Ashton Media
Marketing & Customer Experience Hub

How to build a culture of magical customer experience moments

In April, 2014, more than 150 customer experience, data, marketing and business leaders participated in the first Customer 360 Symposium run by Ashton Media.

This is the final post of six based on a presentation given by Corporate Anthropologist, Michael Henderson who  shared fascinating insights into the nature of culture and why more organisations should be tapping into this to improve customer engagement.

Last time, Michael talked about  today’s customers and what they are looking for from cultures and modern organisations.

In today’s post, Michael summarises all six posts and wraps up his presentation by sharing  his insights into how you can build a culture of magical customer  experience moments.

Magical customer experience moments

Do you want to build magical customer experience moments?

Do you want to build a culture that can respond well to the marketplace, touch people, move them, and create loyalty and magical moments? Magical customer  experience moments?

This is how you do it. You turn up and you remind people about what we do here and you make them believe. This is not the profit conversation, it’s the  service conversation. We’re here to serve Australians or our market.

The second thing you do is talk about what appropriate behaviour is and what inappropriate behaviour is. You tell stories about appropriate  behaviours.  and you share them publicly – I just want to share Mary’s story from yesterday. She served a customer who was angry and this is how we responded, “good on you Mary, that’s what we’re looking for around here.”

This is how tribes pass on what we  call cultural memes; the stories become the messages about how you make the culture more effective.

Then finally as a leader, you should be constantly talking about belonging. Look at that word – belong – be human for a long time. Make sense?

There are cultures even now, I don’t know if you’re aware, but in traditional cultures, they’re dying at the rate of one every fortnight. In other words,  they’re being, but it’s not going to be for long. One every fortnight, they’re just so vulnerable. They can’t adapt quickly enough and haven’t done enough  work.

So those are the key three things. Help your people believe that what they’re doing is worthwhile. Believe in the customer; believe they’ve got a role to  play.

Talk about the behaviours that are appropriate and inappropriate and be very strong in that conversation. Not bullying, just strong. That’s inappropriate  behaviour; we don’t operate like that around here. Go work for the opposition if you need to, but we don’t do that around here.

Talk about what it takes to belong here. What do we need to be doing in the future? What do we need to be doing differently? How do we need to change what  we’re doing? Give me feedback as a leader of the things I should be changing that will help us get to where we want to be quicker and over a longer period  of time.

What do those three things do?

They deliver the two fundamentals of any culture that’s going to make it in the world – trust and safety. Safety is how safe is it for people to converse  in your culture? How safe is it for the customers to tell you what they really feel?

Because you know what most customers are like when they’ve had a bad experience? They don’t tell you do they? So if you want to get better, those are the  conversations your customers need to feel safe having with you. Hey, I’ve got a problem with your product. I’ve got a problem with your pricing. You let me  down, the service was late.

If you’re getting those criticisms coming back, it means your culture’s safe. If you’re not, you’re already dying, you just don’t realise it. The market  will leave you alone. Just move away, move into another paddock.

Simple conversations build trust

Then there’s the trust element as the leader. You’ve got to be seen to be trustworthy and that’s with daily exposure, the oxytocin. People only trust  people if oxytocin has been released. How you do that is to just remind them, on a human level, I’m pleased to be here with you, I’m pleased to be  supportive of you, I will do anything for you. Simple conversations, but for human beings, they work.

So that’s all I’ve got. I hope that’s been of some interest and some value to you. My website  has  a whole bunch of free information if this is a  conversation you want to continue back in your organisation. Please feel free to do that, I’d be delighted.

As we say at home, kia kaha which means be forever strong. Thanks so much.

View the full presentation here:

Here are the previous 5 posts in this series:

How anthropology gives meaning to organisational culture

How organisation culture affects team dynamics

The cultural elements of control, relationship and development

What is the connection between organisation culture and strategy?

What customers really want from organisations today

Mark Abay - Content Director, Ashton Media About Mark Abay - Content Director, Ashton Media
Mark is Content Director at Ashton Media. It's his job to create interesting and engaging conference programs that stretch the thinking of our attendees. Mark works closely with our industry advisors to ensure the conference content is aligned with the needs and interests of our audiences.