By Janine Buis
Imagine your last positive experience with a company. Think about the attitude of the employee. If they seemed enthusiastic and eager to give you a great experience, it was probably because they are working for a brand that they stand behind 100%. A brand that they want you to stand behind too.
In contrast, think of your worst experience. Did you feel like a valued customer? Chances are if you had a bad experience, it was because the employee didn’t feel compelled to create a good one. This happens when they aren’t too thrilled to be there in the first place.
If you ask any company if they are customer focused, they will say yes, of course. But are they really? They might use customer satisfaction surveys and net promoter scores to get a glimpse of what your customers really think about the job you’re doing. But does everyone in the company really understand their customer and their needs and expectations?
How customer centric is your organization?
Successful companies like Amazon, Zappos and Nordstrom know that customer experience is key to success. They work hard on creating a WOW experience and reinforce it through their core values. At Amazon, product managers write press releases that describe how new feature will impact the customer before they event start building new products. At Zappos, new hires, regardless of their level spend time in customer service. Nordstrom pays close attention to detail on the customer experience and their employee handbook has only one rule “Use good judgement in all situations.”
How can you tell if your organization is customer focused? One way is to listen to what is being discussed in meetings. Is more time spent talking about internal processes and issues than the customer and how you deliver customer impact? If the answer is yes, then it is time to make changes and start putting the customer experience front and center.
It starts with you!
Brand success starts from the inside out. Focus on actions that will improve your understanding of the customer and their experience. Make decisions that will make employees’ work easier and more meaningful so they can focus on the customer. Create brand champions with your employees and they will work hard to turn customers into brand advocates.
These two simple questions can get you started by helping guide your own actions. And, you can use them in meetings to shift the focus of the conversation to the customer:
A movement to create a WOW culture can start with one and send ripples that will reach far out to customers. Are you ready to start?