Having the right kind of company culture is crucial. It can make the difference between being perceived as a company which cares about its customers, or one which only counts the numbers on its balance sheet. Therefore, continue reading to find out how to change your company’s culture for the better with the help of customer feedback:
I. What is company culture and why is it important?
Company culture (also known as organizational culture) is in a way the “personality” of a company. It includes many factors such as the work environment, the company’s values, mission, and ethics, the way it treats and interacts with its customers, employees, vendors, etc. Company culture encompasses many intangible elements, which makes it difficult to measure or quantify. However, what is clear is that if you want your culture to be customer-focused, your whole company needs to be customer-focused. This means that every employee (even those not directly interacting with customers) need to have a customer-centred mindset. This will then radiate to the outside world and you will be perceived as a company which values its customers’ opinions and cares for them deeply.
II. How to use customer feedback to change your company’s culture?
You can’t change your company’s culture by simply changing the culture. Instead, you need to change the factors which directly or indirectly influence the culture. Here are some of the main elements:
You can send all the promotional materials with your mission statement blasted on them, but if your own (senior) managers are not customer-focused, then your employees won’t be either. Employees can sense what their bosses value. After all, companies are shadows of their leaders. Therefore, if managers want to see a customer focus, then they need to be the first to initiate it.
For example, a manager can use customer feedback and satisfaction levels as a measurement for their goals. By showing with their actions that they care about the final customer, managers can motivate and inspire their employees. After all, as Henry Thoreaux said:
“I cannot hear your words for the action that thunders above your head.”
Managers need to not only use customer metrics to achieve their goals, but also challenge those around them to improve the customer experience. By discussing openly what customer issues your company is facing, you can also address those faster and prevent them from happening again.
This is another way to use customer feedback combined with rewards to encourage a more customer-based company culture. If you include incentives in every employee’s package which are tied to the customer satisfaction ratings, then you will encourage improvements and more involvement. Those incentives don’t have to be monetary, but could also involve praise from the senior management, company swag, an extra vacation day, etc.
Finally, transparency about what customer insights you have found out can go a long way. For example, share your customer satisfaction results, as well as any critique and negative reviews your customers might leave. Make customer feedback a part of your employees’ everyday work.
It is also very important to talk about what your biggest customer problems are and to focus your employees’ attention on those. Don’t try and hide or delete any negative comments customers might have about your products or services. Instead, share those with your employees. You never know who might come up with the perfect solution for your biggest customer complaints.
A good example of this practice comes from the company Kayako. The Global Marketing Manager, James Doman-Pipe, said:
”Getting everyone closer to customer feedback should be a priority for every business. Sharing customer feedback improves empathy for customers and motivates our team. It reignites their belief in the mission and refreshes their understanding of how well the company is doing in the eyes of the customer. It’s pretty simple: happier people do better work.”
In conclusion, all these factors combined can help you improve your company’s focus on customers. This customer centricity will ultimately lead to more revenues (even while you sleep) and better brand image.