purpose driven culture

How To Define Your Purpose And Have Unique Culture

If you Google the word “purpose” you get the definition “the reason for which something exists.” This is a challenge if you think about it in the context of an organization. And it is for this reason that so few organizations have cultures that are based on purpose. Instead, almost all of the organizations we see have visions and mission statements.

Purpose is the Foundation of Culture

Why is purpose the necessary foundation for the right organizational culture? The answer is clear. When culture is based on purpose, that purpose informs strategic, business and financial decisions. It becomes easier to see what decisions to make in the context of your organization’s purpose.

Purpose in Action

Let’s say you are a membership organization and your purpose is to serve your members. Assume you are in the meeting where you prioritize capital investments and you are looking at two technologies. The first aims to build a solution that will scale a product to reach more members in remote places. The second aims to make one event very effective.

With the purpose of serving members top-of-mind, it is easy to make the call and choose the project that impacts more members. On the other hand, if you had a vision statement, the choice might have been open to interpretation and internal political debate.

Purpose is deeply connected to the human side of business. As such, it is much harder to argue with.

Employees are Motivated by Purpose

Purpose driven culture also helps to get your employees to buy in to your vision. Purpose is inspirational. It is personal. It is also based on values and, as such, can transcend the gap between work and personal life.

When your organization is purpose based, your employees who connect with that purpose can bring their authentic selves to the job. They can be themselves. In turn, this makes them feel more connected to the organization. That naturally elevated employee engagement turns your employees into ambassadors of your brand.

Mission Statements are Not Enough

There is no mission statement that can drive the loyalty that purpose can. Big brands often forget that, and they spend more time in the boardrooms talking about strategies. Strategies come and go. Purpose is permanent. An organization with purpose can easily survive changes in management and changes in the market. Even though leadership might change, purpose stays forever.

Purpose Drives Hiring and Retention

With purpose based culture, even recruiting is easier. Candidates that share the passion for your purpose naturally demonstrate that in their interviews. It is much easier to spot and hone in on that in an interview than it is to test vision statement buy-in.

Although purpose is much harder to define and it may take a little more soul searching, taking the time to do so early on is the best investment when you launch your organization. The ROI of that time is eternal and may well save your company’s life down the line.

If you need a thought partner on getting to YOUR right answer, we are always here to help!

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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

customer-centric culture

Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX

You have some serious work to do before your customers experience your CX vision. First, you need to educate your organization on the core principles of customer experience. If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.

This realization is particularly painful for those of us who see the inefficiencies that cause bad journeys and want to make the experience better for our customers. At this stage, though, the best advice I can give you is to wait before you move. Measure three times and cut one time.

Educate the C-Suite on CX Fundamentals

First, you need to educate your C-Suite on the concept and discipline of customer experience. Your C-Suite may or may not know what NPS is. They may use NPS already. Or, they may use NPS only for one touch point rather than the whole journey. They may identify NPS as a corporate goal that signals that CX should be a priority for the entire organization. Or not.

You need time to assess your particular scenario and start building awareness to reach the next level of understanding and organizational buy-in. This may take months or a year. However long the expected turnaround is, you need to endure it before you start solving customer problems.

Get Buy-In for Measurement

Why can’t you (or the C-Suite) expect an immediate turnaround? Because of our good old friend measurement. You do not want to do all the work and not get credit for it when it does not directly (or immediately) impact revenues or costs. You need NPS (or another CX measurement) to evaluate your work. It is important to have a CX measure so you can correlate it and tie it to productivity, to savings, or to another benchmark that is part of your current corporate measurement structure.

Go Beyond CX Training

The first part requires heavy lifting: getting your executive team to accept that you will measure NPS across the customer journey within the organization. This includes looking at cross-functionally that risks revealing some inefficiencies in their departments.

Now, you are ready to educate the teams of employees who will deliver the personalized experience you have envisioned.

How do you do that? The easy answer is training. That works for those who want to influence the culture of one division. Or, if all you are doing is running a Call Center.

However, if your organization is more complex, training alone will not help you achieve your CX goals. The entire organization needs to buy into your customer experience vision.

Don’t Limit Your CX Vision to Customer Service Providers

Imagine you want to help your customers complete an interaction with you early so they are not forced to wait later. This could be to check in for a flight or to advance register for an expo.

When you think of CX vision, this is probably not the first example that comes to mind. But remember what we spoke about last year: you may have a CX job already and not know it. So, back to our example. To remind an app user to check in early, you need your digital team to prioritize this feature on the app before other features that are on the list from other departments. To send a tailored email campaign to all your exhibitors, you need the marketing team to schedule your campaign on the right date to meet your CX needs. This could push other company messaging to a later date.

If all you do to initiate customer-centric CX in your organization is hold a customer service training, the digital and marketing teams you need to buy in will be excluded. They will not hear or understand the CX vision you are trying to implement and the value it has for the organization as a whole.

Create Customer-Centric Culture Across Departments

This is why CX professionals need to start educating everyone in the organization. And I mean everyone, from the front desk greeter, to the marketing manager, to the IT staff. To do this you need a lot of time and patience. You also need to inspire the teams and explain why it really matters to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.

The trouble with building journeys is that you cannot do it only with one touch point. You need more in order to connect those points and build the seamless experience that truly puts the customer at the center. Educating all departments on customer-centric culture helps to do that.

Walk the Talk

So, be the brand ambassador for customer-centric culture and infuse that in every conversation you have with every person in your company. Try to customize your messaging so you do not come across as self-serving, but rather as someone who genuinely cares about the customer (as you do!).

If you need help strategizing how to put the customer at the center of your organization or if you need help getting started with CX, talk to us!

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone. They do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

culture hr

Culture Starts at the Top

Last week we started the conversation about culture by establishing that we need to define culture before we can deliver great customer experience. Today, we are talking about how to get the right culture in your organizations.

First and foremost, you need the right leader. Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.

How Leaders Create Culture

Leaders create the culture of an organization. Their actions and words form the storytelling and folklore of the company. That is the strongest source of culture. Folklore is not designed. It is an account of what happened. In that sense, the leader at the top defines the culture of his/her company.

Dave Barger, the former CEO of JetBlue Airways, remembered the name of every employee he met. He stopped employees in the hallway to shake hands or high five. Every new hire knew the stories about Dave Barger. The CEO and his values were part of the folklore – and the identity – of the company. Airline employees knew Dave as the man who started his career as a bag handler. He was someone who walked the talk because he knew firsthand what it is like to be on the front line.

These kinds of stories can’t be choreographed. If they were, they would not be retold by employees. Nor would they be embraced.

Dave used to fly to Orlando, where JetBlue’s training center is, to meet every new employee as part of an Orientation process for new hires of all ranks. Every two weeks, he spent two days in Orlando telling the story of how the company started and sharing his passion for the industry with flight attendants, bag handlers, and support function new hires.

The Mechanics of Culture

So how was culture instituted in JetBlue’s case? Once people knew what a caring and passionate leader Dave Barger was, they wanted to emulate him. Even more, they wanted him to be proud of them. So they tried to do what he did in their small orbits of influence.

And it worked. The General Manager of Boston took care and connected with all his employees in the operation. The VP of the Contact Center made the offices in Salt Lake City a home for all her employees, supporting them through personal and family struggles. The culture “JetBlue is your family” started with the CEO. But it did not end with him.

The company culture that stimulated employee engagement and fueled customer experience could not have grown without a leader who “lived the values” every day of his life.

Culture Goal is Real

According to Lumoa “Only 13% of companies believe that HR has an impact on Customer Experience activities in the company.” This is one of the reasons so many companies have a hard time making CX part of their core value proposition. A great leader knows that culture needs both folklore to inspire, and a reward system to acknowledge when culture values are done right.

When culture is important to the leader, he/she incorporates it into a culture goal for the executive team. In JetBlue for example, HR managed the culture goal. And it accounted for 20% of the goals for all Directors. Part of the culture goal was to adopt a city station and visit the employees four times a year. What do you think happened when it rained and we still had to travel to our respective cities? We all went, since there was an incentive to do so.

Include HR in Culture Goals

HR is integral not only in the culture goal setting process, but also in the programming of events and initiatives that bring that culture to the daily lives of employees.

That programming is essential to promoting and maintaining culture in your organization, for the benefit of employees and customers, as we will explore in some exciting upcoming conversations.

Keep Culture Top of Mind

What you need to walk away knowing right now is that, when culture is top of mind for leadership, leadership supports employees who live out culture goals. Let’s carry through the JetBlue example. Under Dave Barger, caring was a culture goal. Employees earned credit for volunteering outside the organization. And employees with the most hours were honored at a gala dinner with the CEO and executive team (that means real face-time with leadership).

Compensation and rewards like this – moments of awe for employees – close the loop with the executive team. That is how we build cultures in organizations in a way that shows results in the daily life of employees and the experience of customers.

So, if you are serious about culture, hire the right leader for your organization and start building from there.

Confused about where to start? We can help you build your culture goals throughout your organizational structure, from HR to leadership, to front line employees.

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone. They do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

great brand cx

Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series about retail CX during the holiday season. See the other posts in the series here and here.

Two weeks ago we talked about the underutilized post-purchase touch point of the customer journey. Brands rarely leverage it. At the end of my CX journey with HelloSpud the CEO used her inventory management challenge to make me a loyal customer. Today, we’re looking at other small businesses that leverage customer experience to gain loyalty and brand power.

Smaller brands cherish every customer they have.

Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer. The CEO of men’s apparel brand Masorini does this very well. And he is using email, a traditional method of communication, to standout in a crowded market place.

Masorini sends a personal thank you note from the CEO after every purchase. With it the small online store recognizes the value of every customer and every customer’s experience. By doing this, the CEO himself shows his personal commitment to his customers. He inserts himself into the customer journey in a unique and powerful way.

Gratitude Creates Relationships that Promote Brand Goals

With the thank you note, the Masorini CEO accomplishes three goals: create a relationship, build loyalty, and increase sales. The email creates a customer-brand relationship first by thanking the customer, then by asking for feedback. Connecting and listening in this way builds and promotes customer loyalty in the shortened space between brand and customer. Next, the email aims to increase sales by offering 20% off indefinitely, and delivering a memorable customer experience.

Lastly, in a pop up window on the website, the brand welcomes email subscribers to “the Masorini tribe.” Words matter. He has clearly thought through how he wants his customers to feel. Loyal. To their tribe. Buy more. Belong to the tribe.

Brand Culture and Values are more than Ideas

Many brands claim that they have culture and values. Some even paint those value statements on their office walls. Far fewer use them in their hiring and performance management processes. While that is good from internal management perspective, the real differentiator is sharing your mission and values with your customers on their journeys.

llifestyle brand Thursday Book Co customer experience

This type of brand management requires a deeper dedication to the customer and his/her experience than any other expression of values. Shoes brand Thursday Boot Co. has done this in an exceptional way. It is exceptional, because it is bold. It takes courage for a brand to send its mission statement to every customers who buys a product.

Bold Brand Commitment

What if the customer does not agree with the brand’s belief system? Thursday Boot Co. is not trying to be everything to everyone. The brand knows who they want as a customer and that is who they are talking to. They are not out to get just anyone. This is how a brand has the opportunity to become a lifestyle brand. A brand with loyal followers, repeat purchasers, and loud brand ambassadors. I am one of them. Both my husband and I buy shoes from Thursday Boot Co. Guess what my mother’s Christmas present will be this year?

These are just two examples of great customer experience that were executed well and in a timely manner. Masorini and Thursday Boot Co. managed brand and sales expertly. In so doing, both companies are case studies for the ROI of CX. When brands nurture their customers, customers respond with their wallets.

The value of memorable experiences and well-managed customer journeys is powerful both for the customer and the brand. Aim to build more unique journeys for your customers. If you need help designing memorable touch points on the road, reach out to us. We love ideating, co-creating, and DoingCXRight with brands!

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Customer Experience Skills

Top Traits of Customer Experience Leaders

It is not a coincidence that innovative companies like Disney, Apple, Zappos, and Amazon are leading brands. They share in common a priority on creating exceptional experiences and ensuring satisfaction at every point of the customer journey. They also Continue reading “Top Traits of Customer Experience Leaders”

Your Company Culture Is Your Brand

How To Infuse CX Into Your Company Culture​

What is company culture, why is it important and how does customer experience play a role? According to Webster, it is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” Culture is very important because it impacts Continue Reading →