The Impact of Culture on Marketing:

Have you ever walked into a room and sensed the tension?  It isn't a pleasant place to be, and you want to leave as quickly as possible.   The mood of the room affects your actions.

Now, think of the collective mood a company has.  It's rare to find an employee of a fast food restaurant smiling.  These employees act like they don't want to be there.  They really don't care about the customer and the orders are wrong.  Why would the customer come back?  If the customer decides not to come back, the marketing expense goes up.  It costs more to bring customers in the door, so the more customers who are lost, the more revenue is lost. 

For a service company, the brand is primarily represented by the co-workers.   Compared to a product that either functions or breaks, the service is either good or bad.  If the co-workers look sloppy, act sloppy or aren't consistent, customers could perceive the service to be bad.  When that happens, the company will lose customers needlessly.

It takes more than requiring your co-workers to tuck their shirts in.  They need to want to tuck their shirts in.

Allow them to be a 'we'.  Give to them, and show appreciation.  Make it a "wow" place to work.

My goal with my co-workers is to make our company the best place they've ever worked or will ever work.  I reward them for client calls taken because the more calls they take, the more stressed they get.  Recognizing and rewarding when your co-workers are putting forth enormous effort gives them a sense of ownership and pride in their collective performance.
 
We conduct employee interviews to get a snapshot of how they feel about the company's direction and current atmosphere.

One powerful way we allow our co-workers space to provide honest feedback is the idea of the white paper, mentioned in the book The Art of Possibility.  Co-workers are encouraged to write anything on the paper that they may want to communicate to me.  I ask for their input on a variety of topics. 

And probably the most important promise I make to my co-workers is that I'll back them.  If a client gets upset with something, I'll always hear both sides and most often we aren't at fault.  They know that my office is open and I am on their side.

How do I know I have the culture I want?  Because I asked each co-worker to describe their idea of the culture to me, and they all said variations of the same thing.  It is a "we" open culture.  No one would throw someone else under the bus.

If you create a culture in which co-workers feel appreciated, they will represent your brand consistently, be invested in the outcome of their work, and your customers will be more likely to return to you consistently for service.