Welcome back to our series focused on looking at how leadership affects CX!
Catching up? Previously, we explored the relationship between leadership and customer experience (CX) and how effective leadership contributes to building a foundation for customer experience excellence.
We all know that leaders run their own ships, and it’s from them that the rest of the crew get their heading and understand what values and mission they are supposed to have. Without strong goals and customer-centric strategies, things may not go as planned.
Ensuring your corporate culture is strong, positive, and customer-focused is one of the first steps to improving your CX. So, in this second blog of the series, we will delve deeper into how leadership affects company culture and, in turn, how company culture influences CX.
We’re going to do this in several key areas to firmly understand:
- Why company is culture is so important to CX
- The negative effects of ineffective leadership on CX
- The positive effects of leadership on CX
- How leadership can change company culture
- Leadership styles conducive to better CX, including:
- Transformational leadership
- Servant leadership
- Collaborative leadership
- How leadership can empower managers for better CX
Why is company culture important to CX?
There are several reasons to have a positive culture—and they all aren’t about positive CX. However, these pieces work together to directly influence customer experience, positively or negatively.
- Employee experience (EX) fosters improvements to CX – The simplest direct effect is this: the happier and more satisfied your employees are, the more they are invested in the organization’s success and that of your customers. Higher levels of employee satisfaction lead to greater emotional intelligence, better skills to improve experiences, and more positive micromoments across customer touchpoints.
- Manager support for better customer journeys – Leaders who are good at CX do it differently. They think outside the box with customer focus at the forefront. Through their management team, leaders make sure that corporate culture is positive through the organization and ensure implementation of strategies goes smoothly. This, in turn, leads to better supported employees and happier customers!
- Growth potential and profitable relationships with better CX – Of course, with increased CX, there are more chances to improve customer loyalty and trust, extending the customer life cycle and potential revenue. Without a doubt, it’s cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones, so building better relationships with your current customer base is a worthwhile pursuit. Customer engagement marketing can be a great way, here, to make sure your customers are interacting with your much stronger brand.
Now that you know why corporate culture is so important to CX, let’s look deeper at the role leadership plays to make sure all the working parts are operating as one.
Negative effects of ineffective leadership on CX
When leadership fails to prioritize customer-centric values and focuses solely on short-term financial gains, it can have detrimental effects on CX. Employees may become incentivized to prioritize sales targets over meeting customer needs. This can lead to aggressive sales tactics, misaligned customer interactions, and overall poor customer experiences.
Moreover, leaders who exhibit autocratic behaviors and do not value employee input can create a toxic work environment. Employees may feel disengaged, undervalued, and lack the motivation to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional CX.
That isn’t conducive to continued growth or positive CX for customers. We mentioned earlier how EX can affect CX, and here can see this connection dissolve. 56% of employees note they are currently under a toxic CEO and are less engaged at work and with customers because of it.
Positive effects of leadership on CX
On the other hand, leaders who prioritize customer-centricity and foster a culture of empathy and service can have a transformative impact on CX. When leaders actively listen to both customers and employees, they gain valuable insights into customer pain points and expectations.
When leaders empower employees with the autonomy to make decisions that benefit the customer, it leads to quicker issue resolution and greater customer satisfaction. Employees feel empowered and motivated to take ownership of CX, resulting in improved interactions and positive customer feedback.
It’s a great benefit of course, as all of these benefits lead to greater CX personalization and adherence to customer success. This is something every organization wants to achieve, as companies that lead in CX personalization have increased their revenue by up to 15%.
Wondering how your organizational culture is impacted by current leadership?
Find out with a free company culture climate survey template!
How leadership can change company culture
Leadership plays a central role in shaping company culture. To foster a culture that prioritizes CX, leaders must lead by example and consistently reinforce customer-centric values. This requires clear and consistent communication of the organization’s vision and values, emphasizing the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Leaders should also invest in employee training and development programs that focus on building empathy, communication, and problem-solving skills. By nurturing these qualities in employees, leaders can cultivate a culture where customer needs are at the forefront of decision-making.
Leadership styles conducive to better CX
Several leadership styles align with fostering a customer-centric culture and, consequently, better CX:
- Transformational leadership: Transformational leaders inspire and motivate employees to reach their full potential. They encourage innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement, all of which are essential elements for delivering outstanding customer experiences.
- Servant leadership: Servant leaders prioritize the needs of their employees and customers over their own. By leading with empathy and humility, they create an environment where employees feel valued and supported, leading to better customer interactions.
- Collaborative leadership: Collaborative leaders foster teamwork and open communication between departments. This breaks down silos and promotes a holistic view of CX, where everyone works together to enhance the overall customer journey.
As you can see, these leadership types are selfless in nature but are geared toward the success of employees and customers alike. They each work differently to create a balance between EX and CX, but they remain the best for better CX and corporate culture outcomes!
How leadership can empower managers for better CX
Managers play a crucial role in delivering CX on the frontline. Day to day, managers deal with the first line and second line of staff and are the driving force behind implementing strategies from the C-suite.
Effective leadership empowers managers by providing them with the necessary resources, training, and support to lead their teams effectively. By giving managers the autonomy to make decisions that prioritize customer satisfaction, leaders create a cascading effect of customer-centricity throughout the organization.
The name of the game here is empowerment. Trust your managers and look for feedback they get from employees. You can never be sure where your next innovation comes from, and ignoring the feedback from your frontline employees could leave you blind navigating positive customer experiences. Enable your managers to make decisions, to have active parts in CX and strategies, and support their development to increase trust and morale.
Leadership has a significant impact on company culture, which, in turn, influences the overall customer experience. Leaders who prioritize customer-centricity and foster a positive work environment create a foundation for delivering exceptional CX. By adopting leadership styles that inspire, empower, and collaborate, organizations can cultivate a customer-centric culture that drives long-term success.
In our next blog in this series, we will explore how leadership can foster a holistic view of CX within the organization. But until then, if you’re looking for a partner in creating a better corporate culture and improving your CX, Sogolytics is here for you. Let’s connect and create a unique solution just for you.