Building up customer culture in your tribe

Building up customer culture in your tribe

Every week I’m lucky enough to have conversations with customer service managers working in various industries. Despite such diversity, there’s a common ground that’s become a priority for the whole organization they work for: it’s called customer culture. So let’s find out where many of them get stuck in the mud, as well as having a look at some good examples. Got you hooked?

Is your customer culture consistent?

The very first thing to start from to build a rock-solid customer culture is setting up your company values. More specifically, you’d better make sure that they internally are:

  • Clear – each value to express one concept with straightforward and concise words.
  • Shared – everybody within the company (both veterans and new hires) need to know them.
  • Lived and breathed  – across the whole organization (unfortunately that’s a sore point for many companies!)

Consequently, you need to convey the same values towards external customers through your actions in every phase of the relationship. That means being coherent in every single conversation – whether it takes place face to face, over traditional or digital support channels. Therefore you’ll want to make sure that such values are clear, meaningful and speak to the heart of your customers. That’s why you’d better explain what you:

  • Are standing for
  • Believe in
  • Expect your customer perceive

Unfortunately many companies still struggle internally and / or externally, while few others instead have succeed. Here are two most frequent and opposite cultural scenarios that I’ve observed.

3 brands showing up their company values

Starling Bank values

Image credit: Starling Bank

Only customers can judge promises through the lens of their own experiences.  However some brands are doing a great job – at least on their websites – effectively communicating their values. That’s why I’m going to provide you with a brief selection of examples below:

  1. Sterling Bank – the british online bank has a rich ‘values page’ illustrating their values and showing how the apply them with internal and external customers.
  2. IKEA – the swedish home furnishing giant describe their sustainability values and program, today and for the future.
  3. Salesforce – the giant CRM / omni-channel provider smartly illustrate their 5 core values by telling their company history. Visuals plus ad hoc blog articles provide extra insights to the website visitor.

Over to you

Have you built up your company culture yet? How much do your customers perceive your values? I’m asking you these two key questions since I’ve been helping many brands bridge internal / external cultural gaps. Because they’ve become fully aware that purpose, values and actions attract and retain customers in the long run.

Time waits for no one: let’s start our conversation about customer culture now.

Have great conversations. 👊

Image credit:

About Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. In the 90s he took part in the startup of the first online insurance company in Italy, following the customer's entire life cycle. Since 2013 as a consultant and trainer he has helped companies to exploit digital customer service as a business lever. Founder of, he is the author of thematic books at thematic conferences in Italy and abroad and lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan.

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