What do you value?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about “core values.” As it applies to customer service, core values may be what make a customer decide to do business with you. Values may also be the reason your employees enjoy working for you and are motivated and committed to doing their best.

What words do your customers use to describe you? Are they the same words you would use to describe yourself? In some cases, these words will describe the core values of your organization. These are the values that you want both your employees and your customers to associate with you.

In short, core values are what a company stands for. They can be expressed in sentences or simple words. Some examples are “friendly,” “honest,” “passionate,” “helpful,” “fun,” etc. While you may use such words to describe yourself and your company, are the values they reflect thoroughly engrained in the culture of your company? Are your employees aware of them? Do you refer to them on a regular basis?

These words need to be more than simple adjectives to describe yourself and your employees. They must be the committed values of the entire company, values on which you base hiring and firing decisions. They must be as unchanging as your mission statement. If you don’t already have clearly defined core values, right now is a great time to create them.

And if you do already have clear values, make sure that employees know what they are. Communicate them on a regular basis. Write about them in your company newsletter. Hold an event to celebrate them. Make sure everyone in your company knows how important they are.

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Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and best-selling author. For more information on Shep's speaking presentations, call 314-692-2200, email shep@hyken.com or go to www.hyken.com.

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