Most companies will tell you that their main focus is customers.  Creating a company wide customer service culture is easier said than done.  It’s one thing to come up with a friendly tagline; it’s a whole other to set the tone of that throughout the whole organization.  We’ve recently seen some large corporations come under fire for the way they handled the customer service aspect of their business. The way these companies handled things, from a customer service perspective, was a nightmare.  You can’t just use customer service as part of some slogan –if you’re going to implement it, it has to be done correctly.

So, what is important in fostering a culture of good customer service in a business?   The key is that it has to be employed all the way down through the entire organization.  Take your message and mission statement and train from top executives all the way to.. gate workers, for instance.  It may start at the top, but every single member of a company is representing that organization.  The interactions that your customers and clients have with your company, from top to bottom, will affect whether or not you are successful in the long run.  A bad reputation and poor customer service sends things downhill incredibly fast.

You also have to be prepared as a business, in the face of a big mistake or customer service problem, to accept responsibility and do your best to change practices moving forward.  In an event that the CEO of a company can’t do this correctly, they are letting the entire company down by not handling things better.  It becomes a mess.  When mistakes happen, the best course of action is to apologize to truly everyone involved and re evaluate what needs to happen moving forward.  An apology without action or change is no real apology at all. Customers will see that.

Creating a customer service culture is centered around sticking to a mission statement.  Hire people based on whether or not they fit this criteria. Train people with this mission statement in mind. Demonstrate through the way the company treats its own employees. From the top down, throughout the entire organization, stress the importance of this approach and lead through example. It’s not enough to have a flashy slogan. You have to back up the claims you make with genuine action towards each and every customer you encounter.  Employees who are treated well are more likely to be happy in their careers, and in turn, are more likely to execute the type of service that you expect from them.

What are your thoughts on customer service in light of recent events? How important is it for an organization to make sure that customer service is a top priority throughout?  What is the best way to implement this? How can you test its effectiveness? Comment below!