The secrets to superior customer service are born on the front line

Everyone knows that superior customer service can set you apart from competitors and earn lifelong brand loyalists, but actually delivering that outstanding service is where the challenge lies.

The truth is, your customer service will never live up to your promise unless your team truly cares about the people buying your product.

A corporate culture where workers are personally invested in customer relationships comes from the top down and from the bottom up. You have to establish and maintain a customer-focused brand, and your ground-level employees need to experience and strengthen that ethos in everything they do.

Here are some tips for cultivating a climate of caring:

 

Engage your employees in your brand personality

The quality of service that comes from connecting with customers on an emotional level happens when your employees act on the core values of your brand.

We’ve built Petplan around the idea that pets come first, because to our customers, it’s all about their pets.

To keep this principle top of mind in our team members, we’ve taken great care to create a pet-centric workplace — everything from our office décor to our pets-at-work policy reinforces our passion for pets and our friendly, approachable brand personality.

When your employees see and feel your founding principles in action every day, they are better able to approach your customers as effective ambassadors of the brand.

 

Treat your employees like customers

You can’t expect workers to deliver exceptional service on behalf of your brand if they aren’t receiving it themselves. Listen to your team, appreciate them, reward loyalty — these are all obvious.

But don’t forget to take opportunities to engage employees on an emotional level, too. One of the best things you can do to help team members feel invested in their work is to share incident stories and customer testimonials over your company-wide network. A simple reminder that the job they all do every day has a real and positive impact on others can fuel the fire in your employees’ bellies and inspire true pride in their work.

 

Empower your team members

Make sure they are properly trained. Ensure they truly understand your product and feel confident resolving issues or complaints. See to it that they have all the tools they need to do their jobs.

Encourage your team to build relationships with customers by acting as their advocate when there is a problem. Ask your employees for feedback and suggestions for avoiding and solving common complaints.

Your workers won’t go out of their way to wow a customer if they don’t feel empowered to do so. Invest in training and support tools so that your team members are always in the position to deliver outstanding service.

In business, the front line is the bottom line. When you devote resources to your service team members, involve them on a personal level and engage them in your brand, your employees will go above and beyond to deliver promises — and you (and your customers) will reap the rewards.