What Is Company Culture?
Company culture encompasses the shared attitudes, values, characteristics, and behaviors of an organization and its employees. Company culture is represented through leadership styles, expectations, decision-making processes, hiring practices, organizational goals, and how coworkers interact.
Company culture is known by several other names, including organizational culture, workplace culture, and corporate culture. Businesses create a company culture in one of two ways: through deliberate cultivation or as the result of ongoing interactions and decisions made over time. Strong company cultures result in a thorough understanding of expected behaviors, communication styles, and results.
Though traditionally considered an overarching concept that applies to a corporation, company culture dictates countless aspects of customer service department operations, from managerial style to agent performance.
How Does Company Culture Impact Customer Service?
Whether by chance or through express cultivation, company culture has a direct impact on customer service departments. For example, a robust company culture ensures that agents understand precisely what their managers and other leaders expect regarding customer outcomes, agent behavior, and more.
Without a strong company culture, agents may not understand how to interact with customers, resolve complaints, or manage priorities effectively. Alternatively, clear cultural ideals can yield several benefits, such as:
1. Improved Agent Engagement
Company culture is one of the most effective ways to inspire growth, high performance, and enhanced productivity. For example, employees who work within a strong, positive company culture are 21% more productive.
Boosting employee engagement by as little as 10% can raise profits by more than $2,000 per employee per year. Further, engaged employees are 40% less likely to look for another job compared to disengaged employees. As a result, support departments will experience less churn and higher efficiency.
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Strong company cultures empower customer service agents to take ownership of customer care and work toward satisfactory resolutions. Additionally, companies that see their agents as people, not numbers, often produce representatives who view customers as valued shoppers instead of an order number or balance sheet line-item.
3. Efficient Customer Service Departments
Finally, positive company cultures prioritize measurable goals, ethical performance, and customer-centric service experiences. Because of these key performance metrics, employees innately seek to provide enhanced care, meet performance goals, and work to leave customers feeling valued and satisfied.
How to Develop Organizational Culture
Companies that prioritize a strong company culture often experience more success, less employee churn, and improved engagement. However, developing organizational culture takes time and effort, as the concept addresses every aspect of business, including the overall environment, office communication styles, ethics, and more.
Consider the three following steps to develop organizational culture.
1. Establish Company-Wide Values, Ethics, and Beliefs
Establish – and act on – company-wide ethics, beliefs, and values. These may apply to how your team conducts business, how you take on new projects, or how you develop new products and services.
2. Set Organizational Goals
Organizational goals extend beyond key performance indicators (KPIs). Instead, these goals guide companies as they work to make an impact on customers and employees. The goals may seem aspirational, but they act as a compass to direct the organization as a whole.
3. Encourage and Exemplify Best Practices
Finally, encourage and exemplify best practices in decision-making, hiring practices, ethics, leadership, and more. Take the time to learn from employees and consumers, train management staff to prioritize shared values, and ensure that leaders act accordingly to the organization’s shared beliefs.
Understanding the Impact of Company Culture on Customer Service
Company culture extends beyond aspirational words. Instead, the concept shapes the goals, values, and beliefs that move companies, employees, and customers forward. Company culture also determines how engaged, active, and productive customer service departments are and may even impact each agent’s quality of care.