CULTURE IS: CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer service is the way people perceive you, the way they feel when they communicate with your organization, and how well they feel served and valued. As leaders, if we spend all of our time focusing on customer service strategy and tactics, it does bring some value. However, if we spend some time building a culture that just values people, our customer service will take care of itself for the most part. Culture overflows into your clients. Culture overflows into your customers. And people can sense the difference between a real value for people in an organization, and a facade of customer service policies.

Every one of us has been sold something, and two months later we call them to come fix it and they don’t do it. That’s a bad culture. They used a strategy, they used a tactic, they didn’t use a culture. You don’t actually feel cared about when that happens. And that’s short term thinking. That will work for a short time, that is not long term thinking. If you invest in your culture, it will always lead to better customer service.

If you’re trying to have a business that has longevity attached to it, your culture will actually become your business development. Clients can feel it. When you have a thriving culture, you automatically begin to gain more business. I try to discourage my clients from short term thinking by focusing all their efforts on the idea that “I’ve got to create business.” Now, I understand that there is a level of truth to that. Cash is oxygen, and you need to keep your books moving. However, in the long term, if you can invest in your culture, it will eventually lead to radical increases in your cash flow. I’ve seen people doing business development who brought clients into an organization and the clients could actually feel it. They felt the difference in the culture when they walked through the door. And because of that difference, they made decisions to become invested in the long term.

Once a customer feels that, they come back. Culture always overflows into the market. People feel it, they want it, they want to be a part of it, it grows your brand. As your brand grows, because you have a thriving culture, this will always lead to business development. So I encourage you, create a culture within your organization where everyone serves one another. Don’t focus on the tactics of customer service, although those are important. Focus on your culture. Internal culture creates a value for people that overflows to your clients, which always increases the development of your business.

Jody Johnston