As EHL Advisory Services would have you know, “developing a Service Culture is an imperative”. But what is it that makes service culture so important? What defining factors and repercussions of a service culture make it indispensable in businesses across the board?
Service Culture definition
The following definitions of service culture set the backdrop for our reflection:
- “A service culture exists when you motivate the employees in your organization to take a customer-centric approach to their regular duties and work activities.”
- “[We define service culture as] a shared purpose where everyone is focused on creating value for others inside and outside the organization.”
- Our shorthand definition of service culture is “where employees are obsessed with customer service.”
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Service Culture is a philosophy
The very title of EHL Insights article “The Customer is King, and Customer Service Culture is his Queen” suggests that a service culture is a prerequisite for great service. Indeed, a true customer focus can only be achieved by centering your business philosophy and values around the provision of service excellence and having that notion permeates every aspect of how your company is run.
As part of a service culture, employees at every echelon are called upon to embrace and personify the concept of service excellence. This clear and intentional direction, this cohesion and common goal, has the power to give employees a sense of belonging. Just think of the black and white reality of subscribing to a Zapponian mindset or volunteering to leave the company…
Jeff Toister’s use of the word “obsessed” above highlights the fact that a service culture shapes employees’ thinking. It is a mentality that contributes to brand identity and provides a basis for decision-making in everyday operations.
In outlining the desired attitude, a service culture sets the tone for staff to instinctively make the right calls, choose appropriate wording and take the best action. Their interactions with guests and fellow staff members alike are shaped by the guiding principle of customer-orientation.
How do customers experience service culture?
Customers’ perception on the receiving end is one of friendliness and helpfulness, a forthcoming approach – in short: hospitality. This, in turn, shapes a company’s reputation, defines its position on the market and paves the way for referrals, recommendations, glowing reviews and repeat business.
A service culture provides the framework for employees to ask themselves how they could better serve their guests. How can they improve their behavior? Is there something a colleague might change? Could a policy be optimized? Would a new solution be more customer-friendly? By welcoming constructive criticism, a service culture opens the doors to innovation, rendering a company more resilient to market volatility.
Why is service culture good business?
The effects are felt on the bottom line. All other factors remaining equal, a customer-centric approach has been found to boost revenues, benefit stock price performance and improve business viability overall. If that’s not reason enough, frankly we don’t know what is.