The importance of customer service
A Homebase case study

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Page 2: Culture

The culture of an organisation is the way that it and its people behave. For example, when you enter a Homebase store you should immediately be able to get a feel for this culture because the people that work there as they create a warm and friendly atmosphere. This is not surprising because Homebase has deliberately created a customer focused culture.

The culture of an organisation is strongly influenced by senior managers. The culture developed, is shaped by their attitudes and the systems and patterns of behaviour that they encourage. When ARG took over Homebase it focussed on developing a senior management team with the capability to deliver a customer facing culture.

Homebase's business objectives place great importance on providing customer service. The actions of staff are then aligned (put into line) with meeting this objective by providing customers with the best possible shopping experience.

An organisation needs to set out and communicate a set of values for its people, so they know what to do and how to act. Homebase's values are:

  • We put the customer first.
  • We succeed through teamwork.
  • We make it easy.
  • I make a difference.

Such values provide clear guidelines, which give basic operating principles for the way in which Homebase people can and should behave.

The values are also highly motivating because they place a strong emphasis on teamwork and the role that individuals play in teams. This is demonstrated by the Homebase Retail Staff Award and the Homebase Recognition Award - see sections 04 and 05 for more details.

Homebase gives further guidance to its employees on appropriate behaviour, by setting out the following guidance in so called 'Buzz sessions' (teamwork training sessions):

  • The customer is our No.1 priority.
  • Look after our customers and they will look after us.
  • Everything we do must benefit the customer.
  • Treat customers as you would expect to be treated yourself.
  • Listen to our customers and go the extra mile.
  • We never want any customer to have a wasted journey.

Homebase | The importance of customer service