During my last post, I discussed why a Customer Centric Environment is Crucial to your Success. A company that is able to create a customer centric culture will add value to their business by differentiating themselves from their competitors.
How can you create this type of Culture? There are two facets that need to be focused on in order to be successful:
Customer Experience and Company Culture.
If it is not engrained in the company’s culture to put the customer first, it will not be possible to create a customer centric company.
How can a company achieve this?
Ensuring that putting the customer first is a Top down Commitment. This means that all decisions in all departments are made with the customer in mind.
Make the Customer Centric Vision the FOCUS of the employee orientation. During a new employee’s orientation, define immediately what the expectations are in every division. Clarify every employee’s role in contributing to a customer centric culture. Can every employee answer why their role is important to the customer? Even if this employee is working in the Finance Department and not directly 1-1 with the customer?
Reinforce your commitment to these values continually. Make it part of your daily vocabulary. It goes beyond the training in the beginning. It must be part of the everyday FOCUS and COMMITMENT.
Create core values every employee can understand, memorize, and internalize. Remember my example from my previous post of Petinos’ motto, “Where Breakfast Never Felt So Good!” Felt refers to the experience each customer should expect. This is easy to understand and memorize.
Empower your Employees to contribute to the customer centric culture. Sometimes policies and procedures make it difficult for employees to create a great customer experience. Empower your employees to be able to make the decisions necessary to ensure every customer leaves happy. Set the guidelines necessary to make this a win/win on both sides.
[bctt tweet=”Make a customer, not a sale. ~ Katherine Barchetti #customerservice”]
Once the foundation is set by ensuring that the Company has a customer centric culture in place, how do you exceed customer expectations?
Understand what matters to your customer and Deliver. Tailor your service to what the customer needs and not what you believe they need. Get to know your customers. Get to know what their expectations are and deliver. Surveys are a great way to understand your customer’s needs. Do you want to know? Ask them.
Create a responsive environment. Customer needs may change as the market changes. Don’t assume that what worked yesterday will work today. There are too many new players being added every day. Ensure you can adapt quickly to changes in customer patterns.
Front-line employees. Employees that deal with your customers 1-1 (salespeople, customer service departments) are the foundation of your customer centric culture. They are the direct connection to your customers. Ensure they get all the training needed to deliver a great experience and that you have a recognition system in place that rewards behaviors in line with this culture. Have a hiring system in place that seeks out people who are passionate about customer service. Coach and redirect any behavior that does not support your vision.
Ensure you are empathetic to your customer’s needs. If they communicate a dissatisfaction, correct immediately.
Are you accessible to your customers 24/7? Do you have an online presence (website, social media) that compliments your brick and mortar business? Can your customers easily find you online?
[bctt tweet=”Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong. ~ Donald Porter”]
Share what steps you have taken to create a customer centric environment, no matter whether you are an employee or employer.