Three Steps to a Customer-Centric Organization

The 2011 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer reports that 60 percent of U.S. consumer respondents believe that businesses have not increased their focus on providing good customer service.  Even more surprising, 26 percent think companies are actually paying less attention to service.

Wow—now is your chance to be the one who CAREs about service!  Here are three places to start being the one who leads the charge so everyone in the organization has a customer service mindset:

  1. Declare “legendary customer service” as an imperative. Put it out there. Say, “We want to be #1 in our space for delivering Legendary Customer Service.” Show any metrics you currently have and set new targets /metrics for success by showing what a good job would look like.  Explain the business imperative for service and have a kick-off meeting where senior leaders model the service they want others to emulate—greeting people at the door, shaking hands, valuing them for all they do, etc.  In this meeting, actively involve people in activities, get them fired up about the initiative, and have them challenge each other to rally to serve customers and contribute to the vitality of the organization.
  2. Establish a service champion team who will go out and walk in the customer’s shoes.  Do some action learning.   Map the flow of customers and research positives and negatives by asking customers, employees, suppliers, and anyone who is in the service chain for their thoughts on what is working and what could be improved. Put them on the agenda at all company meetings to share their findings and use time to brainstorm options, set goals, create first steps, and assign roles.
  3. Immediately showcase individual employee customer success stories and create images for everyone of the optimal service you are looking for. Remember that the brain stores in images and not words, so to create momentum, be sure to highlight ideal service successes and let people see their outstanding peers in action.  Show examples of customers singing praises to demonstrate the impact of great service. Share any improvements such as fewer complaints, improved referrals, or more repeat business.

As a leader, it’s important that you demonstrate a service mindset and show others how to accomplish it.  By following these three steps, you can get your organization off to a good start on a path that will lead to better performance.

“Creating an environment where goals are clear, where success can be seen, and where learning is encouraged will help employees engage customers with a true sense of meaning.”               

– Garry Ridge, President and CEO, WD-40 Company

3 thoughts on “Three Steps to a Customer-Centric Organization

  1. This is one helluva article. I have been notorious for my statements in interviews where I proudly tell the interviewer that I am more loyal to the customer than to the company cause NO CUSTOMER….. NO COMPANY.

  2. Pingback: Three Steps to Better Customer Service - Lawrence Report | Lawrence Report

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