Culture is what happens when no one is watching

Culture and customer service are words we hear often in business and especially in our industry. Businesses introduce tools and practices to change their workplace to be more ‘efficient’, but this does not address the culture part of the equation. TGS investigates the difference.

Often the most underestimated changes to improve business are cultural. It’s about influencing your people to actually live your principles and focus on developing their daily behaviour patterns. Culture change is not achieved through intellect or training, rather by ensuring you get each person to act, think and behave in certain way.

More specifically, the definition of culture can be categorised as: the character and personality of your organisation. It’s what makes your organisation unique and is the sum of its structures, values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes.

We were interested to explore the culture and customer service philosophy of Zagame’s, renowned for its high standards and creation of a ‘customer centric’ culture within its venues.

Victor Zagame started this family run business in 1971 and now Victor’s sons Victor Junior and Robert Anthony continue to grow it, maintaining its strong values with a new flair and innovation. With everything they do, Zagame’s remembers one basic but very important thing, family is everything!

The group has a solid structure driven by Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Booth. Her vision to surround herself with a dynamic team, that has over 120 years of Zagame’s service between them, has delivered unprecedented results.

TGS had the opportunity to sit with Zagame’s operations managers Chris Christou and Janelle Beard. When asked what culture means to them, they respond, “Culture is what happens when no one is watching.” So simple, yet so profound and powerful! Christou says, “Consistency and repetition is the key in ensuring the same service is maintained every minute of the day.”

He goes on to say, “Zagame’s doesn’t do what is done – we create what will be followed!”

This was recognised most recently when Zagame’s was awarded ‘Most Innovative Business in Australia’ by Coca-Cola.

Beard was asked how Zagame’s achieves and maintains quality customer service.

“We have service standards for each department and role,” she replies, proudly.

“They are ingrained in everything we do. We regularly ask our customers how we can improve and take action on their feedback.”

What makes the Zagame’s team different?

Christou responds: “Our strength lies in our differences and our ability to work together as a close, strong team. We put the right people in the right positions and empower them to deliver.” Beard adds, “Our entire team undergoes intensive company inductions, online training, regular practical group training sessions and, most importantly, on the job feedback.”

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If your shop has high risk stock you can reduce the cost of your premiums by having adequate security in place. This includes an insurance company approved burglar and fire alarm, window grills, shutters and bars, CCTV and sprinklers. Many shop insurers will only offer stock cover if the minimum levels of security are in place for all shops, regardless of the stock contents held. A lot of insurers may offer further large discounts to the premium if the shop owner lives on or above the premises and is there at night.

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