Last time we talked about how SurveyGizmo started its culture of service and why it was so important. We also covered:
- How SurveyGizmo started with our CEO Christian and his desire to do the right thing by our customers.
- How we grew a whole team of Customer Service Heroes.
- The Customer Happiness Workshop and how it will help you improve your service.
Read this post here.
Our success is predicated on the fact that we are always giving employees the tools needed to always “do the right thing.” So what does that mean and why is it important?
If you’ve ever called up our team of Customer Heroes you know that they will do just about anything to help you. They take your problem very seriously, personally even. How do they keep up that level of dedication and passion? Well, we start by hiring the right people.
We strive to hire people who naturally love to help and give good service to everyone around them. But even hiring the world’s most gifted employees will only get you so far. To really keep them at the top of their game we do two main things:
One: Provide an Awesome, Happy, Nurturing Place to Work
It might seem obvious that we should provide an awesome, happy, nurturing place to work. After all, you’ve probably tried to be nice and helpful to someone when you personally were miserable. Think back to the last time you were really unhappy. Maybe your dog was sick, or you had a fender bender that morning, or a fight with your family. Whatever it was, picture yourself then helping someone else. It’s hard right? Pretending to be happy and giving delightful service is really difficult when you’re just not feeling it.
To this end we have all sorts of systems in place to ensure happy employees, because happy employees give the best service! We give our employees time to recharge and work on their own projects. Twenty percent of employees’ time is spent doing something other than their core job responsibilities. This might mean they work with another department to see what it’s like. They might work on a project for the company as a whole (like developing a new feature), or they might just take the time to learn new skills.
We make sure there is plenty of fun in the workplace as well. For our support team this means plenty of capes and stuffed animals. But there are also games and prizes and random treats.
By creating a culture of unexpected whimsy and appreciation our Support Team is constantly on their toes, ready for the next fun surprise. We call this our “Culture of Appreciation.” What this means at it’s heart is that we always tell each other how much we value one another. This might be as simple as a handwritten note or a cup of coffee handed to someone while saying “I appreciate you”. This may sound silly but you’d be absolutely surprised by how effective it is at making each employee feel like an important part of the team.
By constantly keeping a smile on our employees’ faces we ensure that they are ready and able to help you.
Two: Empower Employees to Help
The second thing we do to foster awesome service is empowering our employees. At a grand level this means all of our employees are helped and encouraged to grow in whatever ways they want. It’s not uncommon to see a support hero learning development, marketing, or anything else they might fancy. We often find that support heroes find another role at they company that is a great fit and then join that new team. We encourage this!
Our culture dictates that we don’t second-guess ourselves. We empower employees to help you. There isn’t complex paperwork that needs to be filled out or permission that needs to be asked. If the employee thinks the right thing to do is give a customer free access, or send them a box of brownies, or write them a custom script, they can. In fact they are encouraged to. They are comfortable in the fact that nobody will be looking over their shoulder or scolding them for taking those actions.
It’s amazing the difference that sense of power makes when giving customer service. Not having to ask to get the customer what they need means that each and every employee is a steward of customer happiness. The responsibility and rewards of service falls on everyone.
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Culture of Service
As a company we support and encourage this through our Culture of Service. We’ll talk about that more in a future post. For now here’s a quick summary; happy, passionate, empowered employees give service that will keep your customers wanting more. Isn’t that something everyone could use?
- What do you do to keep employees engaged and happy?
- What tools do you offer to help your teams be successful?
- What necessary restrictions do you put on your co-workers in order to remain profitable?