Employees in every business, large or small, interact with people on a daily basis. Whether working with customers, vendors, creditors, investors or other employees, customer service can make or break a company.

Over time a company may be able to determine whether or not their customer service representatives are providing great service by conducting customer surveys and analyzing direct customer feedback. The problem with this type of measurement is that surveys take a long time to administer, are based on opinion, and represent just a slice of a company’s overall customer base. Feedback, on the other hand, is usually aimed at a specific customer service representative, and often times come from an unhappy customer. Such limited, generic data doesn’t allow an employer to make timely adjustments that will improve the overall performance of the company.

So if feedback is less than reliable; surveys can take too long to generate actionable suggestions; and HR is having a difficult time finding viable customer service representative candidates with acceptable skills; how can employers build deliver excellent customer service and position the company as a service leader?

The answer is through ongoing customer service training. Employers can start with assessing customer service commitment: do employees see a leadership commitment to service excellence and are employees personally committed to customer service?

Handy customer service books and e-books are available that include tools, tips, and techniques in sales, after-care, and delivery of service that creates raving fans. Assessments and certain e-learning courses explore topics such as customer service effectiveness, telephone service effectiveness, telephone skills, complaint handling, customer focus, call center customer care, supplier partnering, and problem solving.  Powerpoints, one-page storyboards, and even interview question guides are available to assist human resource professionals and trainers hire and mentor employees

Although creating a service culture may sound daunting for a small business, these tasks can all be achieved in a relatively short time frame, thanks to the ample resources available on the Internet. Quality training and coaching products can now be delivered to managers and employees instantly, at a cost that fits almost any budget.

The best way to build a company culture that just exudes excellent customer service people is to hire the right employees the first time by using customer service skills testing. Validated and reliable customer service pre employment tests can be completed online by candidates and delivered to hiring managers immediately.

But hiring the right people is not enough. Training, coaching, and mentoring employees in the art and science of customer service is worth every minute and dollar you invest. Customer service is often the competitive edge that separates a world class organization from the average company. Customer service pre employment tests can help ensure that employers hire the right people but customer service training will insure that customer service associates are confident and prepared in their work, and confident employees generate confidence and loyalty from customers.