In Customer Service, Don’t Mess with the King

Now that title could mean anything. By “King,” do we mean Elvis? How about LeBron James? Er…no.

Do we mean an actual King?! Close…he’s a Sir, not a King.

In the article King calls for bank culture change, Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King stated that Britain’s banks “need a real change in culture.” He made that statement because of “excessive levels of compensation, shoddy treatment of customers and a deceitful manipulation of one of the most important rates.”

Well, these might be byproducts of the banking culture in Britain, but the question to ask whenever anyone suggests a need for a culture change is “What is the root cause of the problem?” Once you get to the root cause, you can start to determine what aspects of the culture need to be addressed.

Whether it’s a British bank or a City government, whether it’s a community hospital or a small plastics manufacturer, there are several areas to investigate for root causes when wanting to change a culture:

  • What are the organization’s mission/vision/goals? These help to determine the culture.
  • What behaviors does leadership model to staff? This impacts employee behavior.
  • How is the organization structured? This impacts decision-making and workflow.
  • How well do processes align to organizational goals? This creates the reality of whether the company can move toward its goals.
  • What incentives and points of accountability exist? This also drives employee behavior.
  • How (and who) does the organization hire, retain, fire? This creates the human fabric of the culture.
  • How does the company communicate internally and externally? This reinforces (or contradicts and confuses) what the organization is all about.

The next time you have an issue with a company’s culture, run through this checklist to begin identifying the true root causes of the problems.

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Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service

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