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4 Tips to Communicate Your Service Expectations

Often organizations struggle to get the word out on their customer service standards. This could be a new program, updated steps of service, new limited time specials, or just a refresh of the basics. The larger the organization the harder it is to communicate to the teams on the ground.

I spent many years working with large, diverse, widely spread organizations and I can attest to the challenges this presents to awareness and communication. The best place to start here is to disabuse yourself of the notion that an email, cascade, action item, or mention on your organization's intranet can get the job done alone. By all means, do those things, too, but it takes more.

Understand that awareness, acceptance, and commitment are built one day at a time, team by team.

So regardless of your current service model, customer loyalty, or state of your customer loyalty, you must start by building advocacy with your team. If you don't win their hearts and minds, you'll never inspire them to give that little bit extra it takes to set yourself apart from your competition.

Here are some tactics you can employ to improve your team's adoption of your customer service strategies.

  1. Discuss service standards during the selection process As you interview perspective candidates for open positions be honest about the expectations for service. Discuss your organizational commitment to your service principles and ensure that you see behaviors that support your culture. The time to discuss your customer focus and experience commitments is not on their first day of work, but rather from the very first time you meet.

  2. Teach service during training When you begin orientation and intital training you must ensure that service skills are layered in to the mix. If you successfully communicated your expectations during training and selected a team member with attitude in mind, then you are set up for success. Training great service becomes much easier when those you are training have a positive attitude and easy smile already baked into their DNA. From there you should ensure that your team is trained on your specific service standards and verbiage you expect. Always be sure you leave enough room for their personality and authentic individuality to shine through. Any time you host a training event, ensure that you include some level of service training - from pre-shift rallies to training workshops, service should always be a part of the conversation.

  3. Reward great service to reinforce Both new and tenured team members want to know when they get it right. So keep in mind that you should be on the look out for the key behaviors that support customers and reward those. If you are in the middle of a change effort or ramping up a new program, keep a close eye on the most important pieces and call those out consistently with praise. You will start to see others focus on those items, too, as they try to garner your attention for a job well done.

  4. Model behaviors with enthusiasm Finally, don't ignore the megaphone you have as a leader. Your team is watching you every moment of the day and judging your behavior. If you say you value great service, but walk by customers without a word, your credibility is shot. That means that another key way to drive results with service, experience, and execution is to be great at it yourself and show your commitment. You may sometimes think that your team doesn't listen, but they are always watching - use that to your advantage to drive results.

When it comes to improving your customer experience - whether by getting the word out on a new program or getting new team members off on the right foot - you can't go wrong with constant communication, training, recognition, and modeling great behaviors.

Thanks for keeping your customers at the center of everything you do.


Tony Johnson, CCXP Customer Experience (CX) Leader | Author | Speaker

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