Business Management

4 steps to achieve Cultural change

Image Business Management



Franck Louveau

Consultant - Service DNA at EHL Advisory Services

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Having a customer-centric culture that puts the customer first and focuses on their experience is related to success in modern business. Customers are demanding a customer-centric approach and expect more from companies and are quick to switch to competitors when unhappy with a brand experience.

According to a study of 125 companies, 90% of companies that are good at collecting data on CX and EX and using those insights in the right way showed better profits and revenue growth than competitors.

The execution of a customer-centric culture is not always easy. Some companies incorporate some customer-centric ideas but do not make them key components of the company culture. What are the barriers standing in your way and what are the 4 steps that will support transforming your company culture into a customer-centric one?


    Barriers to a customer-focused company culture

    Common barriers include a current culture that may block changes, a limited view of CX, the lack of leadership or initiative, and temporary changes without a long-term focus.

    4 steps to developing a customer-centric culture

    To develop a company culture that is focused on customers first and foremost yet also acknowledges employees and leadership we recommend a 4-step approach. Your culture should include both top-down and bottom-up approaches at the same time. When changing your company culture, it is essential to emphasize the right changes and take stages to ensure they create long-term, lasting change.

    Step 1: Assessing your current culture and ideal

    This is about defining the current culture and coming to a consensus on an ideal culture that focuses on customers. What do leaders think a best-case company culture looks like? The idea is to come up with a united vision of the culture you seek for your company. It will be useful to create definitions as well as traits to associate with the desired company culture. Tools to get a sense of the current culture could include surveys, focus groups, or other types of inquiries. The data collection phase will help identify which current traits of the company are working and which are not helping towards the creation of a culture that is in line with the customer’s best interests.

    Step 2: Performing a gap analysis of the ideal culture

    How does your ideal culture line up with the real culture? You may see differences between what leaders say they want to see and what employees report they experience on the ground. You can also determine employee engagement, organizational performance, and other metrics as they apply.

    Step 3: Ensuring cultural alignment

    Leadership buy-in is essential for changing company culture. This stage includes leaders in creating an action plan. The goal is to adopt a procedure for changing culture and developing traits and behaviors to fit it. How do you communicate your ideal culture? What are your performance metrics for employees to meet your focus on the desired company culture? What barriers are preventing employees from carrying out expected behaviors? Leaders can place some top-down enablers that support and reinforce the right behaviors like operating model, people insights, people process technology, and rewarding excellence.

    Step 4: Creating a culture of accountability

    It is important to manage expectations. Cultural change requires time and consistency before it becomes commonly accepted and adapted and can take 3 to 5 years to truly take hold. To ensure consistent progress leaders can track performance metrics and create a system of accountability. Besides culture metrics, key performance indicators, and employee engagement, other helpful tactics are customer and employee listening. These methods of monitoring show progress and provide consistent feedback for adjusting the course as needed. Are employees supported through the right technology, adequate staffing, and other necessary resources? Through a ROX system, we can look at operational data as well as experience to see the entire customer journey.

    Using a customer-centric approach to business help companies attract customers and keep them as loyal supporters of the brand. It is important to see the customer journey in a holistic way and look at all aspects of the company, from leadership to employee experience to how all aspects of the system align together.

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