Having the right culture in place is key to creating a well-aligned organisation able to execute its strategy and deliver on goals. Business leaders attending Rialto leadership event series have also revealed how important they believe culture is to ensure they can continue to meet customer requirements in what are complex and changing market conditions for many firms.
Today’s organisations are better equipped than ever to find out what customers want. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the plethora of social media and other channels take them far closer to their customers, enabling them to better understand their likes, preferences and requirements.
Using such insight and data analytics to inform strategies has become the norm in recent years. But it’s one thing devising customer strategies and quite another delivering them successfully. All the data in the world won’t help satisfy the customer’s expectations and demands if frontline or back office staff aren’t aligned with the strategy.
People have always been the differentiator when it comes to delivering customer strategies and in the era of automation, they are even more important. Much of the same technology may be used in modern call centres but the company running them will still be judged on the individual at the end of the phone. If they don’t exhibit the right behaviours, a company’s reputation could be at risk and customers lost.
Leaders need to take a hard look at what is happening inside their organisations and assess whether the culture is conducive to achieving corporate aims, and, if it isn’t, commit to changing it
When delivering a great customer experience, seen as the new battleground for retaining and winning new customers, the right culture can ensure employees demonstrate the appropriate behaviours and reflect the values and beliefs of the organisation in their daily actions.
A healthy corporate culture rather than a toxic one, also means employees will take pride in their performance and go the extra mile for customers.
While CX (referred to as the new brand by Forbes magazine) is important, organisations must also ensure they are still innovating so that they can deliver the future products and services that customers will demand. Culture is once again instrumental in helping to achieve this.
A culture in which employees feel free to experiment – and even fail – and one in which they know their ideas and voices will be listening will help innovation to flourish. And an inclusive culture will help to ensure that ideas and creativity come from all areas of the organisation.
Culture and values also feed into the external brand, which is extremely important to customers who generally have far less loyalty than previously. Customers expect companies to be interested in far more than shareholder value and they want to see them look after their people, suppliers and the environment. An ethical, altruistic corporate culture rather than an inward looking, profits-driven one will dictate the behaviours of leaders at all levels and, in turn, help to build an extremely positive external brand.
Going forward, the importance of the right corporate culture is only going to intensify. It has shifted from something viewed as rather nebulous to a tangible metric that has the power to positively impact the bottom line. If the right culture is embedded in an organisation’s DNA, it will be far easier to execute future strategies and achieve organisational objectives.
Leaders need to take a hard look at what is happening inside their organisations and assess whether the culture is conducive to achieving corporate aims, and, if it isn’t, commit to changing it.