Today’s fast-changing world along with its disruptive technology and digitization of almost everything known to mankind has irrevocably altered our business world and ushered us into a new era of consumerism. An era where a certain group of companies that focus more on capturing the rational needs of customers (through products and service offerings) rather than focusing more on an emotional angle, are at an all-time high risk.
No wonder company owners nowadays are embarking on customer-driven strategies (i.e. making the customer the undisputed king) to gain a competitive edge over the market. but this gives rise to a new question then, at what cost are these strategies being applied?
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this as very few companies truly understand the changes they must embrace in order to make this approach a success. And not only this, assimilating a customer’s perspective into every department (such as lack of leadership or inadequate infrastructure) of the organization is another issue that has to be resolved.
Ideally, a customer-driven workforce should be something that truly understands the value of a brand, what this brand means to the customers and what ways to incorporate in order to deliver the same brand value to customers on a regular basis. And luckily for you, I have assembled five such mutually supporting principles that will guide you towards designing, promoting and leading a successful customer-driven strategy into your workforce.
1) Authorising Staff Members to Deliver Services Effectively
Most people think that improving the standards of customer service will help create a customer-driven environment in the company. Though effective it may seem, it’s simply not enough. What needs to be done is empowering staff members to develop ways to deliver service values that matter most to their customers. Not only this, this empowering of employees must be in alliance with the company’s policy in order to be effective.
One way of doing it is for company owners to have complete access to information regarding the market, current trends and pursue opportunities to understand their customers better. Another way is keeping the customers in mind in whatever they do i.e. combining the agility with the autonomy (to make informed decisions) to respond better to customer needs.
2) Flexibility in Terms of Performance Management
Delivering an excellent customer experience relies mostly on how good you are at motivating your team members to do so. Also, promoting customer service values sends a strong signal throughout the organization about the essentiality of customer service as central to your company’s existence. You can help achieve these by,
a)Portraying the desired behavior through professional development, conversation and action as an example of how you want your employees to behave.
b)Make it a regular habit to reward the best-in-class performers and celebrate their success stories on both behavioral and outcome dimensions.
3) Focussing more on Customer-Centric Approach
You know what defines the identity of your organization esp. when it comes to creating a culture that’s entirely customer-focused? That’s right, your employees in general. That’s why it primarily falls on your shoulders to build and sustain your company’s capacity in order to deliver customer service that aligns perfectly with the company’s purpose. Also, it’s your responsibility to attract and retain the eligible talents by keeping in mind what qualities and attributes each post requires.
4) Understanding Responsibility as well as Answerability
If you truly want to shift your company’s culture towards a more customer-driven one, you must set certain standards to gauge performance and track progress for both outcomes and behaviors. Though capturing outcomes is easy, promoting behavior is something you should strive forward to.
An easy way of doing it is aligning your company’s customer service values with that of talent agenda. This method is also successful because it uses robust and timely customer-driven metrics that help gain visibility into customer satisfaction on almost all levels from employees to employers. Outcomes and behaviors, if treated carefully, has the potential to increase innovation, revenue growth, profit, and market share.
5)Significance of a Meaningful Customer Service
One thing that you will find common in almost every boardroom or corporate reception area is the inspiring articulations of vision, purpose, and mission. Ever wondered why? Because these are powerful statements that offer clear insights into an organization’s aspirations.
Operationalizing the value of these statements helps owners to frame their company’s customer service values along with helping employees articulate and understand how their actions contribute to the company’s success. Moreover, fostering an environment of honesty and a genuine desire to meet employees needs also put you high as a preferred employer.
Cultures that embody customer-driven workforce matter a lot in today’s times simply because they not only enable companies to deliver great customer experiences by default but also helps in resisting forces that try to degrade that experience. As a result, those organizations that succeed in transforming themselves into a customer-centric one enjoys a competitive advantage for years to come.