Excellence in product and customer service is the foundation of any successful business. In today’s competitive economic environment, many businesses try to differentiate themselves mostly on products. However, products have become a commodity. In the hotel industry for example, there are many hotels to choose from. Every hotel has rooms. Most hotels have inviting environments and design. Why would a customer choose one hotel over another? Especially, when there are a variety of brands and accommodations to choose from?
Why do we choose one company over another? Customers have many choices. They have enough information to make decisions that would create value for them. The question many business owners and entrepreneurs are asking, is how will their brand be unique and create more value for their customers?
Is it a better product? Is it a savvy marketing campaign? Is it more products and services to wow the customer? It comes down to creating a memorable customer experience. How will your business stand out and create those memorable experiences that would lead to customer loyalty? One word-Culture!
Great companies start inside. Leaders build a great brand by developing a strong customer-centric culture. Building an iconic brand must be driven by an inspiring corporate culture while developing core values and then committing to excellence. Creating a culture of excellence cannot happen accidentally. A company culture is not something you delegate to another person in your organization. Leaders at every level need to play an active role to sustain a strong culture.
In this blog post, I will share with you how you can create a culture of excellence that would help your company stand out from the rest:
#1. First, Define Your Culture
Your company culture is the identity and soul of the business. Regardless of industry, every company has a culture. Every company has a story to tell. It usually begins with the founder and evolves through several years of growing pains to finally arrive at a compelling definition. It’s important to connect the dots throughout the journey. Then ask people inside the company their thoughts and ideas about the culture. Engage with them to clearly come up with a clear definition of what your culture is about.
#2. Have A Clear Purpose Of Existing
Does everyone in your organization know WHY your company exists? What is the value proposition of your company? What purpose does your business serve in the marketplace? Purpose is a powerful concept. It inspires people to greatness. It can change lives. Think about how your company can add value to your employees and customers alike. Great leaders create a compelling WHY that engages people’s hearts and minds. I encourage leaders to come up with an inspiring purpose statement that would help people point to their true north.
#3. Determine Shared Core Values
Articulating your core values is the next crucial step to create a culture of excellence. These values must be shared values by the people in your organization. These values are fundamental beliefs that guide behaviors, decisions, and results. It’s the heart of the culture. Every leader must ponder on what they believe in, what are the experiences that we want our employees, vendors, and customers to have, and how will we execute those values every day? When those values match the purpose and the commitment to excellence, it elevates the company success to a new level.
#4. Select The Right Talent
I cannot overemphasize the importance of recruiting the right people to be part of your culture. Your people represent the culture of the company. It’s the behaviors and actions of each employee. Selection and hiring are in the fine details. That’s why more and more companies are highly intentional about the selection process and ensuring to get the best talent that enlivens their culture.
#5. Continue To Train And Develop People
Many companies leave training and development to chance. Orientation is not training and development. If you want to keep the superstars you brought in to the organization, then you must continue to develop and sharpen the saw. It helps leaders on all levels to reach their potential and perform at a higher level. If you want people to be more engaged, help them with their role and aspirations that also supports your culture.
#6. Model Servant Leadership
When it comes to sustaining a culture of excellence, leaders must model the way and show the way. The best way is through continuous servant leadership toward employees and customers alike. The strength of the culture is executed through exemplary leadership. Your culture is only good if the values come to life. Do we live the company values? Do the values show up in the employee and customer experience? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right path.
In what way are you creating a culture of excellence in your organization? Please share your tips below
Tal is a Customer Service Trainer and Speaker, with more than 20 years’ of hotel guest operations. He has facilitated training programs for several hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Intercontinental Hotel Group. He adds value through Customer Excellence Training, Leadership Development, Corporate Training, and Executive Coaching. Connect with him on Linkedin