Simply put, the culture experience is the way in which an organization’s customs and traditions are perceived by its employees and clients. This encompasses everything from the company’s mission and corporate values, through employee behavior and their treatment by the employer, to how customers are served.
The culture experience can be a very powerful tool for businesses if used correctly. In this blog post, we will discuss why it is important to do so and how companies can create a positive culture experience for both their employees and customers.
What exactly is the culture experience?
The culture experience is a term for the amalgamation of the company culture, employee experience, and customer experience – all of which can be either positive or negative depending on how a company chooses to present itself.
In order to describe exactly what is meant by the culture experience, it is necessary to define the individual component parts separately to get a more accurate understanding of the overall picture.
What is a company culture?
A company’s culture is its identity. It’s what makes the company unique and sets it apart from the competition. Organizational culture is made up of the values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape a business, driving how employees think, feel, and act.
The workplace culture is therefore the sum of all elements that make an organization what it is – from its history and mission to its core values and the way it treats its employees. A company’s culture affects every aspect of the business, from decision-making to how employees interact with each other and customers.
What is the employee experience?
The employee experience is the journey that each individual staff member goes on while they are working for a company. It encompasses all aspects of an employee’s time with an organization, from their onboarding process and induction, through to their day-to-day work life and eventually to their departure.
An employee experience strategy is thus shaped by the organization’s culture as a whole, as well as the individual’s own personal experiences and interactions within the company and with its customers too. That, in turn, is affected by the levels of satisfaction due to the experience that customers have. Speaking of which…
What is the customer experience?
The customer experience is the way in which a client interacts with a business throughout the entire buyer journey. This includes each stage of the sales funnel from their very first interaction, through completing a purchase, to after-sales support.
Customer satisfaction levels with the experience they have therefore depends on every aspect of the company-client relationship. That means how they are greeted by staff and the quality of the product or service they receive, as well as the ease and speed of getting in touch with customer service.
Why should businesses care about the culture experience?
Every business should care about their culture experience because it can have a profound effect on the way an organization is perceived. A strong culture experience will result in happy, loyal employees and customers alike, who are more likely to stay with the company and recommend it to others as a place of work or to do business with.
On the other hand, a negative culture experience can be disastrous for a company, leading to high staff turnover and customers taking their business elsewhere. In extreme cases, it can even damage the reputation of the company, making it difficult to attract new talent or customers.
Remember that the culture experience is not just something that affects businesses, but it shapes how individuals think, feel, and behave too. We all have our own way of life that contributes to who we are and is made up of the values and beliefs we have learned from our families, friends, and society as a whole.
This means that culture is something we all have in common and businesses should be aware of. As such, the lifestyles and customs of individuals need to be taken into account when trying to appeal to a wide range of people.
What are the benefits of a positive culture experience?
A positive culture experience within an organization can have many advantages for businesses, employees, and customers alike. Here, it is again worth breaking down the most notable benefits overall into those coming from the different elements of the culture experience.
The benefits of a healthy company culture
So, what makes a strong company culture important? Well, establishing a strong set of core values and beliefs within an organization has a number of plus points, such as:
- Making employees feel like they are part of something larger than themselves and thus instilling a sense of pride in the work they do.
- Helping the company attract top talent and improving employee retention, as candidates are increasingly looking for workplaces with cultures that align with their own beliefs.
- Fostering a more positive and productive working environment as employees feel appreciated and valued.
- Being a major selling point for a business to potential customers, helping it to stand out from the competition.
Ultimately, what makes a healthy company culture important is that it can result in positive employee and customer experiences which, in turn, lead to a number of clear positives for businesses.
The benefits of a positive employee experience
Making staff feel happy about their work and valued by their employer has many advantages for them, including:
- Boosting the morale of employees, making them more likely to stick around even during tough times.
- Reducing the associated costs of staff turnover, such as the need to recruit and train new employees.
- Increasing productivity, since happy staff means greater employee engagement and willingness to go the extra mile.
- Encouraging creativity and innovation at every stage of the employee lifecycle. as staff will feel empowered to experiment and take risks.
- Improving employee satisfaction levels, which contributes to greater motivation and commitment.
Importantly, creating a pleasant working environment for employees can have the knock-on effects of feeding back positively into the company’s culture and making it a more pleasant place for clients to do business as well. Let’s look at how the latter itself brings yet more plus points.
The benefits of an excellent customer experience
The culture of a business has a big impact on the experience of its clients, which can be beneficial to both parties in the following ways due to customers:
- Feeling happy and satisfied with their purchases, building up a strong relationship of trust with the company as a result.
- Having a sense of being appreciated and valued, which can encourage customer loyalty and even produce brand ambassadors who will promote the company.
- Recommending the business to others, acting as another valuable source of word-of-mouth marketing.
- Becoming more likely to return to the business in future and even spend greater amounts of money when they do.
A negative customer experience, on the other hand, can result in the customer taking their business elsewhere and possibly even damaging the company’s reputation in the process.
How to create a culture experience
Creating a culture experience can be as simple as ensuring that everyone involved is aware of and buys into the company values. From there, it is a case of consistently living up to these core values in all interactions with employees and customers.
It is also important to remember that culture experiences are not static – they need to be continuously cultivated and cared for in order to be maintained. As such, businesses should always be looking for ways to improve their culture experiences, whether that means making small tweaks or more significant changes.
Establishing a great company culture
So how to even go about establishing the core beliefs of an organization in the first place? If you’re starting from scratch, here are a few key steps to take to improve company culture:
- Define the company’s purpose, values, and goals.
- Communicate all of all the above to employees, preferably written down in a culture deck or similar document.
- Get all staff on board with the culture and see that it is being lived and breathed by engaged employees, from the top down.
- Hire every new employee to be someone who shares the company values – as determined by hiring managers during the interview process – and will add to its unique identity, not just new hires who have the required skill sets.
- Reflect the company’s culture in the way employees are treated and how customers are interacted with.
- Review and revise the corporate culture regularly to check that it still aligns with the organization’s goals and purpose, as well as keeping employees engaged.
Of course, culture experiences can be taken to the next level by going above and beyond to make employees and customers feel valued. So, how exactly to do that?
Creating a positive employee experience
There are many ways to come up with e a positive employee experience strategy, but a few key things to keep in mind are:
- Show appreciation – whether it’s through financial incentives, recognition, or simply gratitude for a job well done.
- Invest in employee training and development by providing opportunities for learning and growth within the organization.
- Create a positive and supportive work environment, where employees feel like they can be themselves without judgment.
- Provide employees with all of the necessary resources and support to do their jobs effectively.
- Encourage transparency and open communication at all levels, so employees feel like they are (and will actually be) part of the decision-making process.
- Promote a healthy work-life balance, so employees don’t feel like they’re being overworked or taken advantage of.
- Offer perks and benefits that employees will actually find valuable and use, such as flexible working arrangements, free or discounted gym memberships, and so on.
- Hold staff events and outings, which can help to build camaraderie and foster a sense of community within the organization.
Providing an excellent customer experience
Satisfied clients the lifeblood of any business, so some ways to provide them with a great customer experience are:
- Make it easy for customers to get in touch and always respond to their inquiries in a timely manner.
- Be friendly, helpful, and courteous in all interactions with customers.
- Resolve customer complaints and issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations whenever possible.
- Keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments, so you can provide the best possible service.
Culture experience is a hot topic in the business world today, and for good reason. A business that takes the time to create a positive culture experience for both employees and customers can reap many benefits, most notably the increased satisfaction of everyone involved with the company.
Creating a positive culture experience that will set your business apart from the rest starts with defining the company’s values and purpose, meaning a great company culture. From there, you can look at how to improve the employee and customer experience.
Implementing even just a few of the tips above will help you to create a culture of excellence within your organization, ultimately leading to improved business performance and increased revenue. So, what is your company’s success waiting for? Start creating your culture experience today.