• Ray Andrew posted an update in the group Group logo of Customer Experience CultureCustomer Experience Culture 5 years, 6 months ago

    Have you ever realized that customer experience culture is simply derived from that of the employees? I had always believed that company culture, and likewise the experience culture, was molded by the company itself from the top down. While this may be true in large corporations that have been widely established, I noticed that on an individual store basis the culture is merely an extension of those currently employed.
    Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit two Express clothing stores and noticed vastly different experiences. The first seemed to be more serious and focused, with associates responding promptly but essentially reading off of cue cards for how to respond and act. While proper and attentive, these individuals seemed robotic and created a team of people who could do the job, but that was all. Associates were there for assistance, but not as people you actually noticed. The second store, by comparison, had employees that seemed to have greater free reign over their position. They seemed to, more often than not, improvise when it came to answers, selections, and recommendations. While they were not always on point, there was a genuine personality that shone through, and this made me actually want to interact with them on an individual and professional basis. These people stood out and carried themselves like any other person would with the exception that their behavior was slightly subdued by company policies. That aside, they were still individuals despite knowing that corporate culture demands that they be professional and courteous at all times. What I notice from this is that stores create their own version of corporate culture, and the corporate mandate does not always serve the preferences of the consumer. Flexibility is key when opening a business, and I believe that it should remain true when that business grows.

    • I figured that I would try to space out my answers to this so I don’t burn out my brain. You know, I’m not as young as I used to be so I can’t overwork myself! 😉 What you’re talking about sounds like something Michael would say though! Personality is what makes the customer experience, you know 🙂 So people really do make the culture stand out, and when it’s good it’s good! It’s all about the people in the store, and it’s the people you hire who will make your store seem more or less fun to be in. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if people at the bank were a little friendlier and less serious? They need to loosen up their ties because the only difference between an automated teller and a real one is that the automated one is faster! 😉 Less robots, more genuine people. That’s the way the world should turn if you ask me.

      • I do not disagree with you at all; human interaction requires that individuals be engaging and responsive. When you reminisce on a memorable experience, the sights and sounds are clear, but they do not stand out as well as the people who truly had an impact upon your experience. Instances where individuals caught your eye or make a mark in your day are the ones that make you remember that situation for better or worse. A great day can be made worse or even better by a single event, and this translates well into how a store culture can be good or bad depending on those who work there. No matter how great a company is, one person who represents the business in a negative light will tarnish that image.