Customer Experience & Workplace Culture: The Mirroring Effect

by Chris Arlen on January 16, 2019

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When a support department employee is harshly corrected by their supervisor, or ignored after heroic efforts to save the day, or treated like a replaceable cog in a corporate machine; how will they serve their internal customers?

How would you?

Simple, isn’t it: The Golden Rule.

Yet many (most?) support departments never get beyond their empty clichés of “Our people are our greatest resource.”

The Way It Is…in Support Services

1) Support department employees are the primary mechanism a department delivers its intended Customer Experience (CX). And for support departments, CX is a defining factor for success. Think expanding budgets, manager bonuses, promotions, increased headcount, etc.

2) Workplace culture is the soup of unintentional and intentional interactions between a department and its employees; supervision, disciplinary action, training, reward, recognition or lack of, etc.

However, defining a work culture is rarely done beyond pointing to some version of Mission-Vision-Values on a web site and/or trotting them out briefly when onboarding new hires.

These aspirational statements don’t provide actionable guidance. For example:

  • How does an individual support employee make a strategically aligned decision in front of an internal customer? (And they are doing that 100s if not 1,000s of times a day)
  • How do support employees deliver the department’s intended CX? (And by the way, what is the department’s intended CX?)

3) Supervisors (immediate bosses) are a major reason employees quit voluntarily

CX Mirrors Workplace Culture

How support employees are treated by their department mirrors that department’s ability to deliver a valued CX to its internal customers.

How should employees be managed?

As if they’re internal customers.

Define the intended CX and translate that to every support employee/department interaction.

Simple but not always easily done, at least in support departments: The Golden Rule.

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