Creating a culture of customer-centric high performers
Creating a customer-centric culture that’s great for both your customers and your people will improve your business’s performance significantly. Mat Wylie explains how. In 2019 we interviewed some of Australasia’s top business leaders and asked them one key question: What are your biggest challenges? Across the board, virtually all of them had the same two […]
Creating a customer-centric culture that’s great for both your customers and your people will improve your business’s performance significantly. Mat Wylie explains how.
In 2019 we interviewed some of Australasia’s top business leaders and asked them one key question: What are your biggest challenges?
Across the board, virtually all of them had the same two answers:
1. They wanted to empower and grow their people; and
2. They wanted to retain customers and grow.
That’s unsurprising – after all, you couldn’t run your business without your people and you wouldn’t have a business without your customers. What perhaps is surprising to some is just how inter-linked the two are.
Too often, businesses will fall into the trap of looking at their employee experience (EX) and their customer experience (CX) as two very separate areas. But CX and EX are two sides of the same coin. If you make your EX better, your CX will inevitably improve as well; and if you put customers at the heart of your employee experience, you will build a team of customer-focused high performers.
So how can you create a customer-centric culture that’s great for both your customers and your people? Here are four points to consider:
People will do what you do – not what you tell them to do. Leadership is the number one make-or-break factor for a customer-centric culture, so make customers part of your decision-making process, particularly in leadership meetings. At an event we held recently, I loved Mel Rowsell from Wisdom at Work’s suggestion of having a customer chair at your meetings – either with an actual customer in it or left empty to remind you to keep them in mind (her other gem was a literal ‘customer hat’ you can put on to make yourself advocate for the customer!).
When you’re searching for new talent, make it clear from the beginning that customers are at the heart of your business. Include it in job ads (even ones that aren’t for specifically customer-facing roles), ask about when they’ve provided great customer experience in the past, and share stories of how your team put the customer first.
Your onboarding process is a hugely powerful tool in your arsenal. Make your new team members feel welcomed and empowered by starting the process even before their first day. If you treat them as customer #1 during their induction and make the process as easy as possible for them, they’re more likely to understand how they should then be treating customers.
4. Ongoing visibility
What you measure you can manage, and what you manage gets done. Incorporating a CX metric into your business is hugely powerful, as it shows you and your team where you’re starting from, and how the changes you’re making are impacting that customer experience.
However, you absolutely have to take it further and make that metric (and the feedback that accompanies that metric) visible to your team. Consider having screens in your office that show live feedback updates, or share examples of both good and bad feedback at meetings.
By bringing the voice of your customers into your business and being open with that data, your people are far more likely to own the customer experience.
It might feel overwhelming to tackle both EX and CX at the same time, but I’ve got some good news – both of these are an evolution, not a revolution. Think continuous improvement rather than a huge one-off project. Start simple and start now – and you’ll soon notice the difference.
Mat Wylie (pictured) is CEO of Customer Radar.