Business Management

Creating a lasting and strong customer service culture

Image Business Management



Olivier Verschelde

Head of Service DNA - Senior Consultant at EHL Advisory Services

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You may have heard how important service culture is, specifically in the hospitality industry. But what exactly is service culture? Why is it so important? How your company can build a strong customer service culture?


    What is Service culture?

    Service culture refers to a company culture that’s focused on customer service. A company with a service culture focuses its mission and processes on serving the customer first and foremost. The goal is to provide the best experience and most values for the customer and each employee’s duties are focused on that goal. An effective service culture motivates employees to put the customer first.

    Why is Service Culture important?

    Service culture is the key factor that leads to great service. When customers experience excellent customer service, they are more likely to continue with your business and also encourage other people to try it. Providing superior customer service helps your company gain repeat customers, plus a new word-of-mouth clientele. Customers will associate your brand with a positive experience and enjoy the time they spend with your brand; they will want to have the experience again and they will spread positive feedback about your company.

    How to build a strong customer service culture?

    There are 5 key elements to building a strong customer service culture.

    Define great customer service

    A service culture happens when you make customers the focus of your business model. The business philosophy, mission, values, and processes should all be directed to the customer and the customer’s experience with every stage of your brand. Centering the business on the customer becomes the standard way things are done. It becomes second nature to everyone working for the business, from staff to management to leadership.

    Engage your employees

    Companies can encourage employees to follow the service culture in certain ways. They can create consistency in policies and practices, so every job duty is centered on service. Companies can create business-specific names for employees and the culture to help team members feel a part of the company. Incentives can be used such as providing recognition and rewards for service well done. Another example is to make service an important part of raises and promotions.

    Establish customer service guidelines

    By setting guidelines your company provides clear expectations on the customer service team. Make customers feel important and cared for by getting back to them quickly when they have a question, comment, or complaint. Give your customers multiple ways to reach out to you. All in all you will need to integrate continuous training and development principles in your guidelines for your employees to achieve the desired goals.

    Implement customer service training

    Train employees from the start in your unique service culture and how they can implement it at all times. Have a mission, philosophy, policies, and procedures for your employees to follow. Companies need a plan for weeding out or further training employees who do not embody the service culture. No matter what customer service situation you’re dealing with, role-playing is the best way to train new employees and provide continuous professional development.

    Set customer service goals

    Taking the time to set goals for your employees and you are like taking the time to check the map: you will know where you are heading, and you’ll be much more likely to get there. Goals give your employees direction and focus; help manage the team performance and align everyone’s actions. For your goals to be motivating they need to be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

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