It’s no secret that companies whose people provide consistently exceptional customer service have the competitive advantage. Customers have louder voices and more choices than ever before and it’s easy for an upset person to rant online and/or simply take their business elsewhere.
The problem is how to you get your employees excited about rolling out the red carpet for customers? What’s the secret that organizations like Disney, Zappos, and Nordstroms know that other brands don’t? Or is it a secret at all?
The keys to exciting and engaging your team to delivering a red carpet customer experience are the same, regardless of the organization. The question is, do you follow them?
You might also be wondering how you sustain the enthusiasm once its there.
Recently I asked our Director of Training (who we affectionately call our Countess of Curriculum), Chris Perillo, what she would suggest for leaders who want to build a service culture in their companies. Chris, who has 25 years experience in organizational development, replied the following:
Have a Clear Vision: What does ‘exceptional customer service’ mean to you?
If you want to build a culture of exceptional customer service you, the leader, must know what that looks like. In detail. Remember, many of your hourly employees have never experienced red carpet customer service. It’s up to the leader (of the company, the department, etc.) to paint that picture and model it for them.
Too often leaders think customer service is “common sense,” but in order to deliver a consistent experience your team needs a common language and a common vision.
Ensure that Leadership Drives the Culture
It’s not enough to simply provide training for your employees. Each leader (C-Level, VP, Regional, Director and Department Head) must drive the culture with their daily activities. The actions of the leaders must be in alignment with their quest for improved customer service by associates.
This means hiring carefully, empowering and encouraging employees and embracing continuous improvement.
Involve Your People
Gone are the days when the boss says jump, and employees jump. If you want your people to truly buy in to your service culture vision, you must involve them. Leaders create the vision, and then involve people at every level in the organization in figuring out how to deliver on it.
Chris is spot on. Time and time again we’ve seen our clients succeed when they follow these three principles. The change must come from BOTH the top down and the bottom up.
During our free webinar on February 21 (2pm ET/1pm CT/12pm MT/ 11am PT) we will walk you through 5 steps that incorporate all of these principles and will help you keep your people excited about and committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
The 5 steps are:
We’ll provide you with simple tools and actions you can take to:
- Set a clear vision and set of expectations regarding the service experience
- Inspire enthusiasm by involving your people in the process
- Empower your team to deliver exceptional customer service
- Encourage the positive behaviors that will delight your customers
- Employ continuous improvement strategies so you’re getting better all the time
Plus, you’ll walk away with our Red Carpet Engagement Toolkit: A series of tips, tools and worksheets you can use immediately to re-energize your people to rock the red carpet and start creating happy customers!
Donna Cutting is the author of two books on red carpet customer service, including “501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers” and the Founder and CEO of www.RedCarpetLearning.com.