Top Ten Mistakes Cultures Make with Customer Experience


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One of the most influential factors on your Customer Experience is your company culture. Most companies might understand the concept, yet still engage in activities that influence company culture in a way that hurts the Customer Experience.

When we perform our Naive to Natural assessment to determine our client’s Customer centricity, we find that Culture and Leadership has a massive influence on the outcome of the experience. In the final of our series of nine posts about the parts of your organization that affect Customer Centricity, we have the Top Ten Mistakes Cultures Make with Customer Experience:

  1. Senior management and back office employees are not spending time with Customers. Companies that lack a Customer-focus don’t have mechanisms in place for the team, including senior management, to spend time with Customers. This norm creates a culture where avoiding interaction with the Customers is acceptable. However, the idea that everyone should interact with Customers creates the most Customer-Centric organizations.
  2. The majority of a Senior Manager’s time is spent in meetings, not with Customers. If your senior management spends little to no time with Customers, then it contributes to an operational focus of the company. Having a significant portion of your time devoted to working with Customers sends a message to your team that the focus of your organization is on the Customer.
  3. You have no definition of what your culture is for the organization. If you haven’t defined what your culture is and how it aligns with the Customer Experience you want to deliver, that’s exactly what you’ll get—a culture that is undefined and out of alignment with the desired experience you want for your Customers.
  4. You focus on product sales and performance at team meetings. What you define as important for the company is what becomes important to the culture. If you choose to focus on sales and operations at the meeting, then your team will, too. Customer-centric companies have their Customer results high up on their team meeting agendas.
  5. You use the wrong language. Organizations that don’t focus on Customers say as much in their language. I once worked with an airline that called their Customer “self-loading freight.” This revealed how they thought of Customers. A Customer-focus transformation occurs in an organization’s culture when there also occurs a change in corporate language used about Customers. Furthermore, the language includes references to how a Customer feels.
  6. You view complaints as problems. The most Customer-centered companies know that complaints are an opportunity to create a customer for life by giving their team the ability to resolve issues and manage complaints proactively.
  7. You hide operational difficulties from the Customer. When something goes wrong, some organizations like to hide it from the Customer, denying that there is an issue at all. Customer-centric companies are open about their shortcomings and ask Customers for help resolving issues.
  8. Your internal communications don’t dedicate any bandwidth to Customer issues. Any company communications, like newsletters or the intranet, should devote at least half of their content to Customer issues.
  9. Customer Service staff are considered low level, low profile employees. If you consider Customer Service Representatives a low-level employee, it speaks to how you value the service they provide. Customer-centric companies elevate their Customer-facing employees as important members of the team.
  10. You value certain departments over others. Those who you revere reveal who you value. Customer focused organizations, however, recognize that ALL the departments contribute to the success of the team, so no one team is more important than another.

Most organizational leaders understand that having a Customer Centric company requires a culture that promotes that concept. The majority, however, don’t see how these ten common behaviors contribute to the lack of a Customer-focused culture. Customer focus for most corporate cultures requires a transformational change that includes these ten areas

What can you do to avoid making these ten mistakes in your company culture?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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