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A Customer Culture Generates Business

Do you have a customer culture?

What’s the culture like in your company? Are your employees committed to meeting your customers’ needs before anything else, and always providing a positive customer experience? If the answer is yes, then you also have a customer culture, and your company surely supports that behavior. After all, your culture is a reflection of what’s important to your company. If your company values time, then excellent customer service will include timely service for your customers, whether it be quoting, production or simply returning calls. On the other hand, if your company values its own throughput over timeliness, the interactions between your employees and customers will demonstrate it.

Thank You Bracelets

Rewarding desired employee behavior generates a customer culture.

Google, which has been ranked 6th by Huffington Post for customer service and 1st by fortune.com for great places to work, offers some interesting insight. Their mantra is “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” Translation: focus on your customers’ needs and your company will be successful. Employees say that Google offers the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs well and that people are willing to give extra to get the job done. Both lead to an excellent customer experience. In addition, Google makes a point of recognizing employee accomplishments in a way that feeds employees’ sense of purpose.

These company characteristics make for dedicated employees and, in turn, impact the experience they provide. This ultimately fosters loyalty among end users.

Foster desired behaviors.

It’s important to take care in describing your company culture to employees to be sure that it accurately depicts an environment that supports desired behaviors. Employee training should include a description of the company culture and the expectations around customer interactions. If reliability is a key trait, then discuss the importance of following up their words with actions. If they say an order will ship on a certain day, then they must make sure it does or contact the customer ahead of time if it’s going to be late. Courtesies such as this go a long way with customers because they demonstrate your appreciation for the effect of your service on their throughput and that you’re concerned about it.

Customers want to feel that they are important.

Keep in mind that employees will act based on actions that are reinforced, so if you want them to be customer focused, then reward employees who display those behaviors. If you want your employees, for example, to take the time to go the extra mile for a customer in need, then afford them the opportunity to do that and then recognize their efforts, whether through a formal recognition program or a simple thank you. This will strengthen the relationships you have with your employees and at the same time strengthen the customer’s relationship with your team and, by extension, your company. Customers like suppliers who make things easy for them. They also want to feel that they are important to your business. They will feel that way (or not) based on how well you meet their needs and create a positive, hassle-free experience that demonstrates their importance to you. That’s what will keep them coming back.

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