One of the essential elements for maturing a customer-centric culture within an organization is empowering employees to proactively seek out and address customers’ needs.
This makes it critical to develop employee behavior with a customer-centric focus. Doing so will encourage employees to be responsible and accountable for their workplace performance.
The story I’m about to share details how empowering employees to deliver memorable customer experiences will create loyal advocates who will sing your praises and refer your company to others.
Welcome Home, Puppy.
Recently, we added Willow, an eleven pound, nine-week-old Redbone Coonhound to our family. Like all puppies, she was going through the early stages of development, which meant that she was often falling, rolling, and generally knocking things over in the house.
In our kitchen, we had a large set of porcelain water bowls on a metal stand that we purchased for a larger dog because it was sturdy. We had possessed the bowls for some time and even rated the product a 5 out of 5 on an online review site.
We never imagined they could be a problem for our new puppy. We could not have foreseen that Willow would squeeze behind it and catch her new collar on the metal stand holding the bowls.
Long story short – both porcelain bowls were broken, the equivalent of 2 liters of water had rushed across the tile floor, and we had a very scared and soaked puppy.
Importance of Employee Empowerment
Following what we have dubbed the “weeping willow incident,” I searched online for replacement bowls but was unable to find just the right ones. I also went back to the online retailer’s website and lowered my previous rating from a 5 out of 5 to a 3; and posted a comment explaining what had transpired to raise awareness for others with puppies who possessed this dog bowl set.
Less than 12 hours after changing the previous review, we were contacted by a representative of the manufacturer. The representative stated, “Hope that your puppy is doing better. Sorry to learn that the bowls got broken. We would like to send you a set of replacement bowls, free of charge.” We were surprised, as we were not asking for nor expecting this type of response, but we were very happy with this new development.
This simple email has made my wife and I advocates for this manufacturer and its products for life. The organization clearly monitored their review boards, saw the updated review, read the comments, and quickly responded to the situation. We see examples of this with many organizations, but I think we’d all agree, it doesn’t happen often enough.
Defining Your Customer-Centric Culture
The fact is, only a few organizations truly embrace a customer-centric culture – where customer service excellence is celebrated across the company. Such organizations appreciate that everyone from the CEO to the front-facing employees plays a role in delivering a differentiated service experience.
At Satrix Solutions, we look at the maturity of your customer experience culture over five stages, from underdeveloped to world-class. This may sound straightforward, but the application of implementing these practices requires total company-wide commitment.
While moving the needle takes effort, there are many strategies that can be applied to adapt employee behavior. That’s because employees want to be called to something greater.
How to Create a Customer-Centric Culture
To mature your customer-centric culture means to mature your employees’ behaviors and develop a team that is more than a collection of people simply following orders. This also necessitates you empower your employees by giving them some autonomy to make decisions regarding the customer experience.
- Embed throughout the organization a deep sense of purpose and commitment to the organization’s customer success culture.
- Create clear guidelines and train front-line employees so that every customer who reaches out to provide negative feedback are dealt with in a consistent and appropriate way.
- Set ambitious performance goals that tie back to the behaviors that lead to a world-class customer experience.
- Establish mutual accountability and a clear understanding of employees’ responsibilities to one another and the organization as a whole.
- Ensure an elevated level of emotional intelligence is demonstrated throughout the organization.
- Implement rewards and recognition programs so that every member of your organization becomes motivated to succeed.
Additionally, the leadership team and managers must consistently dedicate time and energy into communicating with all employees to continuously reinforce these concepts through effective story-telling.
Motivate Employees to Do Their Best Work
Working to develop employee behaviors with a customer-centric focus offers many advantages for companies. Employees begin to offer innovative ideas and viewpoints. In addition, employees are better positioned to execute strategies, meet goals, and require less management oversight.
It often takes Willow three or four attempts to run, jump and fall into her bed before she can successfully get comfortable and fall asleep.
Like Willow, not every endeavor will produce results. But with each dive, your employees adjust their behaviors and gain trust in your organization.
As a result, you’ll see the benefits of elevating your customer-centric culture in no time.