Company’s culture will affect customer service

“If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will take care of itself.” – Tony Hsieh

This quote also means that furthering the cause of customer service and customer satisfaction can also be done through a company’s culture. In fact the culture of the company has proved to be one of the key drivers for consistent high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer satisfaction is the very foundation on which companies are based and continue to be successful. So how a company’s culture drive satisfaction and happiness levels in customers:

– A thorough understanding of what constitutes a great culture and how it can be sustained
– Imbibing and displaying of the culture must happen from the top
– A great culture will help to retain staff and keep them motivated
– Constant encouragement and training to ensure that everyone is on the same page with regard to the connection between the company’s culture and happy customers

1. A thorough understanding of what constitutes a great culture and how it can be sustained

The company’s culture can be defined as great if the main focus is high customer satisfaction and happiness. The entire staff will have a distinct focus and comprehension of what customer service is. They would understand and appreciate that their actions and service will have a direct impact on the customers and their business. Passion and dedication would rule and staff would go the extra mile to ensure that the customer’s needs and expectations are met and exceeded. The appreciation they receive will goad them further to work cohesively, be united as a team and follow stringent work standards to get the customer what they need. Working together will ensure that not only customers but also the company’s needs are met of being successful and profitable. The culture and values become conjoined and the staff grows together to define and live these values that ultimately be reflected in the kind of customer service meted out to customers – high value, courteous, empathetic and unfeigned interest.

Staff will work towards the end of customer satisfaction irrespective of whether it is in the KPIs or not and will create distinctive and memorable experiences for customers each time. Companies that are cohesive and have customer focus will be pro-active and smart in their approach – changing with constantly changing business needs and customer demands.

2. Imbibing and displaying of the culture must happen from the top

To achieve the best and top of the line customer service the company’s culture must be led by the top line and management of the company. When the leadership embodies the culture, staff will naturally emulate their actions and the company too would be more careful while recruiting and choosing staff that fit the company’s values and will be able to imbibe the culture. The company’s culture would be a formalized and well-written out document displayed everywhere within the company’s premises, on the website and even on social media sites. Look for staff that are characteristically courteous, have the disposition to be pleasant under stress and are willing to put in extra effort to please customers – internal and external. As the company’s culture permeates deeper, the service and reputation of the company soars attracting like-minded people who want to work with you and customers whose value sets match yours.

3. A great culture will help to retain staff and keep them motivated

It is extremely frustrating for a customer to deal with someone different each time they connected with a company. They expect to be able to deal with the same person for a length of time if a relationship of trust and congeniality is to be established. The fact is that if the company’s culture does not support employee motivation and retention, staff attrition will be high and will not only impact you internally but will have a bearing on customers as well. When customers get unhappy they are bound vent on the people attending to them. Company representatives that are constantly shouted at by customers and feel unappreciated in the company’s culture are very highly likely to leave and this will cause a drop in customer service levels. The company’s culture therefore must be internal focused first in order to reflect on to customers. When your staff embody the company’s culture and great service practices, they would be more likely to give the customers the respect and attention they deserve. Customers over time receive consistently great service and come to view your company as a stable, trustworthy, friendly and transparent company.

4. Constant encouragement and training to ensure that everyone is on the same page with regard to the connection between the company’s culture and happy customers

New team members would need to be ‘brought in to the fold’ through training and clear cut explanations on the company’s culture. Customer focused companies will have properly designed programs and induction practices that inculcate the company’s culture in to the new hires. Get your values and culture across to the new hires immediately so that when they begin working, they do so with the right mind-set and customer focus. A focused session from the top line person or persons on the company’s culture and a focus on customer needs goes a long way in making the right impression on the new hires and bringing them on the same level as others in the organization. The new hires would be in a better position to align their personal values and culture with the expectations of the company making them better suited for the role and the company.

Screening of new hires can be done through competency and culture based interviewing to help identify which candidate is better suited to fit the company’s culture and add value to the existing culture and customer focus. During induction, these attributes are further emphasized and put across to the newly joined staff as being non-negotiable. Also they are shown the benefits and advantages of truly imbibing and displaying these qualities.

If your company seems to be constantly moving around in circles and yet there is really nothing concrete being achieved, it is probably because the company’s culture is not working properly. `The culture of the company having an adverse effect will be evident from reduced staff productivity, increased absenteeism and lowered staff morale which in turn reflects on the kind of service the customers receive – which would be far from satisfactory.

Happy employees come to work every day with renewed vigour, stay away from damaging office gossip and don’t waste time on personal social media activities. This saves the company a lot of man-hours that are utilized in making money for the company instead. Having a company culture that encourages and appreciates the team members will result in high productivity, great value to customers and an overall happy and cohesive team.

Leaders and management must continually strive to permeate the company’s culture by displaying trust through delegation of tasks even if they feel like holding on. There is no question that people at senior levels have reached their through hard work, talent, business acumen and an eye for customer focus. However, unless they can stop micro-managing, it would be difficult for team members to believe that they are being trusted. Hire and train them for their characteristics and skills and then leave them to do what they were hired for. Constant bickering and ‘breathing down the neck’ will only make them feel distrusted and this will reflect in their dealings with the customers. Employee burnout and frustration will lead to attrition – the consequences of which have been described earlier on.

As you try to create and spread your company’s culture, ensure that you take in to consideration the nature of human beings. They prefer being in a free and relaxed environment that allows them to feel respected and valued for what they bring in terms of skills and knowledge. Set the tone for the company’s culture by being a dynamic and flexible company that allows people to be. Companies that are very successful have these attributes and their company’s culture helps to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and sustained success for the company.

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