One of the best ways to ensure your team is great at customer service is to create a company culture focused on caring.

Happy employees that understand and embrace company values will become exceptional advocates. Follow these 5 tips to create a culture in your company that thrills both your employees and your customers.

1. Start at the top

If you want your team to care about customers, start by making it a priority at the top. Don’t just “say” that you value great service or write it in a memo, but live it. Reward it on a regular basis, recognizing those that go over the top publicly and often. Leave an open seat in every meeting and at every company function for your customer. Make it clear to everyone that customers have a say at your company.

2. Hire people who fit

When evaluating potential new hires, consider whether or not they’ll fit into the culture you have created and fostered. For instance, if your company is all about being enthusiastic and having fun, somebody who’s straight-laced and introverted may not fit in as well. Do your best to build a team that’s enthusiastic about customer service and is a good personality fit.

Zappos does this especially well, as they are known for paying employees to quit just to make sure they have the perfect culture. The quicker you realize that someone isn't a fit for your organization, the quicker you can move on to the right person.

3. Get everyone involved

At Help Scout, everyone does at least a little bit of customer service, no matter what their job title is. We love this because it gets everyone involved and excited to talk with customers, which are the heart and soul of our company. It’s clear to our team that customers are the reason we have jobs, so we all participate in service to say thanks.

Another great benefit is that requiring designers, engineers and everyone else to talk with customers means they all have a good understanding of what our customers want. Being on the front lines supporting and using our own product is critical to making it a success.

Tons of successful companies use this strategy with great success. Our friends at Performable (now part of HubSpot) go so far as to call it their startup's secret weapon.

4. Trust your team

Once you’ve implemented your company values and hired the right people, be sure to let go! Not only will this encourage employees to develop creative ways to serve customers, but your employees will also be happier. Happier employees do a great job and like working for you!

Everyone likes to take ownership in their job. By throwing away the scripts and formulaic email responses, you free employees up to delight customers in their own voice. That’s why you hire so rigorously in the first place! Let them do whatever it takes to make your customers happy.

5. Establish good lines of communication

Make sure it’s easy for everyone to communicate and stay on the same page so that nobody feels like they’re facing a difficult problem alone. We consider this our job at Help Scout. Our product provides tools to make collaboration easy and be sure nothing slips through the cracks. If you don’t know the right answer, make sure your team can get the inquiry in the hands of someone that does, as quickly as possible.

Above all, remember to value and thank your employees regularly. Do this and you are on your way to an outstanding culture, which in turn means better service for your customers.

Gregory Ciotti

About the author: Gregory Ciotti is on the marketing team at Help Scout, the invisible help desk software. Learn how Help Scout takes the headache out of email support.