Organizational Culture

Creating a Customer-Focused Culture: Humans vs. Numbers

Creating a customer-focused culture is the path toward sky-rocketing customer satisfaction ratings and finding yourself with raving fans for years to come. But how do you build that type of culture?

Working with people can be difficult, but your customer service reps should be prepared to alleviate some of that difficulty and turn it into a pleasant experience with the right perspective. You’re probably familiar with the Golden Rule, and Shep Hyken has applied that to building a customer-focused culture with his Employee Golden Rule: “Treat employees the way you want the customer treated.”

Improving customer satisfaction starts with how leadership treats every employee in the company. Your employees need to understand that they’re valued as people and not just numbers, statistics, or seat-fillers. If they don’t, the customers they interact with won’t feel valued either and they’ll jump ship ASAP.

Want happier customers? Give employees a voice and listen to their needs. When your culture is founded in extending respect and compassion to every employee, it will overflow into their interactions with customers and clients.

Can you think of any interactions where you didn’t really see the other person as a person? It happens to all of us, probably more than we realize, and it’s 10 times easier to do when face to face communication is taken out of the equation.

Think about how you’re treating others who provide service to you. The waiter who’s having an off night, the person working the slow-moving drive thru window, the technician trying to figure out your internet issues… all of these situations require patience on both sides to come out of it with a good attitude. Patience is becoming a rare commodity these days, with our instant access to everything, and it’s especially easy to lose when we don’t see the emotions and intrinsic value of the other person as important.

Your customer service and client-facing reps could experience this de-valuation on a regular basis from those they are seeking to assist. They need the ability to break out of this “non-person syndrome” and create relationships through service.

Creating a customer-focused culture requires employees to develop skills beyond using software correctly and diagnosing a problem. Helping them grow in competencies like emotional intelligence, professionalism and relationship building will get them past the barrier of seeing a customer as simply another phone call or problem to solve.

Relationships are vital to your business, no matter what industry you’re in, product you sell or service you offer. Whether they’re internal or external to the company, every relationship determines the strengths and weaknesses of its culture.

Read more: Fundamentals of Customer Service

To help your employees build relationships with customers and turn them into loyal fans, check out our Fundamentals of Customer Service video training course, available in The BizLibrary Collection.

Watch a preview of “Breaking Out of the Non-Person Box” from The BizLibrary Collection here:


Training & Development Industry Researcher | Krista researches, analyzes, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. She looks at the industry shifts and trends that matter to L&D and HR professionals, and helps them understand how to create better training programs that grow their employees and their business.