Creating a Customer Service Philosophy
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Customer service today is one of the most significant things for businesses. And the most valuable thing for your business is to provide excellent customer service.
Companies either attempt to create rules for every situation, or they motivate their employees to make the right decisions. And every employee needs a shared mission. Likewise, each team needs guiding principles to assure that they fulfill their shared mission in the right way.
By implementing a strong customer-first-placing philosophy, you will motivate your team to do the best they can and maintain your customers. A strong philosophy not only inspires team members, but it also sets the framework for a proactive rather than reactive customer-first strategy. Whichever customer interacts with, they can receive the same pleasant service that reflects the values of your company. So, if you want to achieve that, customer service philosophy is essential.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the process of serving individuals and providing assistance and support before, during, or after a purchase. And at the same time it is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction. Offering high-quality customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business.
However, creating a well-thought-out customer service philosophy like Apple or Zappos that is directly relevant to your business is crucial to ensuring that all your customers will be satisfied and receive high-quality customer service. Because a strong customer service philosophy and customer service strategy are behind any brilliant, successful customer service team.
What is Customer Service Philosophy?
A customer service philosophy is when a strategy is developed by customer service teams on how to manage service and support issues, driven by the guiding beliefs and values of a brand.
Each team needs guiding principles to ensure that their goals are achieved in the best possible way and that the needs of the customer are met. By integrating a strong customer service philosophy, you are motivating your team – and that’s what everything is about. It will help the team to understand the approach to customers better, and they will focus on their goals even more.
So, when team members are in an unexpected situation, it will be simpler to fix it based on the philosophy of customer service.
Find out how to reduce customer churn and increase customer loyalty!
Picture 1. Customer service is all about teamwork
6 Customer Philosophies That Help Provide Extraordinary Customer Service
Ask yourself a few questions first before developing a customer service philosophy. Such as what is the purpose of your company and how big is the importance of customer service in your company? Then you can start with your guide based on answers. Here are some of the things you should look up before you set your company’s philosophy.
1. Put your customer needs first
What customers mostly want is high-quality customer service and that is the least you can offer them. The survey indicated that 68% of customers would pay more to the company that provides great service. So put your resources into training your agents. An educated one with great skills can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer.
2. Be available
A customer often needs a fast answer to their issues or complaints. So, make sure that your team is available to respond on any channel at any time. While 60 percent of customers prefer to communicate over phone and email, 57 percent utilize live chat options. So that’s why you need to make sure that your team is available to respond to customers on any channel, at any time.
And if you can deliver both great service and speed, you have a winning combination.
3. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
You’ve all probably been in a situation where you’ve been treated badly. So, try to put yourself in someone else’s skin, especially in tough situations. Would you like someone offers you a bad customer service? No? Then try to understand them. 75% of respondents said that they were not likely to do business with the organization again if they felt disrespected by an employee or the organization. And you do not want that for your business. By showing empathy and understanding you show your customers you care, and that’s what is important.
4. Respect your customers
Respect is and should be a highly important part of any great customer service. Give the customers the respect they need and deserve. Even if they are wrong. If you can respect them at times your company benefits from them, you can also respect them when they are wrong by providing them with proper information and the greatest customer service you can. It is important to pay attention to what your customers have to say, as they will start feeling more appreciated.
5. Be honest with your customers
What customers appreciate most is the truth. If you aren’t sure how to fix a problem at this moment, it’s okay to let the customer know you will get in touch with them after collecting all the information needed to fix the problem.
Or if you’ve made a mistake, say you’re sorry. Sometimes a simple apology will not be enough, but it was you who made a mistake first, not the customer. So make sure you do everything in your power to retain them, such as offering discounts. Because it takes a lot more effort and money to attract new customers than to retain current ones.
But note that by keeping in touch with your customers, informing them, being honest to them, you will surely earn their respect and commitment.
6. Don’t forget about reputation
The best way of earning more reputation is by recommendations. People now trust more to words they’ve heard from their friends or colleagues. It can be good or bad, depending is the feedback positive or negative. And if the feedback is negative, we’ve all heard that negative words spread 3x faster then positive.
Because reputation is important, you want to make sure that your customers are spreading the good news about your company, not bad. You can earn that by making your customers happy. And when you’ve made them happy, stop for a second and think about the potential for referral marketing you’ve created.
Relevant: 10 Rules How to Boost Customer Service
3 Examples of Great Customer Service Philosophies
Apple trains its employees to follow five steps of service they’ve adapted. These steps are here to help business to improve customer experience. So, you can either follow those steps or create your own.
For its customer service philosophy, Apple developed the acronym APPLE, as shown on the picture below:
For every leader, the customer service philosophy of Disney is truly an inspiration. Disney is known as one of the best-known customer service providers. They made it look so simple – because their number 1 goal is focusing on the customer. But it wasn’t simple, and it is all the result of a thoroughly built plan that is strictly followed.
Disney doesn’t just want to provide good customer service in some company areas; they want great customer service in all fields. They offer a high-quality service and a guest experience that helps them to connect emotionally with a customer, which is far more better than any price paid. The company even has an institute dedicated to customer service, where other companies send their service professionals to be trained in their secrets.
And in all this process, Walt recognized that the success of his company lies in an excellent team, by stating: “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”
“Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.” -Tony Hsieh, CEO
Also known for its excellent customer service and unique company culture is Zappos, the online shoe retailer. And since their main focus is on company culture, it is no surprise they are so successful. From just a “shoe store” they’ve grown into an eCommerce giant by delivering excellent customer experience.
The philosophy of the company described by Hsieh goes as follows:
So, it is obvious that his unique company culture nurtures its customers and employees. A culture that motivates its employees to provide the best customer service in the industry. That is an example everyone should follow.
Customer satisfaction is definitely one of the most important business goals. Yes, it is difficult to maintain customers and keep them happy and satisfied with the services or products you provide. But with a good customer service philosophy, it is possible, as with it your customer service team will be motivated to consistently deliver excellent service. Because at the end of the day, the way you treat your customers represents the values and beliefs of your company.
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