Monday, January 14, 2013

Your Customer Focused Culture – Time to Renovate and Retrofit

Creating a customer-focused culture requires strategy and constant review. January is a
time for resolutions, goal setting and organizing. Take the time to apply these same
disciplines to your customer focus. I suggest going as far as renovation and retrofitting.
I encourage you to look at two areas, processes and people, to strengthen your customer

Organization’s processes and systems can get complicated.
Too often businesses have an internal focus which can create hassles for the customer.
Customers want ease, simplicity and responsiveness. No matter how the customer
contacts your business, hassle free is their desire. Look at your website, social media,
call center, phone handling and in person contact. Where are the interaction points that
can cause glitches, delays and frustration? Evaluate how hard it is for the customer
to reach you and get a timely response. Where might they “get lost”, confused and irritated?

Many of you have done the overhaul on your systems and processes - - it is time to do it
again. Lots of stuff keeps getting in the way.

The second area to renovate is your people. You have team members who are delivering
status quo.To have a customer-focused culture, your team has to be at its best. Look at
your current team, decide who needs to be “retrofitted”.

 It is time to coach and retrain. To get change, deliver feedback, decide upon a plan
of improvement, state your expectations and set a timeline. If the team member is still not
receptive to change, then take a hard look at their value.

Check your new employee orientation process. Retool it so it matches up with your
customer-focused culture. Dedicate enough time for orientation. Have key people be a
part of the training so the new team member feels valued and important.

Name a leader who is in charge of the customer-focused culture. This person keeps
important customer issues front and center. Their position must cut across all departments
so the processes can be seamless. This leadership position demonstrates your long-term
commitment to the customer.

Resolve to make your organization one that works well for your customer. A customer-
focused culture requires a regular “check up”, a champion and strategy. Renovation and
retrofitting are not easy or cheap but required if you want to be known as "one of the best".