How Your Culture Is Affecting Your Customer Experience
Your employees’ experience should reflect the one you’re trying to provide to customers. Are your core values aligned with the customer experience?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Most people have heard the light-hearted phrase, “Happy wife, happy life.” It turns out a similar sentiment rings true for business - happy employees, happy customers.
But one key requirement for engaged, happy employees is an outstanding culture. Is your culture fostering a great customer experience?
Too often, companies create cultures that work well for their employees, but it may not extend much further beyond its four walls. For example, take a culture that has a foundation built on rewarding employees for hitting revenue goals, providing free-lunch Fridays or break rooms equipped with video games --great for morale, sure. But it does little to involve the customer.
How do your company goals align with your customer experience goals? Are they even similar?
Core values are the foundation of your culture
Walk through any modern workspace, and you’ll likely find a few inspiring statements framed on the wall to describe the company. More than décor, these statements are meant to remind employees of what the company stands for and should be a guiding force in decision-making each day.
Do your company values align with delivering a great customer experience? Core values that take into account all stakeholders --employees and customers alike-- help better serve as true North Star for guiding the experience.
For instance, one of our core values is “Further together,” and this doesn’t just apply to our internal team. We use this as a guide for how we engage with clients and the type of experience we know they are looking for.
Your team should be able to lean on the company’s core values when managing clients and creating unmatched experiences. Ask yourself how each of your core values can relate to a better customer experience -- and make sure your team understands as well.
It’s not a top-down strategy
People on the frontlines-;those dealing with your customers every day-;should know how their commitment to teamwork affects their role in the customer’s experience.
Every interaction within the company should demonstrate a commitment to the customer experience. It’s not simply a mantra from the C-suite or a buzzword from the latest marketing plan. So, whether it's developing a new feature within your product or answering a phone call, your team should be able to deliver a consistent experience and make appropriate decisions that elevate the customer’s impression of the brand.
They should know how to do it automatically, because it is so ingrained into your company culture that it becomes part of their everyday focus.
Clearly define the process for your team
By knowing all of the above, you’ll be able to align what your company stands for at its core with what delights your customer. Another one of our core values is “Bold craftsmanship,” which we define as possessing a determination to build valuable solutions to the most arduous business problems, embracing a little bit of art, a little bit of science, and a whole lot of listening to the customer.
This definition brings what we do (build valuable solutions), how we do it (mind and science) to the one thing that matters most (listening to the customer). There is no doubt that when we are building a solution for our customer, we go back to ensure we’ve actually listened to what the customer wanted-;not just what we think they should have.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure
If you don’t make customer experience a goal that is measured, why would your employees work to improve it? By making customer experience part of the performance review process, an employee will naturally want to monitor and improve their efforts.
What does that look like? It depends on your company.
For some, it could be things like Yelp and user product reviews. For others, it might be measured by customer feedback surveys and Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
What matters most is that customer experience is made a company-wide initiative. Put the customer back into the center of your universe. Understand what they want, when they want it and how they want to feel when you deliver it.