Every company has a unique identity.
They have their own culture, way of dealing with conflicts, and the managerial hierarchy.
But, when it comes to customers, there are very few companies that understand the importance of creating a customer service philosophy and standing out from the crowd.
Having a customer philosophy is essential in building a bond for life with your customers. In fact, it acts as a beacon that guides your agents on how they need to interact with customers and what they need to do to build better relationships.
So, how do you create a good customer philosophy? What are the essential elements that one must add to the process? In this blog, we will reveal all the answers but before we get into the details, let’s cover the basics first.
What is Customer Service Philosophy?
Customer service philosophy refers to a set of guiding principles or values developed by a support team that determines how they wish to treat customers, handle their issues, and build customer relationships.
In simpler terms, customer service philosophy aims to empower employees to deal with customer issues with more clarity and accuracy.
But, do you really need one?
The Need For a Customer Service Philosophy
Customer service isn’t just about resolving customer issues, it’s also about making a difference and lasting impact on your customers.
That’s exactly what a customer service philosophy aims to achieve. For example,
ING’s company purpose is: “empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and business.”
Kellogg’s company purpose is: “Creating better days and a place at the table for everyone through our trusted food brands.”
Now, these companies did not reach the level they are today without the best customer service philosophy.
Your philosophy acts as a roadmap for employees and prepares them to manage customer grievances, understand their pain points, and deliver memorable experiences.
As companies evolve and expand over a period of time, their customer service philosophy also changes accordingly. Having said that, there are a few skills that every company needs to learn and adapt to nail their philosophy on customer service. Let’s discuss the skills in brief.
Customer Service Philosophy: 3 Key Skills to Learn
You can’t create a philosophy of customer service in a day. It takes a lot of effort, documentation, and training.
So, the first step is understanding the key skills your support agents must learn to deliver top-notch customer support. All in all, there are three key skills every customer support agent must know. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Active Listening
There is a thin line between listening and active listening. Let’s look at two examples and see the difference ourselves.
Now, the first image shows us how a particular company automated its entire customer support process on social media. Due to this, it becomes difficult to cater to a customer’s issue. On the other hand, the second image shows you how a company jumps in to help a customer with their issue by further understanding their problem.
So, active listening as a skill means: “Listening to customer problems with 100% concentration, understanding their issue, and coming up with a response that resolves the customer’s issue.”
Takeaway: Listen to your customers to understand their concerns. Don’t listen to give an instant rebuttal. Focus on one customer at a time and make sure they leave the conversation with a smile on their face.
The goal of support agents is to solve customer problems as and when they come.
If your agents can’t get that right, why will customers want to do business with your company?
Let’s take the example of Comcast:
Instead of asking them to send their details and problems in their customer support email thread, they instantly gave the customer a solution.
Not only that, but they also asked the customer to get back to them and let them know if the solution works.
Takeaway: Focus on the problem to give a good solution. Don’t be alarmed at the kind of problem that is thrown at you. Every problem is important, so ensure you solve customer issues completely before closing them.
Yes. Empathy is actually a skill.
Imagine dealing with customers all day and having the same level of understanding, patience, and empathy throughout the day or night. That requires a special amount of training and expertise.
Here’s a very basic example of how being empathetic and kind to a customer complaint is the best way to deal with them.
This one message ticks all the boxes:
- Apologize for the inconvenience caused to the customer
- Ensure the customer is alright after facing such an issue
- Thank the customer for informing you about the incident
- Let customers know that their concern has been reported and immediate action will be taken
Takeaway: Keep a checklist of the points mentioned above. For every customer, ensure you tick all the boxes. This way, all your customers will feel valued.
Creating the Perfect Customer Service Philosophy: 6 Steps to Follow
Now that we know the three key skills every support agent must have, let’s talk about how to describe your customer service philosophy.
1. Draft a Company-Wide Vision for Your Customer Service Philosophy
The first step of drafting and describing your customer service philosophy is defining your company’s vision.
Everything a company implements is based on a vision. So, draft a company-wide vision and make sure you consider the following:
- Customer’s needs and expectations
- Company’s values
The entire process of defining your customer service statement should involve the whole company. Every employee must have clarity on the company’s vision, only then can this be implemented properly.
2. Turn the Vision Into a Company-Wide Customer Service Mission
Once your entire company successfully comes up with a company-wide vision, the next step is to define it as a mission statement that includes:
- How to deal with anyone who connects with your company
- The basis of how to define all customer interactions and policies
Formulating your company’s customer service mission will require you to take inspiration from your vision.
So, make sure you get your vision right and use it to develop a strong customer-centric mission.
3. Break the Mission Down Into Guiding Principles
After defining your company’s vision and mission, it is essential to further divide them into guiding principles. A few examples of a company’s guiding principles include:
- Offer timely and professional assistance to all your customers
- Always remember that customer’s need is above yours – their issue needs to be completely resolved
- Continuously try to improve your services
But how do you ensure these guiding principles are followed by your agents? Well, with customer support software, you get all the features you need to gather insightful feedback from people who interact with your support team.
After every support interaction, you can share surveys with customers and understand how accurately your agents are sticking to your philosophy.
4. Equip Customers with Self-Service
Did you know that over 60% of Americans agreed that they prefer solving basic customer service issues through self-service options?
Every customer would first search for solutions themselves before connecting with a support agent. But, even poor self-service can sway away customers.
So, it is essential for companies to create a self-service knowledge base that comprises detailed information in the form of FAQs, help articles, tutorials, guides, and more. With a dedicated knowledge base, you can allow customers to:
- Find answers to their common questions themselves
- Enhance product knowledge provided by your company
- Minimize customer support ticket volume
This way, not only customers can tackle their own issues, but your agents also get more time to train themselves to deliver delightful customer support.
5. Offer Personalized & Instant Customer Support
All that customers want is respect and instant answers. It’s really that easy.
When it comes to offering delightful customer support, it is essential to deploy the best help desk software that comes with a live chat integration.
This way, you can:
- Interact with customers in real-time
- Send proactive notifications to offer support or other information
- Manage all communications in one platform
- Make your company customer-centric
Now, with both – a help desk and live chat – you can ensure that instant and accurate solutions are provided to customers.
6. Implement Your Customer Service Philosophy
Lastly, all you have to do is implement!
When you have your vision, mission, guidelines, and tools in your arsenal, you can start your journey towards excellent customer service.
In this step, there are two important things you need to remember:
- Share your philosophy with your customers: There is no point in creating a kickass customer service philosophy and then keeping it to yourself. Market your philosophy on your website, newsletters, help center, social media, and other appropriate channels.
- Be flexible: A customer service statement is never set in stone. As your business grows and adds new products or services, you can always reconsider your existing philosophy. Adapt with the changing needs of customers and make sure they believe in what you aim to achieve.
Customer Service Philosophy Examples
There are a few brands that are known more for their excellent customer service culture than their product/service offerings. Let’s look at 5 customer service philosophy examples that will surely leave you inspired.
1. Amazon Fosters a Customer-Centric Culture
If there is one brand that has become the epitome of customer service, it is Amazon. The company’s mission/vision statements clearly read: “To be earth’s most customer-centric company.” This deeply rooted culture of keeping customers at the center of everything has helped Amazon become a trillion-dollar business.
Jeff Bezos makes sure that Amazon employees are given the option to attend two days of call center training. The purpose of this training is to ensure that every employee learns the art of listening to customers, not just speaking to them. In addition to this, the e-commerce giant empowers customers through its well-built and knowledge-rich help center.
2. Zappos Aims to Deliver Wow to Every Customer
Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer brand, is known for its legendary customer service principles. Tony Hsieh always believed in creating a company culture where employees would not mind working for free if they could afford to. Zappos always aimed to be more than just a shoe brand and wanted to be the customer experience leader.
No wonder their customer service vision and philosophy are all about delivering a “wow experience” to customers. For this, Zappos offers a 365 day return window – if customers are not satisfied with their purchase, they can return the product within the first year and get a full refund.
3. Disney Believes in Offering Magical Customer Experiences
Walt Disney claims to be the happiest place on planet earth. In fact, even after being expensive, people save for years to relive that “magical” experience with their families or friends. So what makes Walt Disney’s philosophy of service so great and unique?
Well, the company believes in offering high-quality customer experiences by establishing an emotional connection with the customers. With the My Disney Experience app, customers can allow Disney Genie to plan their day, view wait times on their favorite experiences, watch exclusive videos, plan meals on the go, and much more.
4. JetBlue is Always Ready to Go Above & Beyond
JetBlue is a US-based airline company that is known for the best customer treatments, flexible flight schedules, and comfort during travels. Since its inception in 1999, the company has gained recognition for its client-tailored services and affordable travel packages in the nation.
The company’s mission is “to inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.” Time and time again it has lived by this service philosophy. For instance, during the coronavirus crisis, JetBlue offered free flights for medical personnel and supplies, even when their own company was in jeopardy.
5. Apple’s Genius Customer Service Philosophy
Apple is no longer a brand, it’s a global phenomenon. Apple users worldwide love the brand for mainly two things – the design appeal and their remarkable customer service ethics. To make it easier for employees, Apple has summed up its customer service using the acronym – APPLE.
A – Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome
P – Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs
P – Present a solution for the customer to take home today
L – Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns
E – End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return
From the top to the bottom of the company, Apple employees are taught these customer service values right from the start. They don’t have to worry about questions such as “How do we treat our customers? Or what are our core values? It is no wonder that customers enjoy the delightful and consistent experience they have at every Apple store around the world.
Inspire Millions With Your Customer Service Philosophy
Your customer service philosophy should act as a source of inspiration for employees, customers, and everyone else involved. Even when prospects read about it for the first time, they should feel attracted to your brand.
It is also important to make your agents see the bigger picture – what they are doing and why. This will empower them to make every interaction as memorable as possible. Moreover, as you grow, be flexible enough to update your philosophy statements from time to time.
In addition to this, you need to deploy the right customer support tools such as ProProfs Help Desk to turn your customer service vision into action.
Q1. What is a service philosophy?
A service philosophy can be defined simply as the manner in which a company wishes to communicate with customers, clients, or any person to solve their problems.
Q2. How do you write a customer service philosophy statement?
Take into account what main characteristics you’d wish to focus on. Also, focus on your end goal. Combine the two statements in a clear, concise statement – and there you have it! Your customer service philosophy statement is ready.
Q3. How would you describe your customer service skills?
For ProProfs, our customer service skills can be defined in three words: instant, accurate, and delightful.
Q4. Which is the best customer service philosophy?
There is no best customer service philosophy. Although, the ideal customer service philosophy is to ensure you keep your customer’s issue on priority and ensure that they get the needed solution in time.
Q5. How to Create a Strong Customer Service Philosophy?
Follow the steps mentioned in this blog, deploy all the needed tools, and most importantly – ensure you include your entire team right from the start.
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