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Customer Service Culture: Definition & Overview

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Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and holds a master's degree in leadership.

Customer service culture appears in companies that focus their attention on the customer themselves. Identify the key aspects and potential struggles of companies that cultivate this culture. Updated: 12/22/2021

What Is Customer Service Culture?

You probably think that all businesses providing service to a customer must have a customer service culture. However, that's not entirely true. Even though essentially all companies have customers, some companies focus more on their customer than others. A customer service culture is when a company's efforts are centered around the customer. This means that the entire company, even departments that don't normally interact with customers, are focused on the customer. This also means that the company places value on each department in order to make sure they're delivering the best service to their customers all the time. There are many similar products and services in the market, so differentiating with customer service can set companies apart.

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A Look at Customer Service Culture

So, what's the difference between companies with a customer service culture and companies without one? A great example of a company that has implemented customer service culture is Southwest Airlines. The company has put customers first in every aspect of their business. Offering low prices, no hassle changes and cancellations, no baggage fees, and having friendly staff shows the company's efforts at focusing their business around the customer. The company truly values their customers and hires people at all levels with that mindset. Companies might value their customers and even include them in their mission statement, but if they don't focus on customers in their day-to-day operations, they are not providing a customer service culture.

Key Aspects of Customer Service Culture

As discussed, there may be many competitors in the area offering the same product. How do you differentiate yourself so that customers remember your company and return to your business? Implementing a customer service culture can set one company apart from another and gain loyalty from customers. The key aspects of developing a customer service culture include understanding the employee experience, creating a learning environment, and maintaining an openness to feedback.

Let's look at an example. Al runs a chain of restaurants and wants to be known as a company that has a customer service culture. First, he's going to start by making sure he takes care of his employees. He's going to create perks that make his employees proud to be a part of the restaurant chain. So, in order to immerse your company into the customer service culture, you need to start with your employees. You need to hire the right employees, train existing employees, and provide service to employees first. Companies that have embraced customer service culture treat their employees very well. If your employees are happy then they'll make your customers happy.

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