We all know we are supposed to lead customer centric organizations. The problem, as I see it, is that we evaluate our level of customer centricity through our feelings and not our actions.
Too many people feel wonderfully warm and grateful when asked if they are customer focused. “Of course, I am, I love our customers!” might even be their response. But I’m more concerned with actions.
Please take a moment and rate your organization against the activities, behaviors and beliefs on the next page. This assessment appears courtesy of author Howard Hauser, and is used with permission.
If your score is between 84 and 92, you are a customer-centric business. If you scored between 74 and 83, then you are getting close to customer centric. If you scored between 64 and 73, you have lots of room to improve. If you scored 54-63, you are having difficulty competing. And if you scored below 54, you need help; without a change, your business is in jeopardy.
I don’t have to ask if you’re happy with your score. I’ve seen hundreds of people develop irritable bowel syndrome as they fill out this survey. What’s often fascinating is that you can be a financially successful company and still score poorly. That just shows how low the customer service bar has been set and how great your opportunity to improve is. Notice also, that none of the activities of being customer centric are difficult or expensive. This is good news!
When you elevate the customer experience to a “must have differentiator” you and your people will find lots of ways to create it. As you build a line of sight connection between your people and your customers, you’ll find your people will naturally find ways to improve their customers’ experiences. It’s fun to serve and contribute to other’s happiness. It’s fulfilling and paradoxically, I’m having a better work experience when I’m allowed the freedom to make my customers happy.
In the ’80s the mantra was “Quality is Free” and now we need to be thinking “The Customer’s Engagement is Free.”