how to develop a work uniform that improves customer service and brand reputation
Good customer service can completely transform the buying experience, so it’s crucial to treat this as a priority when looking at how to improve your brand reputation. While your product ranges, marketing methods and the rewards you offer are likely to draw in a loyal customer base, uniforms can help to improve your customer service and can positively impact both your employee productivity and how customers perceive your brand, as well as improving the quality of your product or services. So, we’ve created a guide to help you design a work uniform that will improve your customer service and brand reputation. We’ll cover:
- The advantages of providing uniforms to staff
- How to develop a work uniform
The advantages of providing uniforms to staff
Uniforms are commonplace in many work environments where the staff’s duties are heavily customer-facing. They can create greater satisfaction for your business, staff and customers and will ensure the first impressions are always right. Here's how:
- You can create your corporate identity: Most obviously, a uniform is a chance for you to market your brand and, as first impressions count, you need to ensure it’ll be positively received by your potential customers. This is why thinking about your logo, colour schemes, materials and uniform type is particularly important, all of which we’ll cover in our how to develop a work uniform.
- It can create a professional business image: A professional uniform will ensure your team always look presentable and are representing your brand in the best way possible. Plus, if they feel good, they’re likely to be motivated to work, which can improve customer service standards and productivity.
- It can give you the opportunity to get staff involved: Allowing your employees to give their input on certain uniform ideas, and to let you know what they'd benefit from, is sure to make them feel valued. This in turn can boost their motivation and help to improve the quality of your services.
- It can encourage employee confidence: Wearing a uniform that is smart and professional, but also fits well, is stylish and of high-quality, can increase your employees’ confidence. When they feel good, they’re likely to be happier all round, making it a good way to improve customer service.
- It can increase employee loyalty: If your staff’s uniform is fit for purpose, they are more likely to feel safe and respected in the job, so may stay with your company longer.
- It encourages team spirit: When everyone is wearing the same uniform, it can build a greater sense of unity and they may become more motivated to improve your customer service.
- It can promote employee security and safety: Uniforms should not only be designed with aesthetic in mind, but also to comply to health and safety regulations in the workplace. For certain industries, such as construction, you’ll need to get specific protective equipment which can promote security and safety and improve the customer service your workers offer.
- Employees have a consistent appearance: Workplace politics can interrupt the smooth running of your company. If everybody is wearing the same uniform, there will be less of a hierarchical feel which can help to improve staff performance and productivity.
- Your staff are easily identifiable: In busy work environments like eateries or at events, it’s key for your staff to be identifiable so they can offer great customer service. Ensuring your workers stand out in crowds can be the deciding point between your company making a sale or not.
- Your staff look well trained: Uniform demonstrates effort and care has been taken to perfect your staff, and so will let customers know that your workers are professionals.
- Employees may be happier to help: When they’re wearing clothing that represents the brand, your employees may work harder to impress customers, in turn offering improved customer service.
- Generates customer trust: A uniform that has been specially customised to your business can help to instil feelings of credibility and trust in customers and clients. In turn, your team will feel a greater sense of responsibility and expectation, so this can improve staff performance and productivity.
How to design your own work uniform
Designing your own work uniform can be difficult, whether you’re new to the process or your current uniform needs a spruce up. No matter what you want your uniform to represent about your business, there are a couple of universal things you need to think about:
What clothing type will you choose?
The type of workwear you choose can say a lot about your business, particularly about its level of professionalism. So, you need to think carefully about the daily duties your employees will be doing and subsequently what uniform styles will allow them to carry out their roles to the best of their ability.
If you have health and safety requirements in place, you will also need to think about these. This could include providing your staff with personal protective equipment to adhere to safety legislation — we stock a range of workwear such as protective gloves, thermals, high-viz clothing to ensure your staff can be prepared for all potential hazards on the job. This will also make it likely that they can and will want to offer better customer service if they feel equipped for the day ahead.
If you own a catering business, your workers’ jobs are likely to include a lot of movement, as well as potential spills and stains, so having an apron or tabard as part of their uniform can not only protect their clothes from these things, but also represent a hygienic and expert look.
However, if you work in a corporate environment, you might prefer your workers to have a sleek, tailored look: we have a range of corporate workwear including trousers and suits, for men and women. Plus, as all of these can be customised to your business's requirements, your workers can look smart and identifiable.
What colour should your uniforms be?
When developing a work uniform, one of the most important elements you'll have to think about is the colour you want it to be. However, there are so many colour options to choose from, which often makes it difficult for companies to pick the right one for their uniform. While some businesses might base their uniform off the colours in their logo, we recommend consulting colour psychology to get your brand’s workwear to emote positive feelings — yellow is usually associated with high energy, enthusiasm and fun, but for those wanting a subtler look, black can give off an authoritative feel while navy is commonly linked to intelligence.
If your staff will be serving at a fine-dining restaurant, you can’t go wrong with plain black shirt, trouser and apron combinations. However, if you’re designing work uniforms for a creative team, brighter and bolder colours will ensure they stand out and can reflect your company’s fun-loving nature. When deciding on uniform colour choice, just be aware that the base colour you choose will need to accommodate your logo on top, so these will need to strongly contrast each other if you want your branding can make a big impact.
Which fabric is best for the job role?
We all hope our workers stay loyal to our companies, so designing a work uniform that’ll last a good while through their employment career will be key. Although lower-quality fabrics might be cheaper to buy initially, they’re unlikely to last as long as high-quality fabrics would. When choosing the material, you need to consider its flexibility, breathability and durability.
Cotton, polyester and elastane are popular options for many companies as they’re lightweight and aren’t likely to restrict your workers, given they have the right fit. For warm summer weather, this might need trading out for linen or different uniform styles like short-sleeve shirts or skirts instead of trousers.
Likewise, when winter comes around or if your staff spend a lot of time outdoors, you might need to plan for more than one uniform style to keep them warm. Providing them with a set of wool or wool-blend uniform elements or having additional layers that they can put on and take off will be crucial. We have a selection of hoodies, fleeces and outerwear which will be great for keeping your staff warm and cosy while at work.
You should also consider how easy these materials will be to wash while maintaining their high quality. A dry-clean only uniform isn’t likely to be very practical, so instead opt for an easy-wash fabric like jersey or cotton. It will also be useful for you to provide more than one set of uniform for your staff, so they can wear a clean set to work every day. This will ensure they look and feel their best, so are prepared to give the customer service your brand requires.
Adding your logo
Uniform is used to make sure you’re identifiable to people looking for assistance, and one way to make sure you're getting the credit for your great customer service is to brand your uniform with your logo — we have a helpful logo design guide if you need some inspiration.
But, it’s not just what design your logo takes, but also how it will be presented on your uniform. There are a range of printing techniques possible, that will give your uniform a different finish:
- Screen printing: Originally referred to as silkscreen printing, this technique was first spotted in China. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular options of customising and printing onto clothing and uses a mesh tool and ink as the main form of printing equipment. This technique is known for being one of the most long-lasting and vibrant types of printing, so is a good idea for uniforms that’ll need to be washed a lot. For more information, visit our step-by-step guide to screen printing or our screen printing page.
- Digital printing: This type of printing is effective for both small and large logos and can be done in two main ways: direct-to-garment (DTG) and vinyl printing. DTG can transfer full colour directly onto clothing for a vivid end result, while vinyl printing focuses on cutting out the logo onto printable vinyl and heat-pressing it onto the clothing to be customised. Our digital printing services use both of these techniques, so you can choose one that suits your needs.
- Embroidery: Embroidery can give your uniforms a sleek and tailored look, and for uniforms which will need to be washed after every shift, some people may prefer stitching as a longer-lasting branding solution. We have a guide to machine embroidery that will explain the full process to you, so you can decide whether this option is right for you. We also offer an embroidery service ourselves using state-of-the-art machinery so your staff’s uniform can look great for years to come.
- Garment finishing: These finishing processes can be great for adding high-quality touches to custom clothing, as well as also being a way to improve your brand reputation. Our garment finishing services include adding neck labels, hem and sleeve tags, as well as swing tags, polybagging and even barcoding so you can create a unique work uniform.
Choose Custom Planet to make your dream uniform become a reality
We all want to make our businesses as successful as possible, and creating a great company uniform can be a big step towards achieving this. We understand the importance of ensuring that both your staff and customers are satisfied, and that’s why we only source products from quality and trustworthy brands. We offer informs for sectors including hospitality, health and beauty and many more.
Our customisation services will ensure your uniform is unique to your brand and can be designed to your exact preferences — we even offer a fully bespoke range you can design from scratch. Branded clothing can show your customers you’ve gone the extra mile and can make your employees feel more confident and immersed with the company’s goals and visions, too. To find out more about how a staff uniform can make a big impact to your business’s customer service, check out our helpful guides, blog posts or contact us on 0191 597 2669.
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