corporate culture

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

Create a Patient-Centered Culture

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Zappos delivers great customer service, but its leader seems to talk mostly about his corporate culture. Disney is always brought up in seminars we provide for their great customer experience, but so much of what makes it a great experience is the consistently high performance of its “cast members.”

Culture and customer service are intertwined in great companies, and that’s why it’s no surprise that the article NY nurse executives focus on positivity addresses how to drive higher patient satisfaction by creating a patient-centered culture. According to the article, successful healthcare organizations possess a “strong unit and organizational leadership that promote a service culture tied to operations and finance; effective partnerships with patients and families; an engaged and satisfied workforce; and a strong performance improvement focus.”

Note what’s being discussed here…leadership that’s strong…leadership that promotes service…an organization that realizes patient/customer satisfaction is intertwined with operations (processes) and finance (business outcomes). They address partnering with customers, having motivated staff, and continually improving.

I agree with all these points; most cohesive cultures are created and fostered by leaders who have a well-articulated vision, who practice what’s preached, who understand the process impact on patient satisfaction and the patient satisfaction impact on financials.

But some of the “hows” are missing from the article. How do you get an engaged workforce? How do you continually improve? Leadership is the start, but that focus on patient satisfaction has to begin with your hiring process and criteria for staff, what you reward them for doing, and how you hold them accountable. A patient-centered culture requires training and an internal communication plan that is proactively conveying the messages to staff that you want repeated to patients. Patient-centered cultures require smooth information flow from patients and families to staff and leadership, so data-driven improvements can be made real-time when needed and through root-cause analysis when recurring issues occur.

To create a patient-centered culture, get leadership on board, and get the ball rolling through hiring, motivation, accountability, training, communications, process design, and continuous improvement.

Create a great culture with your people to create a great experience for your customer.

Did you like this post? Here are other Healthcare-related posts:


Educating Educators on Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Assuming something is rarely a wise course of action. If you’re a manager, you know how to manage. If you’re in a leadership position, you have great leadership attributes. If you serve the public, you are great at customer service.

For anyone who’s known bad managers, bad leaders, or people in government who are poor in customer service, you know why those assumptions are wrong.

The new Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District understands the need to avoid those assumptions, as well. In the article Will “High-Quality Customer Service” For San Diego Principals Mean High-Quality Schools?, Cindy Marten (the new Superintendent) views her role as one of supporting principals, and part of that support involves viewing principals as customers. Marten notes “We’re providing high-quality customer service for our principals, and the reason why we’re doing that on behalf of the principals is that we expect high quality service for our principals to have with their teachers and with the community members, and you can’t deliver high-quality customer service by yourself — you’re not an island.”

In any business, before you change behaviors, you have to set expectations with staff about what are those desired behaviors. Marten is setting expectations with central office staff that they view and treat the principals and schools as customers – being proactive and responsive to needs. The thinking is two-fold: First, help the central office staff to see that they’re impacting student success by impacting the schools’ success. Second, help principals to realize that the high level of customer service provided to them by the central office should be mirrored by the principals in interactions with the parents and teachers.

The statement “you’re not an island” is one we’ve used a lot in our client conversations. Don’t feel like you have the entire weight of the world on your shoulders when addressing a customer’s needs – tap into others. But also realize that others are impacted by your actions, others are stakeholders in your encounters and decisions; so think about the downstream effects to co-workers and customers of what you do today.

When you want to change a culture to be more customer-focused, start by setting the right expectations of staff in their dealings with each other.

Did you like this post? Here are other K-12 education-related posts:

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm


When Leadership Creates an Avalanche of Troubles

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The organization needs to improve its culture. Leadership was blind to the issues that were surrounding it and resting on their laurels.

It was obvious that the culture had changed for the worse, leadership was driving in the wrong direction, and the main way to change the culture was going to be to change the people at the top.

So is this a Fortune 500 company? Was it one of the industry leaders in high tech? Was it one of the old-time manufacturers trying to rebound?

No, these organizational issues that sound all too familiar in big business actually were presenting themselves in a professional hockey team.

We are not personally familiar with the Colorado Avalanche and all their issues, so we’re simply noting an article that had its own take on a need for organizational change (Colorado Avalanche: New Front Office Must Show New Direction Quickly). However, the lessons learned still apply. Leadership had issues with player relations, and that impacted fan relations as well as performance on the ice. So the new leadership will need to work to improve those relationships, but the article’s writer noted that the new Team President will “need more than just his word that he cares just as much for the Avalanche (as the local NBA franchise). Actions speak louder than word.”

For any kind of culture change to get everybody going in the same direction, not only does that Vision need to be articulated, but leadership also needs to exhibit the kind of behavior that is expected of others. What leadership in organizations says is only part of what moves it toward the Vision. Look at what leaders’ behaviors really tell you about them and the Vision. Is there alignment or disconnect? Do leaders do what they expect of others? Is there a common purpose and direction?

Before you take that slap shot, make sure you’re pointed at the goal.

Interested in improving team’s Fan Relations and Retention? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm