The Impact of Culture on Customer Experience

Aug 1, 2013
Group of hands; teamwork.

What’s one of the most important factors in delivering a good customer experience?

When I first began learning about customer experience, one of the biggest surprises was the importance of culture.

Organizational culture can be defined as the values and behavior that contribute to the unique and psychological environment of an organization.It’s based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valued.

Organizational culture is unique to each organization and even unique within smaller groups in an organization. It is one of the most difficult things to change.

But without a culture that embraces customer experience, you can’t deliver great customer experience. Simply put, if an organization doesn’t make customer experience a priority, why would employees work to improve it? Creating a culture of customer experience includes many areas, including:

  1. Recruiting and retaining employees
  2. Training
  3. Employee engagement
  4. Celebrating when employees deliver a “wow” customer experience based on data
  5. Telling customer experience stories, and
  6. Communicating across the organization

You may have read about the Customer Experience (CX) index we are creating in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) at GSA. We are fortunate that our service to the public through, the National Contact Center, and the Publications Distribution Program value customer experience and have a passion for providing a “wow” customer experience to the public. In much of our other work supporting federal agencies through the User Experience Program and, our team also values a “wow” experience to our customers, but it isn’t always consistent across the entire organization.

When programs are driven by those outside your organization, it can be more challenging to make your customers’ preferences heard. But by collecting qualitative data through our Digital Analytics Program on key performance indicators on websites and our CXi, data-driven decisions can be made.

We are creating a CX Culture team to identify efforts to take our culture to the next level. We’re just in the very early stages. Some of the ideas we are considering include a CX Learning Series where we can continue educating our team on the most important aspects of CX. We plan to focus some of our efforts on issues to improve employee engagement as well. Having the senior leadership team discuss CX in staff meetings and having commitments to the Administrator of GSA for creating the CXi will be good drivers for future success.

What efforts have you undertaken to change the culture within your organization?