Now more than ever, money, technology and personnel are invested in the user and customer experience. In today’s world of instant reviews and feedback, businesses are sprinting to stay one step ahead of their customer to attract their target market, intuit their needs and attempt to exceed expectations.
And while it is incredibly important to track the latest analytics on exactly where customers are hovering over your website, what attracts them to click your ad or enter your office, there is a longer-lasting predictor of enhancing the customer experience: your company culture.
Your company culture is the invisible force that informs how you deliver your services on time, communicate when there are delays and have your staff show up in a way that’s on-brand. And this intangible force goes further than throwing money at the next app or UX design that will give you the competitive advantage in your marketplace. You can’t fake care and capability. You can’t fake if your employees actually like working for you and with each other. The more you invest in your company culture through mentoring, supporting and growing your team along with clear and effective management infrastructure, the more productive and effective your delivery experience becomes.
If we take a step back from the day-to-day technical work, it becomes easier to see the direct relationship between how your team implements the values and standards that make up your company culture, and the consistent results that the customer experiences (or lack thereof). The way in which each employee embodies and understands the values of your company, will show you how well your team is aligned to the direction of your leadership.
If we take even one more step back from here, the question arises: “What directly informs the company culture?” The answer is you and your Leadership Team. How you walk your talk as a leader and set the tone and direction for the business affects every facet of your company culture, for better and for worse.
In fact, the most radical thing you can do that will have the greatest impact on your customer service is to look at how you are managing yourself and becoming a more effective leader. Nothing will have a more permanent and fundamental shift in staying relevant in your marketplace than looking at the example you are setting.
Leadership becomes thin and mistrusted over time, when executives and managers demand a lot from their team, but don’t follow their own guidance or directives. When there are inconsistent results your customers are experiencing, especially if they are repeatable, there is almost always a disconnect in the management and leadership approach.
Change happens from the inside-out and developing your own leadership skills is the most direct leverage point to optimizing your company culture.
The good news is that the quickest way to impact and improve your customer experience is actually to focus on your own development as a manager and leader, and that of your Leadership Team. Nothing will grow your business faster over the long-haul, than leading by example and getting the help you need to overcome the obstacles that are getting in the way.
The businesses that are standing out today are the one’s where leadership teams embrace today’s world of technological and social transparency, instant feedback, and a willingness to pivot when necessary. It’s much easier to turn to new technology and added features to solve your customer service challenges. But the more rewarding and longer-term pay-off will be in making sure your Leadership Team and company culture are genuinely bought into living your brand in every possible touch-point.