Reflecting on how a company’s values affect the internal and external behaviors demonstrated by those touched by an organization, we’ve started to see a shift in culture and brand being more intertwined with one another. Focusing on this concept can have a powerful impact on your customer experience programs.
Typically when a company goes through defining its values, it is done through an internal lens by identifying how the founders and overall teams align with a variety of qualities that serve as keystones for keeping on track to meet goals. Instead of centering values from an internal scope, might I suggest defining them through a customer-centric lens? While they should be executable values, they should also be understandable to customers and employees alike.
As an idea, how would you redefine the values that match your customer’s specific needs? Let’s say an internal value is commitment, viewed externally to meet customer needs; the value could be portrayed as fidelity.
This is important because it can guide team behavior within the company expanding areas from account management to production teams. In addition, if teams are getting the focus on values right, it may mean that the likelihood of meeting or exceeding the customer promise will be much higher than focusing solely on internally faced values.
Thought starters to kick off this initiative:
- Creating Values Based on Customer Experience: When it comes down to it the customer experience is about one thing; caring about people. If your leadership is on board with this idea they will be equally committed to caring about employees and customers in equal measure—a shared culture of caring results in rewards for all.
An example of a brand that does this right is Trader Joe’s. The Founder of Trader Joe’s, Joe Coulombe, always wanted to make his store a fun place to shop. Focusing first on hiring and maintaining cheerful employees and customers’ shopping experience — he landed on the idea of grocery shopping resembling a vacation. Walking into a Trader Joe’s, you’ll see employees sporting Hawaiian shirts as they hand out food and drink samples from small huts and calling themselves “traders on the culinary seas.”
- Make it Real: Bringing together your brand and culture in ways that are authentic and relatable tells your customers that the experiences they’re getting are genuine. Avoid the temptation of being overly scripted. This will allow your team to meet customer needs in a humanizing way to relate to issues as they come up and solve them to meet customers where they are. Additionally, setting boundaries around what wiggle room they may have to adjust customer experiences can help to ensure that no one gives away the farm.
An example of a brand that does this right is Patagonia. With their focus on sustainability, they have a program called the “Worn Wear program.” This program allows their customers to buy and sell used Patagonia garments while educating customers on how to help their gear last longer to ensure their clothes last longer and to reduce overall consumption in the process.
3. Increasing the Human Touch: In today’s market, brand life through the life-cycle of employee behavior and connection. Blending culture and brand through more interpersonal experiences could be the key to identifying with the other thought starters. While your brand may considering automating the customer-brand relationship because it can streamline some processes, too much automatic interaction can be detrimental to authenticity. Across the globe, companies are feeling the pressure of heightened service demands; however, in a recent report by PwC. At the same time, 54 percent of U.S. consumers think customer experience at most companies needs improvement; the findings from CGS reinforce that companies must find a balance in offering a high-tech and high-touch customer experience. Find a way to give it to them.
An example of a brand that does this right is TalkSpace. Their mission is to provide more people with convenient access to licensed therapists who can help those in need to live a happier and healthier life. While onboarding and matching are done through an automated feature, therapists can engage with their patients via voice, text, and video and appear to be accessible throughout the day to ensure the customer feels like they have a place to seek help if they need it.
By taking an intentional approach to dissect your company’s purpose, promise, and values, you may be paving a path to success beyond the bottom line. Some companies want to focus on revenue solely, and others focus on raving fans. There’s a way you can achieve both objectives, and that’s by embracing the attributes that set you apart from the rest.