Can you create a customer responsive culture?

It was found by Market Research that higher employee satisfaction and commitment at outlets translated into a higher number of customer visits and increased customer spending.

Based on the results of this survey, Shopper’s Stop has designed a series of reward and recognition programs aimed at improving employee loyalty and thereby increasing customer commitment.

Except for a few researchers interest in customer satisfaction through improvements in quality, the field of management has generally ignored the customer. Focusing on the customer was thought to be the concern of people who study ad practice marketing. But the field of management can contribute to improving an organization’s performance by showing managers how employee attitudes and behavior are associated with customer satisfaction. Many an organization has failed because its employees failed to please the customer. So management needs to create customer responsive culture where employees are friendly and courteous, accessible, knowledgeable, prompt in responding to customer needs and willing to do what’s necessary to please the customer.

French retailers have a well established reputation for indifference to customers. Sales people, for instance, routinely make it clear that their phone conversations should not be interrupted. Just getting any help at all from a salesperson can be a challenge. And no one in France find it particularly surprising that the owner of a Paris store should complain that he was unable to work on his books all morning because he was bothered by customers.

Most organizations today are trying hard to be un-French like. They are attempting to create a customer responsive culture because they recognize that it is the path to customer loyalty and long term profitability. Companies that have created such cultures – Southwest Airlines, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Nordstrom, and Jet Airways and Shoppe’s Stop in India – have built a strong and loyal customer base and have generally outperformed their competitors in revenue growth and financial performance. Let’s look at the variables that shape customer responsive cultures and offer some suggestions that management can follow fir creating such cultures.

What are the key variables shaping customer responsive cultures?

Empowerment: The redesigning of jobs in order to increase the decision making discretion of workers.

A review of the evidence finds that several variables are routinely evident in customer responsive cultures. First is the type of employees themselves. Successful, service oriented organizations hire employees who are outgoing and friendly. Second, service employees need to have the freedom to meet changing customer service requirements. Rigid rules, procedures, and regulations make this task difficult Third, employees need to be empowered. Empowerment means employees have the decision discretion to do what’s necessary to please the customer.

Shaping a Customer Responsive Culture:

Excellent customer Service >> Hire Properly + Freedom to act + Empower employee + Good Listening skills + Organizational Citizenship behaviors

Employees in customer responsive cultures have the ability to listen to and understand messages sent by the customer. Finally, customer responsive cultures have employees who exhibit organizational citizenship behavior. They are conscientious in their desire to please the customer. And they’re willing to take the initiative, even when it’s outside their normal job requirements, to satisfy a customer’s needs.

Customer responsive cultures hire service oriented employees with good listening skills and the willingness to go beyond the constraints of their job descriptions to do what’s necessary to please the customer. It then clarifies their roles, frees them up to meet changing customer needs by minimizing rules and regulations, and provides them with a wide range of decision discretion to do heir jobs as they see fit.

Comments are closed.