Why Every Service Needs to Be Backed by Company Values
Whether you’re just starting out or have owned a service business for decades, you want your service to run like a well-oiled machine. Here’s where having a list of defined service and company values will help.
Consider some of the most successful tech companies. Industry-leaders such as Airbnb, GoDaddy, and Etsy all have excellent core company values that have contributed to them becoming some of the most loved companies around. In this article, we’ll touch upon the benefits of defining a set of corporate values as a foundation to successfully establish and grow your service.
Customers expect you to have company values
A company’s core values are the underlying principles of what inspires a business, and how it’s operated. Customers know that every business has these core values, most list them even on their website in the about section. Others don’t mention their company’s values explicitly, but you can easily find out what they are by doing a bit of research. For instance, some businesses have pledged to be carbon-neutral. They donate a part of every sold service to projects that help protect the earth. Those who do usually have some sort of badge on their website.
In any case, if you decide not to make your values public, you’ll quickly notice that potential clients will simply assume that you live by their own standards. For instance, a money-back-guarantee is pretty much expected these days, even from productized services. However, you might not offer refunds at all, so you should make that clear, and offer an alternative. What some service providers offer instead is a “we’ll make it right” strategy. Basically, while you don’t offer refunds, you’ll work on the service until the client is happy.
5 reasons you need to add core value to your services
Your company culture should be represented in the services you offer. Regardless if that’s lightning fast response times for support tickets or a money-back-guarantee, these values need to be easy to understand.
If you’re not convinced yet that you need to put values into everything, here are five reasons to change your mind.
1. Values attract the right employees
Employees can either make or break the success of the business employing them. While clients and cash flow are important, hiring a new team member who is aligned with your service’s goals is essential.
Most employees feel the need to know that their efforts are meaningful in one way or another.
Finding an employer that shares a candidate’s values acts as an incentive for talented employees to work hard, stay aligned with service goals, and remain loyal. But what happens when a service lacks values?
Without clearly defining your service’s values, employees can’t make decisions that align with your goals. Thus, your service becomes reactive to issues rather than proactive at preventing them.
Over time, this can throw off the balance of your service, causing avoidable problems—problems that could’ve been prevented by having values in place.
Be open about your service’s values. Explain the accountability, quality, communication, and other components of your workplace values you expect your employees to respect.
2. Values attract the right clients
People are looking to have their needs fulfilled by a reliable service. However, having defined core values in place lets them know what they should expect when choosing your productized services.
By defining your service’s values from the start, you’ll set the tone for your relationship with clients. The clients aligned with these values will be the easiest to work with, since they understand precisely what they’ll get out of these business interactions.
Being transparent about your values also deters the wrong clients. By deciding to define and present your values, you’re showing who you want to do business with.
Consider any client traits that ensure your services are operating as effectively as possible. Whether you value your time, timely payments, or something else—keep those values in mind as you’re creating your service’s core values will minimize your chances of bringing on problem clients.
3. Values help to achieve and maintain client satisfaction
You’re setting expectations when you openly define your service’s values. In turn, your clients understand how you conduct business from the beginning of your working relationship.
Customer experience is a key contributor to customer satisfaction. With this being the case, having your values clearly defined means you’re attracting clients who want the experience you’re offering—and this translates to higher client satisfaction rates.
So as long as you continue to operate in align with the values you put in place, client satisfaction is easily achievable.
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4. Values help you determine goals and ways to achieve them
Regardless of what your service’s goals are, its values can lead the way towards making them a reality.
What makes values so powerful? And why should they play such a pivotal role in determining and achieving goals?
According to Neil Farber from Psychology Today, even though our goals might change, our values are generally unwavering. They also effectively highlight what is and is not important.
Values also act as an infinite source of motivation and energy. This ensures your service is on the right path and consistently moving forward.
5. Values guide you when it comes time to make tough decisions
With so many pressures coming from every direction, some decisions are rather difficult to make as a productized service provider. This is why when it comes time to make a tough call, you should refer to your service’s values for guidance.
What do you value? What should your service value? Commit to being actionable with these values in mind to keep your decisions consistent.
For example, let’s say you know a potential client will cause trouble or adversely impact the work you’re doing for current clients. The value you place on keeping your clients happy should play a role in making the decision to avoid working with that potential client.
Use the values you set for your service to navigate through potentially problematic or confrontational decisions. Basing your decisions on these preset values makes it’s easier to come to a conclusion without being forced to overthink the situation.
How to define values in the service culture
Now that you’re hopefully convinced that the productized business model needs core values, let’s look at a few ways you can define and stay true to them:
Be specific: The aforementioned “we’ll make it right” strategy has its benefits, but also one essential issue. It’s not very specific, so what constitutes “making it right?” There’s potential for clients to exploit this loophole, so it might be easier to make exceptions and offer a refund instead.
Set yourself apart: Everyone these days is bold, passionate, and fun–that doesn’t make you special. Try to think of core principles that are exclusive to your business. Don’t simply talk about diversity and inclusion like everyone else, make it part of your inclusive workplace. For instance, some productized service providers hire only stay-at-home moms. They want to help this group generate income, and know exactly how to make them part of their business.
Keep them short: Your core values should point towards a common goal, but also be easy to remember and uphold. Wise, for instance, has four simple core values. All of them are easy to remember and work towards:
This isn’t just a job, we’re a revolution
We get it done
Customers > team > ego
No drama. Good karma
Once you’ve created a list of the best company values, narrow it down to two to four, and start embedding them in your company’s culture. Mention them in your onboarding documents and your website, so everyone becomes aware of them.
Also read: freelancer onboarding process
Customer service values that clients will appreciate
For productized service companies, customer support is one part of their core business as the company grows. While they strive to automate a big part of their operations, support is still done mostly by humans. Yes, you can automate a part of it with chatbots and knowledge bases, but humans cannot be replaced for every support task, at least not yet.
Employees need to understand that great customer experience is often related to someone going above and beyond what is expected. The core purpose of the support team is to help clients as fast and efficiently as possible. Sending a link to the help center might frustrate the client, instead, the team should take the time to resolve the issue in some other way, for instance with step-by-step instructions, or with the help of a short video recording.
This can-do attitude is what will ultimately drive your business as happy clients will recommend you to their friends, they’ll rave about your company on social media, and they’ll leave a review on major websites.
Define company core values to improve your service
While it’s possible to base your service on bringing on as many clients as possible, setting defined values is the right choice when considering these benefits. Between finding and retaining the right employees and clients, outlining and achieving your goals, and guiding tough decisions, having a set of values in place will facilitate growing your service successfully—with nowhere near as much stress.