• Transform magazine
  • March 28, 2017

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Culture code

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In a fast-paced and transparent social media landscape, customer experience and delivery on brand promise are paramount for organisations that want to see growth. Understanding the relationship between a company’s internal culture and its customer base is crucial however, as according to a new study conducted by Dragonfish – a culture and performance consultancy – employees who don’t buy into a brand’s vision undercut customer satisfaction.

New research from Dragonfish released in February, in partnership with the Market Research Group at Bournemouth University, has found that poor employee engagement weakens a brand’s customer experience.

Surveying 1,200 full time employees in organisations across multiple sectors in the UK, Dragonfish research substantiates previous engagement studies and highlights a need to invest in the workforce, particularly customer-facing teams. Employees who are not sold on the company’s brand promise internally, ultimately fail in its external delivery to customers.

For the companies getting it right, highly engaged and committed employees are, on average, 30% more likely to understand the brand’s vision and goals, and their role in achieving it.

But according to the study, 64% of employees don’t think their company has a defined purpose and the same percentage don’t understand what their brand stands for or what sets it apart from competitors.

“Tensions between external promise and internal execution can be fatal to what the brand is trying to achieve,” says MD at Dragonfish, Richard Webley, on the cost of misalignment. “You can spend a gazillion pounds on the best marketing campaign ever, but if your customer-facing teams are unable to share that vision effectively through creating the right customer experience, the business results are likely to be disappointing.”

A lack of engagement is coupled with poor attitudes about customer experience – only 32% of employees see colleagues putting customers first in daily decisions and, in the same vein, a small 33% believe their colleagues are good at understanding customer expectations.

“That’s why brands need to spend more time cracking their ‘culture code,’” says Webley. “We’ve found the most ambitious organisations in the UK consider the role their people and culture can play in building a trusted brand and a positive customer experience, and as a result can unlock untapped potential in terms of productivity, customer growth and financial performance alike.”

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