Measurement of Culture

One of the first things that potential clients ask me is “how will we know that your service excellence process worked?” The process focuses on creating a culture change, building a mindset of making customer service an integral part of each employee’s job, not an add-on. Here are a couple of suggestions that will help you measure this move in your culture:

1. Track the system and the environment and how they are moving toward the culture you want, rather than focusing on actual behavior changes. For example: Is Leadership involved? Is the Service Excellence Team meeting regularly and implementing things or “still just talking”? Are processes being streamlined or adjusted to reinforce customer service? Is communication of Service Excellence on-going or sporadic? Do employees feel this is being forced upon them or are they involved and sharing their input?

2. Make the collection of data easy. Use measurements that are already in your systems and check for support between what is expected, what is happening, and where the gaps are. This could come in the form of your current annual employee climate survey or exit interview surveys of employees when they leave your organization. These would allow you to ask some questions on their understanding and feelings about the expected culture, observations on how it was working, and belief in it being a part of how business is actually conducted. These questions and responses should be tracked over three to five years consistently to monitor progress and awareness of the culture change.

Measurement is an after-the-fact metric. It is important, but it is more important in the beginning of a culture change to spend your time and efforts on orchestrating and coordinating the change. Ensure leaders are visible and walking the talk, encourage managers to support and make progress in their areas, give recognition to those first adopters. Too many measurements will dilute your efforts and put more of the focus on the collection of data vs. the change and improvements. Five to seven metrics consistently measured over time will give you a good picture of how you are doing.

What you are looking for in the measurement is evidence of a shift in culture. That excellent customer service has become a habit for every employee in the organization from top to bottom and is a core element of your business strategy and performance.

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