Customer focused culture

Yesterday I wrote about ensuring that your policies were in line with a customer focused culture before you invest in training your employees to deliver better customer service.  What did you find out when you started asking questions and listening to how your employees were communicating with your customers?

Once your policies are in line with your mission, you have a strong foundation on which to work.  Now we need to focus on your leaders.

When I make this recommendation, I usually get some interesting looks as if to say, “Why should I focus on my leaders?  They do not spend a lot of time communicating with my customers.” That is a very good point!  So if they are not spending a lot of time communicating with your customers, what are they spending their time doing?

There are two keys points in this message for today.

  1. Look at how your leaders are spending their time.  If you want to drive a customer focused culture (or make any kinds of changes to your organization) your leaders are going to need to have the time to coach your employees.  Attending a training class will not ensure that your employees are now doing everything you want them to do.  They are going to need support and they are going to need to hear and see a model of what you want them to be delivering.  So your leaders need the time and the skills to be able to coach your employees.  Find out what your leaders are doing and find out how much time they have available to be able to coach.  And if they have time available to coach your employees, why aren’t they coaching?  Ask questions and dig into the core of the issues.  What does their coaching look like and sound like?  Is it inspiring?  Does it model what you want your employees to be saying to your customers?  And that brings me to my next point about leaders…
  2. Ensure that your leaders are modeling the desired behaviors.  If you want your employees to be delivering exceptional customer service, the leaders need to be demonstrating these behaviors.  Listen to how your leaders are communicating with your customers.  Does it inspire you?  Do you find yourself thinking, “I wish all of my employees communicated with our customers that way.” OR do you find yourself thinking, “I hope my employees are not following their lead.”  Ensure that your leaders are modeling the desired communication behaviors with your customers.  Listen to their conversations.  The first place that we need to start driving a customer focused culture is within the leadership team.

Look for more tips this week to help drive a customer focused culture.

Are my leaders modeling the desired behaviors for my employees? Are they spending time with the employees to ensure that these behaviors are being done?

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