Why is Service Culture important?

As EHL Advisory Services would have you know, “developing a Service Culture is an imperative”. But what is it that makes service culture so important? What defining factors and repercussions of a service culture make it indispensable in businesses across the board?

Service Culture definition

The following definitions of service culture set the backdrop for our reflection:

Service Culture is a philosophy

The very title of EHL Insights article “The Customer is King, and Customer Service Culture is his Queen” suggests that a service culture is a prerequisite for great service. Indeed, a true customer focus can only be achieved by centering your business philosophy and values around the provision of service excellence and having that notion permeate every aspect of how your company is run.

As part of a service culture, employees at every echelon are called upon to embrace and personify the concept of service excellence. This clear and intentional direction, this cohesion and common goal has the power to give employees a sense of belonging. Just think of the black and white reality of subscribing to a Zapponian mindset or volunteering to leave the company…

Jeff Toister’s use of the word “obsessed” above highlights the fact that a service culture shapes employees’ thinking. It is a mentality that contributes to brand identity and provides a basis for decision-making in everyday operations.

In outlining the desired attitude, a service culture sets the tone for staff to instinctively make the right calls, choose appropriate wording and take the best action. Their interactions with guests and fellow staff members alike are shaped by the guiding principle of customer-orientation.

How do customers experience service culture?

Customers’ perception on the receiving end is one of friendliness and helpfulness, a forthcoming approach – in short: hospitality. This, in turn, shapes a company’s reputation, defines its position on the market and paves the way for referrals, recommendations, glowing reviews and repeat business.

A service culture provides the framework for employees to ask themselves how they could better serve their guests. How can they improve their behavior? Is there something a colleague might change? Could a policy be optimized? Would a new solution be more customer-friendly? By welcoming constructive criticism, a service culture opens the doors to innovation, rendering a company more resilient to market volatility.

Why is service culture good business?

The effects are felt on the bottom line. All other factors remaining equal, a customer-centric approach has been found to boost revenues, benefit stock price performance and improve business viability overall. If that’s not reason enough, frankly we don’t know what is.

About EHL Group

EHL Group encompasses a portfolio of specialized business units that deliver hospitality management education and innovation worldwide. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Group includes:

EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities. EHL is the world’s first hospitality management school that provides undergraduate and graduate programs at its campuses in Lausanne, Singapore and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. EHL is ranked n°1 by QS World University Rankings by subject and CEOWorld Magazine, and its gastronomic restaurant is the world’s only educational establishment to hold a Michelin Star.

EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality has been one of the leading hospitality management colleges for hotel specialists for 50 years. The school delivers Swiss-accredited federal diplomas of vocational education and training and of higher education in its 19th century spa-hotel in Chur-Passugg, Graubünden, to Swiss and international students from 20 countries.

EHL Advisory Services is the largest Swiss hospitality advisory company specializing in service culture implementation, business consulting, as well as the development and quality assurance of learning centers. EHL Advisory Services has offices in Lausanne, Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi and has delivered mandates in more than 60 countries over the past 40 years.


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