To have a successful customer service philosophy, it needs to serve both your customers and your organization. Many businesses just write up a vague vision statement with a list of values that don’t actually align with their product. This guide will help you avoid that, and help you develop a unique and relevant support philosophy in just four short steps.
Step 1: Define your customers’ wants and needs
Bridging the gap between your organization’s mission statement and what your customers want is a good place to start brainstorming what your customer service philosophy should encompass. Start with what you promise or guarantee as a company. Then, revisit your organization’s mission and vision statements to see the values your product is built on.
First, dive in with some questions about your company and the role that support plays in it.
- What is the purpose of your company?
- What’s the role of customer support?
- Is your goal to delight customers or reduce effort?
- What principles do you expect your support team to follow? (1)
Talk to current users to see how they feel. When you start the conversation, make sure you ask which channels they use to contact your company. Setting up customer service automation through surveys, chatbots, and emails to gather insight is also a good idea.
Step 2: List your support team’s values
Next, you’ll want to dig in even more and list the values that guide your support team. One good question to start out with is, “What do you want our customers to think of when they think of our service experience?“
Compile a list of all the values that come up. Here’s a quick list of some common support values you can use:
Don’t hold back during your brainstorming session; having a super long list is ok! Afterwards, try to narrow it down to five or six essential ones so your support values remain focused and memorable. This is a key point in the process of creating a great customer service philosophy, so make sure you give it your all.
Step 3: Combine everything into a vision statement
Now that you’re in a customer-centric mindset, the next step is to summarize your team values, company mission, and customer needs into a vision statement. Let’s start with a basic definition. A customer service vision is a statement that clearly defines the type of customer service employees are expected to provide. (2)
The vision statement can run anywhere from a few words to a complete sentence. If you’re struggling to write one, or keep ending up with one that sounds generic, run it through these three criteria:
- Is it easy to understand and act on? Many vision statements end up sounding somewhat generic. Ask how you can make it more specific and connected to your ideal customer.
- Does it describe the type of service you provide? Another common mistake is losing sight of the customer and just rewriting your organization’s vision. Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Go through their journey and see how your vision statement works in reality.
- Does it reflect who you are now and who you aspire to be in the future? Any vision needs to have include a future aspect. Try to imagine the results you’re achieving on a day when everything goes right. (1)
The final part of this step is to be honest about what your customers need and what you’re able to provide. You can’t promise 24/7 support if you have a small team and only offer weekday phone support. Only guarantee what you can truly deliver.
Once you’re ready, show your support vision statement to a few key people in the company and see how they react. A customer service philosophy relies on gut reaction, so make sure you’re gauging reactions clearly. If it doesn’t get the best response from someone, it might need more work.
Step 4: Make your customer philosophy actionable
Vision and values are just words on paper until you put them into action. As you create your customer service philosophy, apply these best practices:
- Focus on consistency. Customers want consistency. This means implementing your values across channels while maintaining a personalized experience.
- Define your key philosophy. Teams often mistake prioritizing support metrics that seem important but don’t connect to their philosophy. Think hard about which metrics truly connect to your values and define them.
- Choose the right technology to empower your philosophy. Your vision and values don’t just apply to enterprise communications. If ‘customer autonomy’ is one of your values, give them self-service resources like a knowledge base or chatbots. If you’re more focused on personalized support, look at omnichannel contact centers, cloud call centers, and customer journey maps. (1)
Connected teams live out a great customer service philosophy
Aligning your company behind a core customer support philosophy takes more than sending out a mass email blast with a list of values. A customer support philosophy is much more impactful when integrated with all aspects of your business. Take a look at these examples of Great Customer Service Philosophy From Top Companies to gather more inspiration and start building your customer service philosophy today!