Most clients I have worked with say they are striving to be customer-committed. And yet, whether you look at CAHPS scores or the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customers aren’t feeling the love. I’ve had some clients say that they’ve had to become more efficient. They also say that efficiency is the enemy of great customer service. Automated call systems and electronic medical records are the most common examples. But efficiency and great service are not mutually exclusive. There is something else at play that determines who is delivering the best, most consistent customer service.
In 2009, Simon Sinek (author of Start with Why) went on a quest to figure out why some organizations are more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others. He studied these organizations and people and he found they all had one thing in common. Rather than talk about what they do and how they do it. They talk about why they do what they do.
Sinek isn’t alone in his belief that an organization’s why, or its purpose, is a key factor in attracting and retaining loyal customers and employees. Gongos embarked on a series of executive interviews in 2019. The goal: to understand the types of investments made in customer experience, and internal factors that impact implementation, and the results of those strategies. Regardless of size or industry, those interviews revealed that purpose has proved to be the engine driving both customer and business outcomes. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services published a paper in October 2020 entitled Purpose: The Critical Importance of Tying It to the Customer.
You may find it hard to believe that an effectively written purpose statement is really that important, but the data speaks for itself. Based on a survey of 434 executives, the following is true of “customer-committed companies.
- Investment in purpose has strengthened brand identity.
- Employee experience is very positive.
- Customer experience is very positive.
- Investment in purpose has improved customer engagement.
- Their investment in purpose has increased customer loyalty.
- Investment in purpose has increased growth.
The study makes it clear that not just any old purpose statement will do. The purpose must explain the organization’s reason for being. It should succinctly describe how the organization is making a difference. Not only must the customer be at the core of an organization’s purpose. The purpose itself must embed itself into the mindsets and actions of every employee. An organization’s purpose must also be authentic. It has to capture employees’ hearts – and it has to permeate leadership behavior, business strategy, and decision making.
If you want to learn more about creating a connection to purpose between your organization, your customers, and your employees, join us in the next Be the Leader course.
“Customer-committed companies refers to companies where the customer is the sole or primary focus of the company’s purpose and that purpose is very or extremely embedded in the mindsets and actions of employees.”Tags: connection to purpose, Customer Service, mission, Patient Experience, Values, Vision