What does the culture of a company mean?

I hear this so often from clients, our culture is to be more responsive to customers, or customer centric or other variations of the same theme. It’s an aspiration of how the retailer wants to be perceived because their lifeblood is their ability to keep customers coming back to their store. The reality is that in many instances there’s a disconnect between the aspiration and the reality. Don’t get me wrong there are many retailers that talk the talk and walk the walk, but others simply don’t execute on the promise. Company cultures are living, breathing organism. The framework has to be developed top down and then allowed to grow organically. It’s learned behavior when executed properly and it starts internally. I witnessed instances where management treats employees discourteously and dismissively while espousing a customer centric culture. The framework starts with treating your employees the way you want them to treat customers. If management’s behavior mirrors the age old adage “Do as I say not as I do” your customer centric culture is doomed. On the other hand once if it’s consistent to your defined goal it will flourish organically.

A great book to read that will provide an in-depth blueprint on the value of customer retention and the importance of loyal employees in achieving customer loyalty is “ The Ultimate Question” by Fred Reichheld.