Having a Customer-Centric culture doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of work and concentration to create a deliberate Customer experience from all the parts of your organization.
The reason you are delivering the Customer experience you do today is because of the way the organization is. My second book, “Revolutionize your Customer Experience” revealed new research that showed all organizations are on a journey from being Naive to Natural’ in the way they focus on the Customer.
We use a Customer Experience Assessment model called Naive to Natural to assess our client’s Customer centricity, defining the level of Customer focus you have currently. The assessment looks at what parts of your organization are where on the journey toward being “Natural,” which is our term for those companies that truly have a Customer Experience that is focused on Customers first. To reach this Natural state however, you have to look at your whole process, all the parts of the experience, and most importantly where you are going to make changes that transform the status quo.
This post is the first in a series of nine blogs looking at the things an organization does to affect a Customer’s experience–without even knowing it. I will start with the first area: People.
What Your People Need to be More Customer Focused.
What employees need to be engaged and deliver the Customer Experience isn’t all that different from what your Customer’s need. Employees are just like Customers in that they are at their best at work when they are Happy and Pleased.
Happy and pleased as it applies to employees means fulfilled by their work and feeling like they are making a difference. When you have this type of emotional connection with your employees, your organization can become the most naturally Customer-centric organization, at least in this first area of the nine.
Developing happy and pleased employees has a four-part formula:
1. Recruit those with the right tools, which includes a high EQ as aptitude and technical skills are not enough.
Being Natural in your Customer Centricity requires an emphasis from senior management on down to having the right people as early as recruitment. Many organizations that are considered “Naive,” tend to focus on people that have the right skills and product knowledge as well as a familiarity with the industry. These things are not enough, however, nor is it enough for them to have a “positive attitude.” Being truly natural in Customer Centricity requires that you recruit people that good at evoking emotions. It’s best to administer a Psychometric test that identifies the best candidates with innate skills at evoking planned emotions–and that also weeds out the ones who do not possess this essential skill.
2. Develop their natural ability to perform your Customer Experience Statement (CES), or a defined experience that you have designed your Customer Experience to deliver.
Now that you have recruited the right people, it is essential that your training builds upon these innate skills to evoke the emotions you want in your experience. This training, however, depends on the fact that your senior management team has agreed upon a specific emotional experience they want for their Customers. Employee training should include an emphasis on specific phrases and acting techniques to evoke these emotions from Customers. In addition, employee must have a mastery of reading Customer’s body language, as well as a focus on displaying proper body language to Customers that enhances the experience. Furthermore, employee training should include a way to identify different types of customers and adapt their Customer experience in a way that best addresses their type’s needs and expectations for the experience.
3. Define your desired Employee experience.
It is crucial that you define what you want your employee experience to be, much like the CES I just mentioned. For the most natural organizations, the Employee experience statement is aligned with the CES. Part of this process requires your organization to identify key areas of concern for your team, identify ways to measure employee satisfaction about those areas, and measure your employee’s satisfaction regularly. When you measure satisfaction, compare your results over time to see how you are doing as it pertains to the employee experience. Senior management must allocate time and resources to this goal to keep everyone reading from the same book.
4. Empower them to make their decisions and get out of their way.
I always say, “Happy employees make happy customers.” The employees that are happiest are those that feel empowered to do their jobs and feel a sense of greater purpose. In the most empowered cultures, there is a sense of trust between management and employees, that everyone has the company’s best interest at heart. Employees feel that they can contribute directly to the organization, and have the power to make decisions on behalf of the organization to optimize the experience for Customers. In addition, they have regular access to social media and can contribute to its content. Management grants this access and gets out of the way.
Most of us can agree that these four steps will definitely move your people into a culture that promotes putting Customers at the center of everything you do. For some reason, however, this doesn’t happen as often as it should.
Putting Your People to Work on Customer Centricity
Your people are a critical component to creating a Customer-centric culture. Putting your people to work on Customer centricity is a great way to move your organization closer to a culture that puts the Customer at the center of everything they do.
Taking action to define what you want the Customer Experience to be, designing a deliberate way to achieve this is paramount. By recruiting the people you need, training them to do what you want, and then getting out of the way while they do it is key to achieving the “Natural” status.
What are you able to do today to help your People move you toward Customer Centricity?
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the following blogs:
- What We Can Learn from Google’s Empowered Culture
- Want Your Customer-Facing Employees to Get Engaged at Work? Hire People with a High EQ.
- Hiring Customer-Ready Employees
To learn more about Beyond Philosophy’s Naïve to Natural Model, please register for our Naïve to Natural Certification beginning February 2, 2015. Register here.
Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author offour best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter @ColinShaw_CX