The Customer Loyalty Code – And How to Crack it – How Culture Fits In To The Loyalty Code
I’ve worked on dozens of projects to improve service delivery and build customer loyalty. I’ve done it locally and internationally, with organisations large and small, and in most business sectors. At the heart of almost all of them has been a need for cultural change.
I think culture is best described as ‘the way we do things around here’. So these projects are normally based on helping people understand why ‘the way we do things at present’ is not building customer loyalty. Then helping them to decide ‘how we need to do things in future’ so we do build customer loyalty. And then finally helping them work out how to effectively make the necessary changes to the culture.
Every organisation is different, so ‘the way we do things at present’ will be different every time. However, ‘how we need to do things in future’ always has common elements when it comes to the culture that is required. I’ve therefore listed below an overview of what I’ve found to be the key, most common elements.
- Create a purpose for the work that people can be proud of– Create a ‘Why’ we do what we do that people see as noble and worthy of their efforts. (A Vision or Purpose based around making lots of money rarely does this)
- Make it a supportive and caring environment– Create a work environment where people support each other and cooperate to achieve organisational or team success rather than compete to achieve individual success.
- Allow people to be themselves– Don’t expect people to be a different person at work to the person they are at home. You should have hired them for what they are naturally, so require them to be that same person at work.
- Build on people’s strengths– Discover and grow everyone’s strengths. Don’t give people work that continually calls on their weaknesses. Build teams based on their complementary strengths.
- Tell the truth– Never ‘spin’ company information. Tell people (both up and down the hierarchy) how things really are, so they can make fully informed decisions, based on facts and real situations.
- Make everyone’s work meaningful– Help people to see how what they do, no matter what it is, has real value and contributes to the overall organisational achievements and success. Put time and effort into showing how much their contributions are valued.
- Get rid of stupid rules– There’s no point in doing all the above if you don’t then empower people to do what they know to be right for their colleagues, customers and the organisation. Keep things simple and straightforward. Wage war on bureaucracy. Remove red tape and barriers to great performance. Avoid all unnecessary ‘sign off’s’ and ‘permission to act’ rules.
There may be other cultural issues, which are specific to different organisations, but I’ve found the list above forms a good starting point for a service focused culture in any organisation.
Making the required changes is obviously much harder than deciding what are the changes that need to be made. I will therefore address ways this may be done when I write about the Science and Systems Factor.3, in my next paper about The Customer Loyalty Code.
- 4/10/2016:The Customer Loyalty Account
- 7/3/2017:The Customer Loyalty Code – And How to Crack it!
- 14/3/2017:The Customer Loyalty Code – And How to Crack it - Leadership & Strategy
- 21/3/2017:The Customer Loyalty Code – And How to Crack it - Leadership & Strategy vol2
- 28/3/2017:The Customer Loyalty Code – And How to Crack it – People and Culture