The Service Culture Handbook | Jeff Toister

Summary of: The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service
By: Jeff Toister


Dive into the world of customer service excellence with ‘The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service’ by Jeff Toister. This book emphasizes the importance of building a solid customer-focused culture and provides practical steps to achieve this goal. Learn from the successes of companies like Tampa International Airport, Domino’s Pizza, and JetBlue Airways, as well as lessons from Comcast’s previous customer service failures. Master the art of creating an efficient customer service vision and engaging your employees to deliver outstanding service, setting your company apart from the rest.

The Importance of Customer Service

In today’s world of social media, a single negative review can have devastating consequences on a company’s reputation. A single bad interaction with a customer can lead to negative feedback, and this could happen in any industry from retail stores to airlines to service call centers. To prevent such situations, companies must prioritize investing in customer service to ensure positive customer experiences.

Tampa Airport’s Customer Service Idea

Tony D’Aiuto, Tampa International Airport’s operations center manager, had an idea to improve customer service by taking photos of lost stuffed animals in various airport settings, giving children the impression that their lost toy enjoys fun adventures while waiting to be found. D’Aiuto combined these photos into a hardbound album, which delighted a six-year-old boy and his family when they retrieved their lost tiger Hobbes and saw the album. This heartwarming story quickly gained media attention and showcased Tampa Airport’s customer-focused culture, which D’Aiuto believes should be integrated into everything a business does. A clear definition of outstanding customer service and executive sponsorship are critical to creating a customer-focused culture. Every customer interaction is an opportunity for a hero moment or a service failure. By implementing D’Aiuto’s small but thoughtful idea, Tampa Airport successfully differentiated itself from other stories of poor customer service.

Exceptional Customer Service

Domino’s Pizza and Rackspace provide outstanding customer service by going out of their way to make customer encounters personal and memorable. Domino’s delivers over a million pizzas every day and ensures they reach customers hot and on time. Rackspace’s employees, called “Rackers,” adhere to the Fanatical Support Promise, working overtime to solve customer issues. According to service strategist Adam Toporek, being a hero means being available for customers and providing memorably positive experiences. These companies’ uniformly high-quality interactions with customers have made them successful, proving exceptional customer service is essential for business success.

JetBlue’s Secret to Success

JetBlue Airways remains North America’s top airline for the 12th consecutive year, thanks to its unique organizational culture. CEO Robin Hayes attributes their success to their 18,000 crew members, who are motivated to provide exceptional customer service. Corporate culture consultant Catherine Mattice defines culture as the way an organization’s members think, act, and perceive the world around them. Creating the right culture is difficult but worthwhile. To create a customer-oriented culture, businesses must align their strategy, goals, and metrics with it. Additionally, they must provide guidance, align processes, and empower employees to deliver quality service. Finally, leaders must champion the values of the culture.

Comcast’s Customer Service Transformation

In 2015, Comcast was rated America’s worst internet service provider due to poor customer service. An infamous call recording of a representative trying to prevent a customer from cancelling went viral. However, the blame was put on the company’s culture and inadequate policies. Comcast made it difficult for customers to cancel by routing these calls to “retention specialists” who were incentivized to discourage cancellations. High turnover in the customer service industry was also an issue with annual rates of 20% or higher. In response, Comcast announced a plan to revamp their corporate culture by focusing on meeting and exceeding customer expectations. The transformation emphasized periodic employee engagement assessments to identify areas for improvement. Ultimately, Comcast recognized the importance of a customer-focused culture and worked towards enhancing their customer service.

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