Customer Service Culture not a Department

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Customer Service Culture not a Department

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Chances are good your mission statement has something reflecting the importance of the customer. Does your business have a customer service culture or a department?

Customer service culture

Well intending businesses everywhere believe that they are customer focused, are they? Let’s face it, we probably hear about a few customer service problems each week. Family, friends, social media, people talk about break downs in the customer experience.

When your job is directly connected transaction by transaction to maintaining the customer experience you probably hear more than just a few. Is your organization customer focused? Does it have a customer centric approach?

Not a Department

“I have a problem.”  You need to connect with customer service.

“I want to exchange this shirt I received as a gift.”  You’ll need to take it to the back corner of the store. Follow the signs for customer service.

“I opened the box and what I ordered is broken.” Let me transfer you to customer service.

Big Not Better

Many businesses grow just big enough to forget about the customer. It’s true, when the business is young and small it is cared for, but when it starts to mature it is sometimes left to fend for itself.

People rightfully believe that leadership starts at the top. Leadership like customer service is not a department. Both are about culture.

Success of the business is important and often requires layers of leadership as it grows. However, if the leadership team begins to spend more time behind the double doors of the C-Suite and less time on continuously building a customer service culture something might will get lost.

Customer Service Culture

Organizational culture is mostly about the values and beliefs of people, the team, and a group. Its concepts are collective and hopefully inspirational.

The people and systems that give an organization life are based on what they feel and see. Your customers have expectations, they are also based on what they feel and see. It’s not what you say, it’s what they experience.

One problem with the business that grows bigger but not better is that it loses its focus on the customer. Leaders stop talking to the front line. They stop spending their time working directly with the people who develop or deliver. Worst of all, they lose track of the customer.

Their feedback systems are all wrong. Their scope of focus is based on digits and dividends. Often they are trying to please the wrong people.

Build it to Last

Make customer service about a lasting culture. Stay connected to where things started.

Don’t put customer service in a box. It isn’t a department.

It’s a culture.


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Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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March 1, 2017at 8:13 am

My enterprise name is “Meeting with Success”. It is our mission statement. It is the foundation for our business plan. It is our track record. It characterizes our client relationships. It is the resultant product of every client’s goals.

We manage or administer associations. Every member interaction drives toward the respective client association’s success.

I have a service provider who answers the phone, “Thank you for calling (business name). This is (Name), I can help you.

Both enterprises are focused on their client/customers’ success.

After 30+ years, we are still Meeting With Success!

During those years, I have leveraged Dennis’ talents and well delivered messages to my clients and their members. He too is meeting with success!

    Dennis Gilbert

    March 1, 2017at 1:27 pm

    Thanks so much Gil for your kind compliments. I know how customer focused you are, it is a great thing and why you have been so successful in your endeavors! Hats off to you and all that you do!!!

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