Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I wish it were that easy. You just decide that your organization is going to be customer focused and BAM, there it is. If it were that simple every company would have a Nordstrom, Disney, Zappo's or Ritz Carlton type culture.
But it's just not that easy.
It is a deliberate, dare I say...process.
Every little concept and strategy must be aligned and if one thing is out of alignment, then well you know the drill. Your culture winds up like Delta or Circuit City where the customer is confused about what is really important to the company.
Here are some of the important tenets when moving from a culture of _____________ to one that is truly focused on the customer.
1) The leadership team has to absolutely believe the customer is #1.
2) Customer service standards and behaviors have to be clear and aligned to customer strategy.
3) Middle managers have to drive the change with assistance from HR
4) HR has to align its programs and practices to align with the new customer service culture (rewards and recognition, performance management, etc.)
5) Training and communications need to take place so skills are developed AND employees understand why the company is focusing on the customer.
6) Success must be celebrated and results shared
7) Happy employees equal happy customers so treat employees accordingly
For those of you that have a customer centric focus and culture, how have you done it? What has your journey been like?
I would love to hear from a variety of industries as I believe building this culture for a "for-profit" business is very different from building one in a government environment.