IV. Implementing Customer Service Standards at All Company Levels
If “business culture” refers to the company’s inner standards for employment relations and working guidelines, then “customer service standards” refers to customer relations and service guidelines which create the external culture of the company. Please note that these two are not necessarily separate cultures, but rather they depend on each other. The client service culture is an effect of the business culture inside a company.
In order for customer service culture to become a positive practice, the company needs to design a coherent project with the goal of actively implementing a client-focused culture. Across all company levels, from the top management to the low-level employees, all the pieces of the company have to work together according to the highest standards of customer service. Client service standards spread across two dimensions that we have already mentioned: the internal customers and the external customers.
Customer service for external customers
The majority of marketing specialists teach companies how to actively apply customer service standards for their external clients. In order to do so, companies must diligently abide by the following principles:
High customer service standards require a production protocol based on the clients’ strict requirements. Buyers expect production to be fast and hygienic and the manufacturing process to be consistent. They also require quality products at affordable prices.
Products are solutions to everyday problems. Even bread solves an issue (hunger or appetite); therefore, we have a large variety of breads available to consumers: different kinds of grain, with potato or mushrooms, flatbread, buckwheat bread, yeast bread, sweet bun, cornbread, banana bread, unleavened bread, etc. There are over dozens and dozens of types of bread, and they were all made to fulfill the needs of a large variety of customers – children, adults, vegans, gluten-free consumers, etc. – and also correspond to different periods of the day: for breakfast, dessert, dinner, etc.
Products should be delivered according to the customers’ needs. More and more companies are choosing the online method to receive and keep track of orders, and this phenomenon is due to the consumer’s behavioral change. People have become busier; they don’t have the time to go shopping, beat the traffic, walk through the rows of shelves, decide what to buy, wait in line at the checkout, pack the shopping bags and beat the traffic again to return home. Instead, they can spend no more than 10 minutes on a website deciding what they want, pay online, and then just wait for the delivery. (Speaking of which, the delivery is another service that must be done to the highest customer service standards: fast and secure.)
Product packaging is another example. Clients look for a properly sealed package which protects the product but is at the same time aesthetically pleasing.