Part 3: Creating a Sustainable Work Environment in Customer Service

For many customers, environmental and climate issues are important. This presents an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment to increasing sales and customer loyalty. How can customer service support the company’s climate goals while maintaining or even improving service levels? Environmentally friendly customer service rests on a structure that benefits the planet and fosters long-lasting customer relationships. 

In three articles, we show how companies can adapt their customer service to help the climate and drive sustainable business. In parts 1 and 2 of this series (see links below), we focus on how to create sustainable customer dialogues by making them more efficient and of higher quality to promote the climate and increase the company’s sales and customer loyalty. But here, we shift perspectives and look inward at the customer service organisation. To create sustainable customer dialogues, the organisation performing them must be sustainable itself. But how does one create a sustainable work environment for customer service?

Customer Service: The Value of Inclusion and Participation

A competent team has a higher capacity to assist and affirm others. In a customer service situation, the ability to simplify tasks and effortlessly offer solutions is crucial for the customer to feel well-received and helped.

We feel secure when we feel we have control over a situation. At work, security is created when we know:

  • What is expected of us
  • How we can meet those expectations
  • That we have the support to perform the work
  • When we see the results of our work and are affirmed

By working with the organisational and social (OSA) work environment, we provide a workplace with an ethos that is inclusive and that engages the customer service team. We  always strive to meet the goals and expectations from the company, our clients and to exceed the customers expectations.

How Do We Organise Customer Service?

A structured approach to the work environment rests on a system of recurring routines and processes that ensure that the work becomes an integrated part of daily operations. The foundation for this work is the company’s value platform and work environment policy.


Clarifying the work role and responsibilities for each employee is fundamental to creating a productive and secure work environment. Communication must be concrete and clear to minimize the potential for misunderstandings. Through providing regular feedback,  the employee knows how well they are meeting expectations. This creates a culture of openness where the employee feels secure to ask questions and seek support to improve further.


Individual and team goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART) to be inspiring and engaging.

Explaining why the goals are important for the company and for the customer is equally important. By linking an individual’s work to the company’s larger purposes and goals, the employee feels more engaged and involved in the company’s success.

Regularly setting, following up, and adjusting goals as the business evolves is important to keep the team focused and motivated. Celebrating achieved goals also strengthens the sense of community and success within the team.

Making Results Visible

Making the results of employees’ work visible is central to motivation and engagement. This can involve anything from recognizing individual achievements (through awards, praise in group meetings, etc.) to real-time digital dashboards.

Making achievements visible gives a sense of satisfaction and can create a healthy and encouraging competitive environment. This reinforces the importance of each individual’s contribution to the company’s overarching goals and creates a culture where work and success are valued.

Support and Care

To fully achieve the above steps, support and care within the organisation are required. This means providing the resources and tools needed for employees to perform their work effectively, as well as offering a work environment where employees can grow both professionally and personally.

In customer service, it is common for team leaders to adopt a “this is how you do it” approach when a customer service agent asks for help. It is common to focus on solving a current situation that is costly in terms of time or money.

A support that provides a more efficient and sustainable effect is to instead take the perspective of “it’s your responsibility, but I’m here beside you.” When team leaders act on trends in a customer service agent’s performance, there is an opportunity to make lasting developments in the agent that support the goals one wants to achieve.


A sustainable work environment within customer service is not only important for achieving the company’s internal goals but also for strengthening the company’s brand and customer relationships. A work environment that promotes security, participation, and support creates conditions for employees to deliver high-quality service that in turn contributes to a positive customer experience.

This shift in perspective, from focusing solely on customer dialogues to also encompassing the internal work environment, is crucial for achieving sustainable development both for the company and for society at large.

By investing in the well-being and engagement of employees, a strong foundation is created to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow within customer service. Success lies in understanding that a sustainable customer service not only benefits the climate and the company but is a win for everyone – an insight that is more relevant than ever in a time where sustainability is at the forefront.

Further Reading on How Customer Service Can Contribute to Increased Sustainability

Part 1: How can customer service reduce carbon emissions?

Part 2: How can inclusive customer dialouges increase sustainability?