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Customer Culture

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Customer Culture

How FedEx and Other Great Companies Put the Customer First Every Day

FT Prentice Hall,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You know how to set goals focused on customer service, but do you know how to build a service-based cultural system?

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Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • For Beginners


Author Michael D. Basch believes the best way to affect employee behavior is to create an organizational culture that is focused around the customer. As advocated by many other experts, he teaches that you have to put the customer first to keep people coming back and remain profitable. While the message is very familiar, Basch’s examples make his book intriguing. He cites case histories from his 10 years as a FedEx founder and his previous eight years at UPS. The examples are apt, since FedEx bends over backward to satisfy customer needs, even if it suffers a short-term loss, and the FedEx story is very compelling. However, other examples citing a small picture frame shop and a dental office seem like unnecessary candles on a well-decorated cake, although they show the strength of valuing customer service in other settings. relished the inside look at FedEx and UPS, and recommends this nice reminder of customer care principles.


Culture Rules

People behave based on the culture of an organization. If your culture is dedicated to providing customers with a high-level of performance, then your employees will provide that performance. If your culture doesn’t value such performance, neither will your employees. The overall cultural system in your company is deeply influential, because habit conditions everything people do and habit derives from culture. If you create a culture where you clearly indicate the high performance behaviors you want, most people will develop those behaviors. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your culture.

The Power of a System Devoted to Customer Care

For the greatest long-term success, build a "Customer Culture" in which employees are committed to serving both internal and external customers continually. Use a cycle of goal, relevance, action and feedback to support your vision and values. Start by stating a goal focused on a relevant achievement. Employees should act to reach the goal as you provide feedback. With the insights from that experience, employees can move to the next goal. This cycle fosters evolutionary progress, so employees generally improve...

About the Author

Michael D. Basch was a founding officer of FedEx, where he spent 10 years as Senior Vice President. Before joining FedEx, he spent eight years with UPS in sales, personnel, operations and industrial engineering. After leaving FedEx, he founded and served as president of Service Impact, a firm specializing in advancing the art, science and practice of leadership. He is currently Chief Information Officer of Enalasys Corporation, a company that develops advanced diagnostic technology to improve the quality, comfort and cost of the indoor environment.

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