When looking to create a high-quality customer experience, there are a lot of things that companies can do. But one of the best ways to give your company a sustainable boost is to go straight for the core and focus on culture.
The sharing economy is known for creating strong customer experiences, and Lyft is a prime example of that. Much of Lyft’s success can be attributed to its culture of caring for others. Mary Winfield, VP Customer Experience and Trust at Lyft, says that because the company has to focus on two sets of customers with its drivers and passengers, it is naturally very customer focused. The entire business model is centered around customers and making their lives easier, from providing services people want and need to using technology that makes things simple and efficient.
Customer experience starts with a strong customer-centric culture, which is set by top leadership. An organization with executives who consider customers in every decision they make will have a culture that fosters customer experience and treats everyone with respect. Culture starts from the top down; at Lyft, executives regularly drive passengers so they can truly understand the experience from both a driver’s and passenger’s point of view. That example shows other employees how important it is to stay close to the customers and understand their needs.
Culture also includes how employees are treated. A company with an inclusive culture where employees feel comfortable being themselves will likely have happier and more satisfied employees who want to contribute to the customer experience. At Lyft, being supportive of all employees is a huge part of the culture. The company has a number of employee research groups that allow people with similar lifestyles or circumstances, such as groups for women or parents, to get together to build support systems. The groups help foster connections with employees and make sure everyone can bring their whole selves to work. This is especially important at a time when other companies in the sharing economy are facing accusations of discrimination and not supporting certain types of employees. Customers want to be themselves, and they want to be around employees who are encouraged to be themselves.
Aside from support, creating a culture of caring can also be a big boost to the company. This includes caring for employees, customers, the community, and much more. Mary says that being surrounded by people who care and want to make the world a better place takes away the friction so often prevalent in workplaces. Everyone is on the same page and genuinely trying to help others, which drives customer experience. Truly caring about the customers and having that ingrained in the company makes it natural to create a strong customer experience.
Culture plays a huge role in customer experience. Brands that are centered around values like being supportive, caring, and reaching out to others tend to have a competitive advantage because customers know they will feel valued and respected by the company. With a people-centric culture, customers and employees are free to be themselves and care for each other, which can be a huge “Lyft” for the customer experience.