If you took some time to think about it, you could probably summarize your customer service philosophy into a few paragraphs. But can your agents do the same? And is your philosophy evident to your customers? Creating a concise customer service statement is an important part of delivering world-class customer service. By documenting your philosophy, you’ll ensure your employees and your customers understand your company’s goals and priorities.
What Is a Customer Experience Philosophy?
Before you can develop a customer experience philosophy, let’s get at the heart of what the term really means. A philosophy is a way of thinking about the world around you, so a customer experience philosophy is a particular way of thinking about how people interact with your business. This philosophy defines how your agents work with customers and how you want your business to be perceived.
What Is a Customer Service Statement?
Your customer service statement is a concise way of putting your customer service philosophy into words. This can be similar to your company’s mission or value statement, but specific to the realm of customer service. Your agents should be very familiar with your customer service statement and use it to guide their everyday decisions.
Developing a Customer Service Philosophy
Developing a customer service philosophy takes some dedicated time, so don’t expect to come up with one overnight. You may be pondering it for weeks before you come up with something that’s just right. Here are some tips on how to develop a philosophy that reflects your company’s culture, values, and mission.
1. Be True to Your Company
Every company’s customer experience philosophy will look a little bit different, as it should. Just because you admire another company’s philosophy doesn’t meet it’s right for your business. Stay true to your company and your target demographic. If you try to be something you’re not, your customers will probably see right through it.
2. Consider the Customer Perspective
Don’t forget to consider the customer perspective as you develop your philosophy. After all, you’re creating it to improve their experience with your business. It might help to survey or interview a wide variety of customers before you start to develop your philosophy.
3. Document Your Philosophy
Once you’ve homed in on your customer experience philosophy, it’s vital that you document it and start sharing it with your employees. Print out posters, include it in emails, and discuss it at employee trainings. All of that hard work won’t do you any good if you don’t infuse that philosophy into your company culture and put it at the heart of day-to-day business.
What Are the Fundamentals of Customer Service?
As you’re developing your customer service philosophy, it can be helpful to consider what customer service is all about. Here are some of the fundamentals of customer service:
1. Listen to Your Customers
Excellent customer service starts with listening. What are your customers really telling you when they reach out to your customer service team? What is the root cause of the issue, and how can you prevent it in the future? What would make your customers more satisfied the next time around? Keep these questions in mind as you listen, and you might be surprised at what your customers reveal to you about how you can improve.
2. Show Your Customers You Care
The customer’s relationship with your business is about more than a one-time transaction. To be a truly great company, you want to develop customer loyalty and deeper relationships that are built on human connection. Moving towards this goal starts by showing customers you care. Be personable, aim to please, and be generous in extending empathy and apologies.
3. Be Proactive
In today’s competitive business landscape, it’s important to do everything you can to stand out from the pack. This means you need to be proactive, not reactive, with your customer service approach. Anticipate the needs of your customers before they ask for help. Offer self-service tools and make it easy for customers to get what they want.
To really seal the deal and create customer loyalty, you’ll need to over-deliver on customer service. Give out unexpected freebies, send a replacement even when the product is past the warranty, and find other creative ways to make your customers smile. If you’re feeling stretched thin, outsourcing customer service may be a good way to improve satisfaction rates and other important metrics.
5. Be Honest
Your customers will see right through you if you try to glaze over the truth. Own up to your mistakes and be totally transparent with them. It may be frightening, but you’ll be rewarded by building relationships that are founded upon trust.
6. Ask for Feedback
Customer feedback should be treated like gold. It’s one of the most valuable tools you have for improving your company, since your customers are the ones who keep your business afloat. Ask for feedback frequently, whether it’s in the form of an email survey, a social media post, or a market research group.
How to Create a Customer Service Philosophy That Supports Your Larger Business Goals
As you create your customer service philosophy, it’s important to keep in mind your larger business goals. The right philosophy will support those goals and help increase the bottom line.
One of the best ways of creating a philosophy that stands in harmony with the rest of your company goals is by considering only the most important metrics. There’s an endless list of KPIs you could be tracking—but which ones are most important? Your philosophy will be most effective if you hone only a few of the most important metrics, rather than trying to tackle them all in one.
Another way you can boost your bottom line is the cost-effective solution of outsourcing your customer service. With a solid customer service philosophy in place, your team will be equipped to provide superior care and service that supports your company and its goals.
What Is Your Customer Service Philosophy?
Now that you’re more familiar with the fundamentals of customer service and how to develop a customer service philosophy, it’s time to create your own. By taking the time to craft the perfect philosophy, you’ll increase customer satisfaction rates, boost customer loyalty, and increase brand awareness. So what is your customer service philosophy? It’s time to find out!