Ask 10 random people in your organization “Who is our customer?” How many different answers would you get? Ideally, the answer is the same. There is only one customer. Your strategy, resources and goals and objectives must be aligned around a singularly defined customer.
Lack of customer clarity creates organizational challenges that extend far beyond customer service. A lack of clarity and alignment about the customer leads to confusion and uncertainty about critical organizational priorities. A consistent definition of customer, can break down silos, unlock lost productivity and empower your people.
When you think about companies that provide an incredible customer experience, it’s no coincidence they are the exact same companies that have amazing cultures. Think Southwest Airlines, Ritz Carlton, Zappos, Nordstroms…great customer service and great workplace cultures since culture is the ultimate driver of a sustainably exceptional customer experience.
“Customer experience” is a hot subject these days but many organizations continue to put their front line employees in the middle of a horrible customer experience and their employees are sick of being in that position.
It’s not good enough to have a great product or service; you need an exceptional customer experience.
Photo Credit: David Cosand, Flickr – altered with quote
Organizational change programs often don’t deliver as promised; and that’s not only because they don’t align with the current culture. Many programs still have an industrial-age mindset. The ingredients: a linear view (reality can be planned for and big change requires big efforts), designed by an executive team (who order the others what to change), and rolled out top-down, creating resistance as expected – because it deviates from “the way people are used to do things around here.” Old-style change initiatives don’t make abstract values operational nor do they translate simple slogans into personal behavioral change. They don’t include and engage people to share their information and energy to co-create meaningful, practical change.
What if you let go of this old approach and mindset?
Creating an exceptional customer experience has become a top priority for the world’s greatest organizations as more companies realize that an exceptional customer experience can be a true competitive advantage. An exceptional customer experience requires an exceptional organizational culture.