: The Customer Is (Not) Always right
“Delight customers by putting employees first.”
Question time. Which big-name company made such a statement?
If you guessed Disney, you would be correct.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, putting your employees first can actually lead to better customer service. When your employees feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to go the extra mile for customers.
You’ll never be able to provide your customers with the best experience if you don’t prioritize the needs of your employees. A happy and satisfied employee will strongly identify with their employer’s values and care about the company they work for.
If you put your customers first at the expense of your employees, they will eventually burn out, and the quality of their work will suffer. That’s why, if you want to develop a CS philosophy that puts the customer first, be sure to take care of your employees too.
Tip 3: Get the Entire Company Involved in the Process of Creating Your Philosophy
You should create your customer service philosophy with the input of your entire company, not just the CS department. After all, every client interaction is an opportunity to deliver on your customer service promises.
From the receptionist who answers the phone to the sales team that closes deals, everyone in your company plays a role in creating a positive customer experience.
If you involve your entire team in developing your customer service philosophy, everyone will have a stake in delivering an exceptional customer experience.
You will also get different perspectives on every touchpoint your employees have with your customers.
So, how do you do that?
Schedule a company-wide meeting and explain why you’re creating a customer service philosophy, then ask for feedback from your employees. Why do they think it is important to provide excellent customer service?
Try to get as much input as possible and use it to craft a customer service philosophy that reflects the needs and values of your entire company.
Tip 4: Create a List of Actionable Steps for Putting Your Philosophy Into Action
Your customer service philosophy is only as good as your ability to actually apply it. Include strong verbs in your principles to encourage your team to act on them daily.
For example, if one of your core values is “to provide an exceptional customer experience”, you could include the following action items in your customer service philosophy:
- we will always go above and beyond to ensure that our customers are satisfied
- we will never do anything that could jeopardize relationships with our customers
- we will always be honest and transparent with our customers
- we will always be available to our customers when they need us
These are just a few examples, but they should give you an idea of how to style your customer service policy.
By more precisely defining your action items, it will be easier for your team to understand exactly what they need to do in order to comply with the company’s CS philosophy.
Tip 5: Keep It Short, Sweet, and Simple
Your employees won’t be able to follow your customer service philosophy if it is too complicated, which could do more harm than good. It should be easy for your employees to understand and put into practice.
Think of it this way: a complex customer service philosophy is like a recipe with too many ingredients – it’s hard to follow and easy to make mistakes, discouraging you from the start.
Try to keep your customer service policy super simple and to the point. You want your employees to be able to read it, understand it, and put it into practice right away.
A good customer service philosophy should be concise. You don’t want your employees to get bogged down in a long, drawn-out document. Instead, you want them to be able to quickly reference it when necessary.
Finally, your customer service philosophy should be positive and uplifting. It should inspire your team members to do their best work and always keep customers’ needs in mind.
Tip 6: Train Your Employees on the Philosophy
You might have the best customer service philosophy in the world, but it won’t do you any good if your employees don’t know it exists or can’t understand it. That’s why training your employees on the company CS philosophy is so important when they first join.
Make sure they understand what your philosophy is and why it’s important, then give some real-world examples of how to put it into practice. If new employees join your company regularly, incorporate your CS philosophy into the onboarding process.
Keeping your employees trained and updated on the latest company information will help you provide better service for everyone.
One more thing: your customer service philosophy should be easily accessible to your employees. Share it in an internal blog post, add it to the cloud, or create a poster to hang in the break room.
Make sure everyone knows where to find it and that they always keep it in mind.
Tip 7: Review and Revise Your Customer Service Philosophy Regularly
If you find that your customer service philosophy is no longer working, don’t be afraid to make changes. After all, it’s just a document – it’s not set in stone.
As your business grows and changes, you may need to adjust your customer service philosophy to fit your new needs. This does not necessarily indicate that it’s been done incorrectly – it’s just a normal part of the process.
The most important thing is that you have a customer service philosophy that works for your business and helps you achieve your goals. Here’s how you can do that.
#1 Regularly review your CS philosophy. This could be monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on how often you feel it needs to be updated.
#2 Inform all employees about the review process and give them the chance to participate.
#3 Be open to making changes, even if they seem small. Sometimes even a minor tweak can make a big difference in how effective your CS philosophy is.
#4 Use the review process as an opportunity to brainstorm new ideas and ways to improve your customer service.
#5 Keep your CS philosophy updated and relevant so that it can continue to be a valuable tool for your business.
How to Succeed With an Established Philosophy
Let’s assume that you already have a customer service philosophy in place. What do you do then?
Now it’s time to work out how you can put it to good use, which is where automation comes into play.
Automating as much of the CS process as possible is key to making your philosophy successful. This means having a system in place that lets you quickly and easily respond to customer queries, track customer satisfaction levels, and monitor performance.
It’s hard to track whether or not all customer issues are being resolved according to your company’s philosophy when countless arise every day. That’s why tools such as CloudTalk are essential for helping you manage them easily.
CloudTalk is a high-quality communication software for handling customer queries successfully. It can be integrated with many popular solutions (e.g., HubSpot, Zendesk, Zapier), streamline your agents’ workflow, and motivate them to do their best.
What’s more, features such as automatic call recording, transcription, and IVR make it easy for you to monitor and evaluate interactions with customers, as well as identify areas for improvement.
But don’t take our word for it. CloudTalk offers a free trial period so you can check if their software is right for your company without spending any money upfront.
Try CloudTalk out for yourself by signing up here.
Note that automation needs to fit into your philosophy. What does that mean exactly?
For example, using a chatbot may be tricky if your philosophy is to make CS personal. If so, you should use one in conjunction with a human agent, so your team can focus on complex issues and tailored service while the chatbot handles simple queries.
To sum up, to make your customer service philosophy a success:
- automate as much of the process as possible
- use high-quality communication software
- monitor and evaluate interactions with customers
- identify areas for improvement
Creating a customer service philosophy is key to providing your clients with a consistent and positive experience. It can be difficult to boil down your entire CS ethos into a few sentences or guidelines, but it’s worth taking the time to do so.
These tips should help you get started with creating your own customer service philosophy that will make sure all of your clients have a great experience every time they interact with your company.