March 16

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Six Steps to Create Your Service Culture

By David Millay

March 16, 2021


We went deep on our latest podcast episode talking about customer service and how to create a service culture within your organization. Shep Hyken, our guest for the episode, covered his six steps for creating a service culture, listed below. Tune in to the full conversation to learn more. 


1. Define your customer service vision

A customer service vision helps to define the expected level of service your customers should experience when doing business with your company. It helps to shape the experiences of both your employees and your customers. To provide a positive experience to your customers, it is important to have a clear vision of what you want your customer service to be.

2. Communicate the vision

When you want to effectively communicate your vision, you want to create a document that is memorable. The more memorable the vision document is, the better. You want to summarize your vision in a single sentence. Get a group together of senior leaders from all different areas to write your vision statement, and then restate it in different ways to make it memorable.

3. Train to the vision

Many organizations make the mistake of training their employees once and checking the box. Training around customer service must be a constant and evolving activity. Customer service skills are foundational, but employees can always use a refresh. More importantly however, is the way you train your employees to respond and anticipate your customer’s emotions while interacting with your policies and processes. Adapting your customer service vision to real-life, everyday practices is the most overlooked aspect of customer service training.

4. Be the example

When I worked at Disney, we really tried to live the philosophy of “the extent to which you show genuine care for your employees is the extent to which they will care for your customers.” If you’ve been working long enough, you’ve probably had a leader who doesn’t practice what he or she preaches. When employees see that expectations don’t apply to their leaders, they follow suit and ignore those expectations themselves. No matter how clear and engaging your customer service statement is, if leaders don’t live by it, you’ll have fancy words on the wall and behaviors that don’t match.

5. Defend the culture

When there is lots of change in your organization, one of the key activities should be to defend the culture that you’ve worked so hard to design. The change could be a new organization-wide software, it could be a new senior leader. The change might even be a global pandemic. When those internal or external pressures are its height, that’s truly the time to defend the essence of the culture while evolving.

6. Celebrate the culture

Celebrating culture is an effective way of showing your employees and customers that you value their contributions and appreciate their work. Too often, I see organizations function on opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end, you have organizations that only celebrate numbers and metrics. On the other end, you have organizations who attempt to celebrate culture, but end up having awards so vague that no one really understands why that person won “employee of the month.” Both can be equally frustrating. One of the best ways to celebrate corporate culture is to design and identify key behaviors that create your culture’s ideal employee, and celebrate when those behaviors are exhibited.

For more, check out the full conversation with Shep here.

David Millay

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