Happy people help people. Find out how your company culture is affecting your customer service.
Good company culture is an important aspect of any successful business these days–studies show that over 50% of executives believe that “corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates.” So, it is no surprise that company culture can have a significant effect on the customer experience. Toxic culture fuels toxic employees and poor service, whereas healthy company culture leads to satisfied employees and excellent service.
Let’s examine 3 major ways that company culture affects customer support at your organization.
Open communication generally goes hand-in-hand with good company culture, and it can be the make-or-break factor for your support staff providing quality service. Communication between all departments is absolutely essential to ensure that everyone knows what’s going on and is aware of important company updates. For example, say you are a software company that adds a new feature to your product. If your support staff is not properly informed and versed in the new feature, they will be setup to fail when the customer questions start pouring in. This will inevitably result in dissatisfied customers and frustrated support employees.
Communication within the customer support staff is just as important as companywide. If your company culture is built up around teamwork and collaboration, then it will be natural for employees to work together and share relevant information that will help everyone to do their jobs better. I previously worked at a luxury hotel, and one of the ways that we ensured top quality service for our guests was communication between the staff.
For instance, if a guest checked in and mentioned that they would like to upgrade their room–but the hotel was currently full–I would make a note of this for the next employee coming in. If an upgraded room happened to open up during their shift, they would inform the guest and assist them in moving rooms. Thus, the customer did not have to continually ask for a new room and they were ultimately satisfied with their stay.
”Companies with an engaged culture have 30% greater customer satisfaction levels.”
Company culture is greatly tied to employee satisfaction levels. If you cultivate a respectful and enjoyable work atmosphere, people are much more likely to thrive. Additionally, when employees are satisfied at work and feel empowered to make decisions, it leads to increased creativity and problem-solving. In turn, customer service improves.
Happy employees = happy customers. Building a culture of appreciation inspires your support staff to want to provide better service because they are actually being recognized for their efforts and their work feels meaningful. Consider implementing employee recognition initiatives, such as TV screen events and celebrations that will give your support staff a well-deserved motivation boost.
Healthy culture also leads to lower staff turnover, in fact, ”75% of employees say they’ll stay longer at a company that listens to their feedback and actually acts on it.”
Having a positive and open organizational culture encourages communication, as well as knowledge sharing between both co-workers and managers alike. Good company culture also means that people don’t feel threatened to share their expertise with colleagues, which will lead to better performance, both individually and for the company as a whole.
In addition, thorough and on-going training programs are an excellent way to empower your support staff and provide them with a path to mastery that will result in higher employee engagement and ultimately improved customer support.
Victoria Richards has a BSBA from the University of Denver and works in marketing at SalesScreen. She is based in Trondheim, Norway. You can check out more of her blogs here and here. You can also get in touch via LinkedIn.