The Snowball Effect: How Your Company Culture Affects Your Customer Service and Informs Your Communications Strategy

August 22, 2019

How do you define company culture? It goes beyond perks like free snacks or quarterly company outings. Company culture rests on the values every employee brings with them to the office each day. It’s how the environment fosters and promotes growth, creativity and new ideas. It’s also the foundation for customer service, which in turn shapes the company’s brand and communications strategies. When your company’s culture, customer service and communications strategy are all aligned – it can help your business maintain a healthy reputation and even lead to brand loyalty. When your customers believe in your organization like your employees do, it means more business.  Some of the worst PR and marketing blunders have been the result of a disconnect between company culture and brand strategy (United Airlines, anyone?). Failing to engage and motivate your employees will not only negatively impact your customer satisfaction – but the result can be detrimental to your overall reputation. 

Your employees are your biggest advocates. The success of your company, in whatever industry and in each and every role from entry-level up to the CEO, can be traced back to the effectiveness and productivity of your employees. New research from Inc. reports that customer service is one of the top five values seen across Fortune 500 companies, alongside integrity, teamwork, innovation and respect. 

To put it simply, your company culture is ultimately what will drive your customer service. And both together hold significant bearing over the success of your marketing and PR strategies. 

And it all starts with the right people. When searching for new employees, look beyond the tactical skills and see if their mindset and approaches to their work are aligned with the rest of your team. They should be prepared to be brand advocates for the company, both with customers and the world at large. No onboarding, policies, rules or handbooks can supercede the importance of employees living the company’s values from within. 

Take Costco as an example of exceptional culture. Its co-founder, James Sinegal, focused on developing a culture that promotes passion, integrity, ownership and motivation. With high wages, good benefits and promoting from within, Costco has implemented a people-first culture that has turned the industry standard on its head. It consistently beats out competitors in growth and has an enviable seven percent employee turnover rate, compared to 60 to 70 percent at other retailers. Costco focuses on ensuring its employees are happy, have a voice and are contributing in ways to improve the member experience and increase efficiencies. This emotionally intelligent approach creates motivated employees to ensure the customer shopping experience is the best deal they’ll find. The result? Costco holds the top spot in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and won best company to work for by Comparably in 2018.   

At Barokas, we love showcasing our clients’ unique company cultures and values. Rather than tell, we show the world what our clients’ teams are all about, highlighting the passion, motivation and innovation that sets them apart from the competition. We also understand that culture at the core of our clients and their approach to customer service, should drive us, our strategy and the stories we tell. We immerse ourselves in our clients’ business, taking the time to get to know as many people as possible on a personal and professional level, so we can feel the culture and understand how best to embody it in our communications work. A few examples of how we’re doing this with current clients includes:

  • Mobile startup company, Ibotta, recently secured funding at $1 billion valuation, reaching what people call “Unicorn” status. We harnessed the power of groundbreaking developments like this to not only shed light on the milestone itself, but to showcase growth and momentum for the entire organization. 
  • Developing thought leadership opportunities for executives, like Outreach’s CEO Manny Medina, to speak on creating a culture that embodies the values the company holds and therefore helps business thrive. 
  • Building a case and garnering recognition as a top workplace of the year in Inc. for clients FlowPlay, Outreach and 98point6, by highlighting benefits and workplace perks that differentiate these companies from their competitors and support the needs and values of their employees.  

At Barokas, our relationships to our clients is what drives us. It’s a partnership, not a transaction, and each team member here is dedicated to ensuring that our style of engagement and strategy aligns with our clients’ philosophy, to ensure every result maps back to supporting the mission and values.

Stella Heekin
Assistant Account Executive

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