Creating the customer ‘culture’

Building a positive and empathetic culture in line with the goals and touch points you have developed will build the culture in the team

Topic – Improving the customer journey

Mentor – Alastair Lias

  • Culture takes time
  • There needs to be a plan
  • Build it and they will see it


Kevin:   Alastair Lias is back with us again this morning. Alastair is from We’re talking specifically about improving the customer journey. Alastair, welcome back to the show again this morning. Good to be talking to you again.

Alastair:   Thanks, Kevin. And you.

Kevin:   Yesterday, we talked about building the journey, creating timelines around the touch points. I made the point … I want to pick up on that today, because I think we can over complicate what should be a very simple process. The more complicated we make it, the less likelihood is that it’s actually going to be implemented by the team. But this culture, it’s so important that everyone embraces it. How do we go about doing that? Creating that positive empathetic culture inside our business?

Alastair:   Yeah, absolutely. We do speak about culture, and people generally when they say culture, they think positive culture. But obviously, it could be negative culture. There could be culture in the team that’s not shared by everyone. And while we’re talking about the customer journey and business empathy, it does need to be a complete culture across everyone there, so a lot of that comes down to hiring staff, or whatever it might be. It’s making sure those people are that right cultural fit, and to make sure that if you have mapped out your customer journey, your client journey, you know the way that you’d like to treat people, the way you’d like to service people.

Alastair:   It’s making that very clear, and it’s looking at different personalities and making sure that the team has that buy-in, and by not making it too difficult, and by keeping it as basic or as we said before, about matching it up against the resources you’ve actually got. It’s working in with the team, making sure that everyone has that, so you’ve got that input as far as that goes to make sure that it really is, what outcome do you actually want from this? That’s the sort of culture to build around a customer journey, to understand the outcome. Without having the outcome or the goals you don’t know how to get there. And that’s the first thing to do, when mapping out the customer journey, is to decide, well what are the outcomes, and what internal changes do we need to make with the way that we speak to people, the way that we do business, and that is all about that word culture.

Kevin:   The culture comes from the top. It comes from the leader. There’s nothing worse than a leader going to a conference and coming back and saying, “Hey guys, I’ve just heard about this thing called the customer experience, or the customer journey, I want to implement that, and here it is, these are all the touch points. In other words, it’s a very poor way to lead someone into something that’s a fairly major change in a business I would imagine Alastair.

Alastair:   Yeah, absolutely it is. A lot of it, as you say, it all does come down from the top. There’s no good having a team trying to believe in something that their principal doesn’t truly believe in. It’s like everything. Belief is such a big word. It’s like vendor paid advertising, vendor paid marketing, it’s like auctions. If you truly believe in it, and you believe that is the best thing for your client, and it’s great for your business, then all of a sudden that belief is so much easier to sell. This is the same with the customer journey, and the goals that you actually get from the customer journey. With that belief, with all of the team actually starting to do business around the customer journey, it becomes extremely easy. It’s different parts of their business. It could be what they’ve written down, it could be the way they’re speaking to people. It could be the way that they conduct auctions on the day. It could be the follow up. There’s a whole plethora of things it can potentially change. But without that culture, it’s just not going to happen, Kevin.

Kevin:   Yeah, and with any culture, too, it takes time. That’s the first point. It also takes a lot of monitoring. This is not going to happen quickly. But there have got to be certain KPIs or indicators that a leader is always looking out for. Being aware of, wow, I notice that that happened at that open home, and not letting it go. Not letting weak things in a business slip by and say I’ll deal with that tomorrow. Deal with it straight away. It’s so important. That’s what builds the culture.

Alastair:   Absolutely. In this day and age as well, it’s something that it’s out there in the open, if you’ve built this culture, you’ve built this great customer empathy for your clients, you understand your clients is what empathy’s all about. It’s out there in the open now. People will put your Google reviews on there. You get your staff on Google. You get the rate my agents, and all those sorts of things. It really reflects so you know the businesses that do it particularly well, that do understand that client journey. They’re the ones that get the great client feedback. They get the testimonials. That’s what you want. That’s what this really comes down to.

Kevin:   This nurturing period, this building the culture, how long in your experience does it take for it to have an impact in a business? Have you got any evidence of this when it comes into play, how quickly can you say it’s going to have an impact on the business, Alastair?

Alastair:   Yeah, again. It can be very, very varied across the board with different agencies. A lot of it again does come down to the principal about their resources, what they could actually do and how much belief they actually have in it. If they’ve built their culture up, and that culture’s working particularly well in that office, the change can happen very quickly, and it will flow on extremely quickly as well.

Kevin:   Great talking to you mate. If you’re still wondering about why you should be doing this, or is it really worthwhile, tomorrow we come back, I’m going to round this series out with Alastair, and we’ll talk about some of the things you might not realise that if you put this in place, give it some time, and work with it, what the benefits are going to be. Alastair, we’ll talk about that tomorrow. Thanks for your time.

Alastair:   Brilliant. Thanks, Kevin. Cheers.

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