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How uniforms can improve your customer service

Good customer service can completely transform the shopping experience, so it’s crucial to treat this as a priority when looking 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 take your customer service to new levels and can positively impact both your employees and brand reputation. So, we’ve created a guide to help you pick the perfect uniform and improve your customer service. We’ll cover:

The benefits of getting a staff uniform

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. Other advantages can include:

Your business:

  • 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 later on.
  • It can create a professional business image: A professional uniform can beat the issue of your staff not looking smart enough for work and will ensure your staff 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 your customer service.
  • 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 you can implement to make their job easier or safer, is sure to make them feel valued. So, they’re bound to feel a motivation boost which can encourage them to improve the quality of your services.

Employees:

  • 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: Feeling comfortable is likely to keep your employees’ loyalty with you. This expands from being comfortable in their job role to feeling comfortable in their uniform. 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 your staff are all 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, raise their morale and improve the customer service your workers can 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.

Customers:

  • Your staff are easily identifiable: In busy work environments like eateries or events, it’s key for your staff to be identifiable so they can offer prime service to customers. 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 and are able to offer good customer service.
  • Employees may be happier to help: When they’re wearing clothing that represents the brand, your employees may feel happier to help as they’re outwardly associating themselves with the company. This could mean they will work harder to impress customers, in turn offering better 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 staff will feel a greater sense of responsibility and expectation, so this can improve their customer service skills.

How to pick a uniform for your business

Selecting a uniform for your business 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. While it may be appropriate for women to wear skirts in some businesses, for other more active job roles this may not be the case. So, you need to think carefully about the daily duties your employees will be doing and subsequently what type of clothing will be necessary for them to carry these out 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 for men and women, all of which can be customised to your business's requirements so your workers can look smart and identifiable.

When deciding on the clothing type you’ll choose for your business, it's a good idea to give your employees some input, to ensure they feel comfortable and able to do their jobs in their workwear. Plus, they might be able to point out some elements they need or don’t need, as well as helpful design tips to make their uniform look and feel great. If your staff are satisfied with their workwear, they’re likely to feel happier and more valued, so this feedback can be a great way to improve your customer service.

What colour should your uniforms be?

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 a professional 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 uniform for a creative workforce, brighter and bolder colours will ensure your workers 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 ensure that these will strongly contrast each other so 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 uniform that’ll last through a good while through their employment career will be key. Although choosing 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 the breathability and durability of it, as well as whether it has enough stretch to allow your workers to do their job properly.

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 components 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 type to keep them warm. Having the option for your workers to add a fleece to their uniform, or a more winter-appropriate style will help your staff to stay motivated and productive. 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 every time they work. 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 ensure they know who their great service was from is to brand your uniform with your logo (read our logo design tips if you're creating a new one). And, 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 incorporate more branding. Our garment finishing services include adding neck labels, hem and sleeve tags, as well as swing tags, polybagging and even barcoding so your uniform can be unmistakeably yours.

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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