Customer experience: Corporate culture isn’t enough


This is a guest post from Martha Brooke, Chief CX Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics.

To deliver great customer experiences, an entire industry has been built around strengthening corporate culture. And while corporate culture is part of the solution, it’s not enough. If it were, you’d simply have to decide on your ideal values, atmosphere, tone, and image, share that vision with your organization—and voilà, a great customer experience would be born.

But it’s not that simple. Customer experience fails not because of flawed corporate culture—it fails because companies don’t have concrete protocols to translate big ideas into action. For this, you need clear steps that show associates exactly how to handle particular personas and situations. These steps should address customers’ varying emotional states and objectives at each touchpoint.

So, if you’re seeking to deliver a great customer experience, here are some steps to follow:

  • Define your goals and “big ideas.” Perhaps you want to build customer loyalty, showcase your brand, or increase first call resolution (FCR).
  • Observe your customer service in action with statistically valid sampling of customer interactions, qualitative mystery shopping, and other research methods
  • Determine your top areas to improve.
  • Design clear protocols that show associates how optimal interactions should unfold.
  • Discuss and roleplay those protocols with your team.

Who’s in charge of all this? Not your associates—they’re busy handling customers, and don’t have time to design comprehensive protocols for every situation.

It’s the responsibility of management to provide high-quality coaching and education. This way, your associates will be fully equipped to provide experiences that exceed customer expectations.

A clear example comes from a recent client project. An important part of our client’s culture was about leading through education, making comprehensive, thoughtful answers key to a great customer experience.

When we started the project, associates closed calls with “Did I answer all your questions?”—a trite, unremarkable ending. To advance how our client could better demonstrate their values (and provide a great customer experience), we used specific scoring rules to evaluate customer service performance and areas to improve. We measured:

  • Macro Information: relevant, large-scale marketplace factors.
  • Micro Information: local, personal contexts.
  • Clarity: use of customer-friendly terms.
  • Proactivity: how much customers had to prompt associates to address their concerns.

Looked at this way, our client had a long way to go to fulfill and demonstrate their brand values. Our client had the right culture in mind, which informed their planning—but that plan didn’t have substance.

So establish precise protocols, because with this, you’ll make the leap from hoping for a great customer experience to making it happen.


This is a guest post from Martha Brooke, Chief CX Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics.


Martha BrookeBio: Martha Brooke is the Chief CX Analyst and Founder of Interaction Metrics, a customer experience agency that dramatically boosts the value of surveys, customer service evaluations, and other CX methods. Interaction Metrics offers a free MetricsLAB™; it’s a great way to learn about the pros and cons of various metrics, and the best ones to achieve your goals.

Photo Credit: The Daring Librarian Flickr via Compfight cc

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