Most organizations know how to talk about creating a customer-focused culture yet implementation eludes them. Many roadblocks get in the way of the good intentions. The list of roadblocks is quite long. To get started, here are a few to consider in your organization.

Silos. If you still have silos, then you can’t be a survivor in this competitive marketplace. People have to talk to each other across disciplines. Collaboration is key. Get rid of the silos and fear that usually accompanies this mentality.

Ineffective Employees. Employees must be engaged and on board with a customer-focused culture. They need to understand why loyalty is necessary and be excited about making a difference. Gabriel Stulman, a New York City restaurateur says, “How much fun can you have as a diner if everyone around who’s serving looks miserable?” Be realistic about your team. Are they engaged, connected and, motivated to serve? Is their attitude of “miserable” rubbing off on other team members and customers? Be ready to do the needed training and coaching to move them from old habits to ones that are customer friendly and focused.       Stay on them to turn around the old habits. If you determine an employee isn’t motivated to get on board, then move them on or let them go. It is time consuming to do the training and coaching but necessary. You owe it to your top employees who are excited about a new approach.

Difficult Processes. A friend recently posted on Facebook a picture with the caption, “Inefficiency defined.” She was at the back of a very long line at her local cable company provider. What processes are driving your customers away while they are posting pictures or tweeting about you? It is time to do journey mapping to see what your customer experiences and decide how to improve the process. Journey mapping is not new however it is time to do it again. Stuff seems to get in the way on a regular basis. Customers won’t put up with stupid processes. It is too easy for them to simply go elsewhere.

You. Do you talk about customer focus a lot more than do anything to make it happen? What are your measurements? Look at meeting agendas and see how often the “customer” is on it. It is easy to get distracted from what’s important. You set the tone and are the role model for the employees. Determine if your actions are one of the roadblocks to creating a customer-focused culture.

Customer loyalty is not dead. Loyalty is easier as it saves time and hassle. However most organizations drive customers away by doing business in ways that don’t create a positive customer experience. It is time to check your roadblocks so you can clear the path to a customer-focused culture.

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