Building and sustaining a superior service culture needs the support of committed service leaders and aligned leadership teams. Leaders must set a clear vision, inspire dedicated action, provide effective education, and cultivate a conducive environment.
Let’s look at each of these four points more closely to understand a leadership team’s critical role in building an “uplifting” and sustainable service culture in an organization.
1. Set a Vision and Purpose
Leaders must create a service vision that creates value for customers and employees. A powerful service vision will stimulate your team’s ambition and will reflect through their commitment to serve.
What is the purpose for building a superior service culture? Why is it so essential for customers? What can an organization achieve by focusing more vigorously and creatively on delivering “superior service”?
This “service vision” should not only have meaning for employees serving external customers, but to everyone serving internal colleagues as well. If you want your frontline teams to deliver outstanding service, you need to build the standards of world-class service throughout the organization.
2. Be an Inspiration to the Entire Organization
Leadership must keep “building a superior service culture” high in spirit and motivation, and high on the company’s agenda. Leaders must walk-the-talk – reinforcing their words with visible commitments through widely recognized culture building activities.
When you aim to build a superior service culture in your organization, this is not the responsibility of the customer service department or the human resource department – it is also your personal responsibility as a leader.
It is your duty to inspire everyone on the team by communicating the relevance of great service value for customers and for each other. By following your example, each member of the organization will become aware of their actions, commitment, and obligation to contribute to your success.
3. Ensure Service Education is Followed by Constructive Action
While introducing new customer service education and training programs in an organization, your teams will learn new terms, distinctions, practices and fundamental principles to improve the service they provide. But education is only effective when learning is put into practice, and when those practices create new value for others.
Always be on the lookout for new actions and creative suggestions from your teams – especially your frontline teams as they are closest to your customers. These new ideas to improve service can then be evaluated by your leadership team, and supported with new resources and encouragement.
4. Create a Conducive Environment for Service
Mistakes are bound to happen whenever something new is tried or introduced. It is your duty as a leader to take, measure, and manage these risks. Convert “oops into opportunities”, make mistakes into learning occasions. Use errors to inspire everyone to continue to learn, improve and grow.
Talking about building an “uplifting service culture” can be simple, but leading this powerful will be a greater challenge requiring leaders to step out of their comfort zones and become deeply involved. Following these four key steps will start you, or take you further, along a proven path to your success.
About the Author
Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed educator for quality service. He is author of the bestselling series “UP! Your Service” and founder of “UP! Your Service College”