By Shep Hyken

Culture is one of the most important parts of customer service and customer experience. I’ve written numerous articles about this and have included a chapter on this topic in my latest book, I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again, which by the way, is finally out. (Shameless plug: Get it today!) 

It’s always been my philosophy that customer service is not a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by everyone in an organization. It’s part of the company’s culture.   

In the past, I covered six steps to creating a customer-centric culture. These are still the right steps. But, I’d like to add some ideas from the new book to supplement this powerful process.  

Six steps to creating a customer-centric culture

  • Principle One: Everyone has to be in it to win it – As I mentioned above, customer service is a philosophy to be embraced by everyone. Everyone must be in alignment with leadership’s vision and definition of the organization’s culture.
  • Principle Two: Follow the “Employee Golden Rule” – This is one of my favorite concepts, which is to do unto your employees as you want done unto the customer. The way leaders and managers treat employees is how employees are going to treat others, including the customer. 
  • Principle Three: Empower people – We hire people for their talent, so it stands to reason that we should let them use that talent to take care of their customers, both internal and external. 
  • Principle Four: Put it in writing – This ties in with Principle One. Create a simple and easily remembered definition of what customer service looks like in your organization. It should be one sentence or less. Here at Shepard Presentations, we live by three words: Always Be Amazing! We want to be amazing for our clients and teach them to be amazing for their customers, clients, guests, etc. 
  • Principle Five: Culture starts at the top – Leaders not only define the culture, but also serve as the role models for the rest of the company. They must live their vision for how employees and customers are treated. 
  • Principle Six: Hire and assign for amazement – If you want the right culture, you must hire the right people for that culture. Once hired, they must understand their roles and how they impact the amazing customer experience you want to provide.  
  • Principle Seven: Make sure there is a good coach – When I look at the best teams in business, whether they are customer service teams, sales teams, finance teams, etc., I recognize that they all have good leadership. The leader of a truly effective team is like the coach of a professional sports team. They motivate, mentor and nurture their teams toward success. 

So there you have it. A summary of the seven principles that will help your organization become even more customer-focused. And, have your customers saying, “I’ll be back!”