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Customer Satisfaction Begins with Company Culture

By Alessandra Ceresa

Happy People
Source: QuickMeme

I am sure you have all had at least one terrible experience with customer service. Companies that lack employee engagement and empowerment tend to breed employees that don’t care, and are therefore, rude, disengaged, or have no tolerance for customers. Well, guess what? Those employees are most likely limiting your business’ end goal, which is to turn your customers into friends and friends into sales people or brand advocates. The point here is that employees are a reflection and embodiment of your brand, so if they don’t align with your core values and messaging, customers will sense this disconnect. 

According to Jack Morton Worldwide research, 80% of consumers agree that their overall experience with a brand is the biggest factor in determining future purchases. The overall experience with a brand begins with the initial employee-customer interaction, which will hopefully lead to long lasting relationship. To do so, employee-customer engagement must reflect the brand’s culture and core values. If your employees don’t reflect those values, then messaging will be inconsistent and customers will react. Following are a few ways to build a strong company culture to ultimately boost customer satisfaction with your brand.

#1 Define and communicate your mission and core values

The first and most important step to creating a solid culture is to define your core values. Simply creating a list of values will help focus your mission and give purpose to your actions. Doing so will also demonstrate a clear vision for your employees to align themselves with. To communicate values effectively, you should implement an internal communications strategy. This will not only ensure that messages reach your employees, but it will also lead to participation in employee-led conversations.  

#2 Make Culture a priority

Happy employees lead to happy customers. It all starts with happiness, according to Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh. Happiness constitutes different things for different people, but there are a few strategies you can employ to boost the contagious attitude in the workplace.

  1. Give up complete control. Yes, I said it. No more micro managing, this will only suffocate the person and inhibit his or her ability to do well.
  2. Acknowledge achievements. Employees (especially Millennials) want to be praised for their work. Your employees will feel connected to the company’s vision when their work is appreciated. It will also increase their desire to further the goals of the organization.
  3. Answer why? This is a very important and often overlooked element of business. Many people perform tactical duties without asking or understanding the end purpose. Employees who feel they are apart of something larger than themselves or have a true purpose to their work will be more inclined to work harder and better. When assigning tasks, even if they are small, tie it to the overall objective or mission of your business.

#3 Eliminate silos

Siloed organizations have trouble building a cohesive company culture. Employees who work in specific departments often have little engagement with other departments, leading to inconsistent messaging, and a lack of community. Eliminating these silos will not only bring different level employees together but also encourage trust and collaboration across the organization.

#4 Create an Internal Communications Plan         

You should create an internal communications plan that includes all employees to ensure that culture remains at the core of your business operations. Internal communications improves employee engagement and collaboration. A good strategy will empower your employees by reassuring employees that they are vital to the company’s success. Through ongoing trust and empowerment, your employees should and will become brand advocates. Once your organization is on this path, you will see a transformation in employee-customer interactions and relationships, which will ultimately increase customer satisfaction.

A few quotes to take away:

“Your attitude on such matters, expressed by behavior as well as words, will be the most important factor in how the culture of your business develops. And culture, more than rule books, determines how an organization behaves.” – Warren Buffet memo to Berkshire Hathaway

“More joyful employees are more productive, creative, and innovative.” – Richard Branson

Everything I advised can only be accomplished if you truly commit to transforming your culture. Remember that this is not a sprint, but a marathon. In order to improve customer satisfaction, you must make time to build and solidify your organization’s culture. 

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