Drive Customer Focus Behavior Change
As we discussed in last month’s article, many companies and organizations are working at developing customer focus in some fashion. Highlighting the individual level, this article discusses strategies and approaches for developing customer focused people.
To successfully implement customer focus, we have found that businesses need to focus on incorporating the customer into four areas.
Customer focused people practice creating value for customers within virtually every task and interaction.
Customer focused operations embed the customer into their processes and technology.
Customer focused organizations are structured around their operations – to optimize the ability of the operational component to deliver customer focused products and services.
Products and Services
Customer focused products and services incorporate customer feedback and data to address and anticipate customer needs.
Path of Changing Behaviors
In this month’s article, our focus is on the individual. How do we develop customer focused people as part of the larger customer focus transformation? The answer lies in understanding two things:
Path of Change
Let’s work backwards to make a point. You know you want people to exhibit certain customer focus behaviors, right? Therefore, for that to happen they will need the skills and ability to behave that way. Backing up one more step, if you want to teach people customer focus skills they have to be motivated to learn, and must understand why learning is important in the first place. Have you ever tried to teach a person who had a negative attitude? In conclusion, the path of change starts with the appropriate customer focus attitudes, so that people are ready to acquire customer focus skills, so that they can then begin to exhibit and practice customer focus behaviors.
Desired Customer Focused Behaviors
We talk about customer focused behaviors, but what are they? In our experience they fall into six categories:
Knowing Your Customers
This involves understanding who your customers are, whether they are internal customers or external customers, and what they prefer.
Listening and Questioning
Employees who are able to listen and question effectively are better able to uncover real issues and needs.
Communicating Personal Value Proposition
This involves forming and delivering expertise statements that communicate who you are and the value you bring.
Building Customer Focused Solutions
This is the ability to link solutions to business needs and issues.
Building Alignment and Buy-In
This involves engaging clients, teams, and stakeholders along the way to build alignment.
Being Flexible in Interactions and Roles
This is the ability to play different customer-focused roles to maximize your value.
When organizations provide their employees with these skills and abilities as part of a systematic path of change, they see true behavioral change. Implementing customer focus is no longer just a slogan or mantra. It becomes a part of each individual’s actions and behaviors.
At Advance Consulting we have helped tens of thousands of people become more customer focused. Our Consultative Partnering™ workshops are ideally suited to provide your people with customer focus skills addressing the six critical areas above. We can also help you develop and implement a road map that will lead your organization to higher levels of customer focus by embedding customer focus into virtually every aspect of your business. For more information, see our Customer Focus Services. Or, Contact Us to discuss your specific needs.