While there are a few companies that launch revolutionary products or services, the majority of non-technical businesses rely on branding and customer service to excel and stay ahead of the competition.
The brand that provides the best service and elicits the best emotional experience is often the one customers will choose in the long-term.
So the question is, “How can you deliver the best possible experience even if–in reality–you are offering the same product or service as your competitors?”
It’s pretty simple — the key is to focus on your employees first.
How Company Culture Impacts Customer Service
Everything starts with your company culture–the inner experience felt by employees, vendors, and investors.
Think of company culture as the guts of a company, the true nature of who you are as a business. Then customer service and branding is the outward expression of your culture. In fact, the way in which you serve your customers is nothing more than a reflection of your inner culture.
Some businesses choose to fake culture — simply using talking points that sound good. That used to be status quo, but more and more customers are now demanding higher levels of customer service that culture-less companies just cannot provide.
My advice? Avoid faking it at all costs.
If you have a strong company culture, your service experience will reflect that. Inevitably, if you do not exhibit a manner of conduct or beliefs internally, that too will be reflected in your customer service efforts.
So, if company culture dictates customer service (which then dictates profits), what is the key to culture?
If you want a great company culture, it all starts with you.
Creating a Winning Company Culture
You need to be the one who sets the tone and determines the mindset of your employees. As a leader, there are three main areas on which you need to focus on in order to get the most out of your employees and create a fun, enthusiastic, productive and profitable team environment:
1. Set the course.
Your first step as a business leader is to define your company’s core values — in other words, what your company stands for. This will act as a litmus test used to determine how you hire and when you fire.
To define your core values, simply think about the best attributes of your most ideal employees, and then define those in words. Companies that live out their core values on a daily basis by sharing stories and examples, and rewarding actions that fulfill them, are those that develop a true sustainable culture.