While customer service is a tenet of most businesses, what separates a Small Giant from the pack is its ability to embed extraordinary customer service into its culture. Small Giants cultivate meaningful relationships with customers, forming trusting partnerships that advance the interests of both parties. imageOne, a Document Lifecycle Management company, has created a culture of customer service that has generated millions in revenue. In fact, imageOne is known for its passion for delivering extraordinary experiences, even ranking as one of Forbes 2017 Small Giants: Best Small Companies in America.
In the Small Giants Community's September 2017 fishbowl, imageOne Co-founder Joel Pearlman shared how imageOne has cracked the code on delivering extraordinary customer experiences in every interaction, and how at its core, it all comes down to having amazing team members on board. If you're looking to make extraordinary customer service part of your company culture, here's what you need to know.
Happy Employees Deliver Extraordinary Customer Service
What separates good customer service from extraordinary? Extraordinary means, "beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established." Joel and his Co-founder, Rob Dube, realized that amazing customer experiences start with an amazing company culture. That's why they made "passion for extraordinary" one of imageOne's core values. Instead of reserving extraordinary experiences for just their customers, they are equally committed to delivering an extraordinary experience for their team members. Everyday, employees at every level of the company live and breathe imageOne's company values, creating an environment where people love to show up for work everyday.
According to a 2012 Gallup report on the State of the American Workplace, a happier team is an engaged team — and engagement makes a difference to the bottom line. Gallup reported that companies with engaged employees experience 22 percent higher profitability, 21 percent higher productivity, and 37 percent lower absenteeism. At imageOne, a passion for extraordinary experiences extends to the customer, the team member, and the community.
Moreover, each team member receives training to allow them to understand the financial correlation between delivering great customer service and revenue for the business. Through the company's Great Game of Business open-book management program, team members witness the impact that their individual behaviors have on the business, inspiring their personal engagement to run that much deeper.
Companies that cultivate highly-engaged employees can recruit the best and retain the best, avoiding the loss of productivity and costs of hiring and screening associated with low engagement and high turnover.
The iO Cycle of Care
With amazing people as your engine, a culture of customer service is created by initiating a cycle of care. At imageOne, business owners genuinely care about and appreciate their team members, team members care about and appreciate business owners, and everyone understands the personal impact the customer has on the business and their lives. As a result, a cycle of genuine care and appreciation is created between imageOne, team members, and customers.
The cycle of care has real impact: it creates a culture of customer service that is embedded into the daily behaviors of team members. Through training, consistency, and clear processes, a shared passion for extraordinary experiences is institutionalized, cultivating customer loyalty that translates into revenue growth. For example, imageOne has been a vendor with Quicken Loans since 1992, growing and evolving with the company over the last 20 years. Today, Quicken Loans' revenue with imageOne has grown fifty-fold, and they've specifically cited the company's strong service as a deciding factor.
When team members understand the impact extraordinary experiences have on the business and their lives, they are inspired to take it to the next level and build authentic relationships with customers. For organizations building a culture of exceptional customer service, it starts by always looking for a way to add an X-factor. Everyone in the company should get in the habit of asking customers, "What else can I do for you?"
Whether it's through customer loyalty or the referral engine, the business impact of delivering consistently extraordinary customer service is powerful. And, as Joel Pearlman puts it, "We believe that the good we do goes out into the universe. It's bigger than business."