07 Mar Customer Focused Leadership – Making It A Reality
This is such a rush! The thought of discussing two of my most favorite topics…customer focus and leadership. What is in it for me, you may ask. The hope is to help you see your business and your customers through a new set of eyes.
Lets start with what it mean to be ‘customer-focused’. This is one of the most over-used propositions today and yet under-delivered in many organizations. You will need your organization to be genuinely focused on serving your customers but profitably.
Start with the mindset…are we delivering what we promised and promising only what we can deliver? The template is simple and can be applied to any industry, vertical or business:
1. Listen to what your customers are telling you
2. Feed this into your product development process
3. Deliver the products and solutions and prove ROI
4. Lastly, differentiate with exceptional service…one that is unique, consistent and genuine
Okay now that we established that lets define the role of leadership in shaping a customer focused organization. But before that a quick reminder about who those leaders are. They are passionate about their vision, they lead by example, they can be tactical when needed and more importantly empower their team to make their own decisions. With that in mind leaders of business, product , sales and services organizations should apply their leadership principles in shaping their customer experience. In my previous blog post titled Innovation Is Not Just for Technology I talked about innovating in the experience we provide to customers. Just like mapping the customer journey and building the experience around it, implore your style of leadership. Use this to influence your peers, your employees and the rest of your organization to bring the change in the culture.
Start with defining a market leadership position and vision for your business. You as a leader should develop the position entirely around your understanding of the customers needs – what do you want your business to look like from a customer’s perspective, identify gaps and fix them to make a seamless customer journey.
A sustainable brand is not just a marketing effort, it is what puts you in a supreme position to differentiate from competition. This is what keeps your customers coming back to you and you want that, to create a healthy ecosystem of customers and partners and build loyalty.
Leaving you with a quote from one the leaders I respect for his approach to innovation and customers…
“Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do” – Steve Jobs
Anitha Aravind, Customer Experience and Service Executive