How To Change Company Culture Using One Shared Voice

My friend Nancy was learning about her international call back service and exchanged e-mail with their office in Seattle.

She still had unanswered questions and e-mailed them once again.

The same person responded, suggesting that Nancy read the material they had sent. But Nancy had not received any materials, so there was nothing to read or study.

Once again, Nancy e-mailed her questions to Seattle. This time she got an abrupt reply: “If you would read the material, you wouldn’t have to keep bothering me.”

Nancy shot back, “I never received the material. And whatever happened to customer service?” The response from Seattle? “I’m not in Customer Service. I’m in Sales.”

This episode illustrates one of the great challenges in business: how to get everyone thinking, speaking and acting as a coherent organization, presenting “one shared voice” to the customer. There is clearly a need to learn how to change company culture here.

The challenge of how to change company culture is inherent in the nature of specialized companies today. Precise engineers are hired for different tasks and purposes than the extroverts whooping it up in Sales. Detailed accountants are trained much differently than the expansive minds in Marketing and Communications. People in Production are measured differently from the team in After-Sales Service.

So what can you do to when you need to know how to change company culture to one where people understand one another and everyone works together? How can you build your team so the folks in Sales realize they are also in Customer Service?

Here’s one set of proven and effective ideas on how to change company culture. Try them!

• Use cross-functional teams to tackle persistent issues and organizational problems.

• Involve people throughout the company in joint training programs that focus on how to change company culture in the direction you desire.

• Schedule time for frequent rotation and attachment of staff between various departments.

• Send cross-functional groups on “mystery shopping” tours to competitive organizations.

• Get every department involved in focus group meetings to study customer compliments and complaints.

• Create a recognition program to praise cross-functional communication and improvements.

• Implement a reward scheme for everyone based upon overall company performance.

• Communicate customer issues to every person in every department through meetings, newsletters, e-mail, intranet and bulletin boards.

Key Learning Point For How To Change Company Culture

In the hustle of day-to-day business, many people focus largely on the job at hand. This narrow view may help them “get their job done,” but may also blind them to shared customer and company concerns. How to change company culture can become an issue in these cases.

Action Steps For How To Change Company Culture

Implement activities that encourage cross-functional sharing, caring and interdependence. Insist upon “one shared voice” that understands and serves your customers. Learning how to change company culture demands the use of a unified front.

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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.

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