~ By Bruce Temkin
I work with many companies aiming to become customer-centric organisations. These efforts are never easy, and they always require a multi-year journey. In order for an organisation to sustain a change agenda over that span of time, the senior management team needs to actively lead the effort. What does that mean for those leaders?
In my work, I've observed that the most effective leaders demonstrate three key characteristics:
The only way to get people to truly buy-in to change is for them to understand why it's happening. Most executives tend to under-communicate. And when they do communicate, they often focus on "what" the company will be doing and "how" it will get done. Here are some ways that executives can improve their communications:
Temkin Group's 6th law of customer experience is simply: "You can't fake it." And we can all learn from New Jersey mayor Corey Booker's mom, who once told the mayor:
What you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying. Your organisation can tell what's truly important by observing your actions. If people see that you haven't changed, then they won't change either. Here are some ways that you can model new customer-centric behaviours:
It's very easy for organisations to fall back into their regular, "comfortable" routines. So you need to make sure that you continuously reinforce the changed behaviours. Here are some of the things you can work on:
The bottom line: Transformation takes strong, committed leadership.
Bruce Temkin is Customer Experience Transformist and Managing Partner of Temkin Group. He is widely viewed as a leading expert in how organisations build differentiation with customer experience. He has worked with hundreds of large organisations on the strategies, operational processes, organisational structures, leadership, and culture required to sustain superior customer relationships. Bruce works with executive teams to define the right strategy and develop plans for accelerating the path to customer experience improvements. Bruce is the author of the popular blog Customer Experience Matters where he regularly posts insights on topics such as customer experience, branding, leadership, and employee engagement.