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Changing Culture From the Bottom Up


Sounds a bit contrary – isn’t it usually the other way around? Well, maybe not.


Sometimes the C-Suite needs a good dose of common sense. We see the bottom up culture change on the hit show, “Undercover Boss.” One undercover CEO discovered that there was a major disconnect between what the sales department was selling the customer VS. what the installation department was able to actually do. Something so simple but yet something that hurt the company’s image at times with new clients. Once the undercover CEO was made aware of this problem, he created a new position – a type of liaison between operations and sales.


So not everyone can be an undercover boss within their company. What types of things can we do then to insure that our customers are being treated the way we want? Start with your employees for a bottom up culture review. Tapping into what they really think and what they would like to see changed might be the best place to start.


    • Take time to really listen to employees at all levels (open door policy)
    • Create an employee feedback system that allows employees to anonymously give feedback
    • Make sure that managers are using effective communication
    • Slow down when speaking with employees – put away the distractions and really listen
    • Send hand written notes congratulating a success


This is one area that Zappos exceeds at. They are always changing and their employees embrace it. The Zappos rules are:


1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company
2. Make “wow” a part of your company’s vocabulary
3. Don’t measure call times, and don’t force an agenda to upsell
4. Empower your customer service team
5. Don’t hide your toll-free number
6. Have the entire company celebrate great service
7. Create a culture book
8. Find people who are passionate about customer service
9. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors
10. Make customer service part of everyone’s performance reviews

Author: Ann Michaels & Associates

Ann Michaels & Associates has been providing customer experience measurement services since 1998. We provide a full range of services to meet the needs of all industries and company sizes, including mystery shopping, customer and employee feedback services, and social media management.

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