Linking your customer experience to your company values

So it’s been a couple of busy months, and I had promised to talk about customer experience metrics that happen the most, but dear readers, you’ll have to wait for that one till next month. This month is all about your external customer experience and your values.

Last week, we had a fantastic offsite event for our company. Developers, sales people, customer success & support, finance, quality and marketing all joined together for a day of fun, celebration and learning. Our CEO delighted and inspired the team with a refresh on our vision for the business. The product teams shared a truly exciting sneak peak at some of the new products they are about to launch and I was tasked with remind our company about the customer. For those who know me, I’m not a shy retired wallflower, especially when it comes to talk about the customer, but with the opportunity to engage the whole company, I knew the message needed to be clear. Reflecting on my other blog posts where I talk about mapping the customer experience, listening to customers and keeping them, I realised that all this work is pointless if you are not building an excited, engaged and empowered workforce to deliver the experience. The values that a business lives by will always have more sway over your experience than any other aspect.

At Workshare, we chose our values collectively at an offsite a few years ago. Every member of the company joined workshops to discuss and propose our mission statement and the values that will lead us to that goal. It was a fun experience allowed everyone to express what was important. Nowadays, we invest time and energy to keep the values fresh and meaningful. Take a look at a couple of our values nominations (we call them the Values Oscars):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNTV35nfW0Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZbnbXBj2p4

They’re real words from passionate people – drop me a line if you’d like to see more! Across the business, we take time to tell each other what a difference it made. And the benefit is not only a feel good factor around the teams, there’s a tangible uplift in commitment and output. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to nurture this (although it does need a little help to keep the ball rolling), but what starts to emerge is positive outcomes within your customer experience that you can see in your values. For example, in the spirit of being “Open & Honest”, we delivered over 50 enhancements and changes to our new licensing model to allow customers to better understand the change and reduce the complexity. It’s customer driven behaviour that reflects the values that we hold dear. Making the numbers matter, but feeling like you were part of a positive change can make everyone feel great. So during my offsite slot, I walked through many recent examples of how we are delivering change and how our internal behaviour through the values is really starting to shine for our customers. It takes a long time to create a culture, but championing your values can help speed it up and let the growing culture shine through to customers. To keep fanning the flames and make sure values sit top of mind, we’ve set up a group of culture ambassadors (The Culture Club). This isn’t an entertainment committee, but a representation of the business to help all of us spot when we are (and aren’t) living the values, and celebrate the positive progress towards being a company where everyone loves to work. Once we’ve cracked that, we’re well on our way to achieving the Workshare mission of Creating Software that User Love to Use!

So I accept that metrics are key, and as previously promised, next time I’ll share which metrics I think have most significance on your customer experience. In the meantime, why not take a moment to thank a colleague who has really embodied your company values?!

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