Serving Our Customers and Our People with Distinction

If there’s one constant in today’s business landscape, it’s change. New trends come and go at such a breathtaking pace that, for any business, it can be hard to keep up! But even in the midst of all that change, there is at least one constant that remains: customer focus. Products and services may adapt and evolve over time but ensuring that your customers are well-taken care of and respected continues to be one of the most proven ways of ensuring business survival and growth.

With that said, you should know that a customer-centric culture is not meant to be a means to an end. Yes it has advantages like securing repeat business and competitive advantage but a customer-centric culture also has to be developed, sustained and, above all else, authentic, if it is to be successful. It requires encouraging your teams to think about how they can add value through your customer service. It calls for re-evaluating how existing relationships can be made even stronger and mutually rewarding and then ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Here a few helpful tips to help the team get there.

1) Change the way you talk and think about your customers
This is more than simply “putting your customer first.” This is building a passionate ethic to deliver a positive customer experience time after time. Regardless of how well-crafted or motivating a customer-service excellence message can be, people will get tired of hearing it all the time – especially if there is a divide between the message and the actions.
Where words fail, the truth remains. Whatever the organisation or industry, the truth exists in understanding that customers are more than the people who use products and services. They are the people we faithfully serve.
Employees, Stakeholders, Communities – they are customers too. Changing the way we talk and think about customers, is essential to building a culture of customer-centric excellence. More than motivational words and fancy slogans, this is the first step in serving with distinction.

2) Build deep, lasting relationships
Remember that your customers are people. So get to know them. They are more than just individuals investing their time and resources in your organisation. They have lives. They have ups and downs. They have needs. Try to anticipate them. Even better, as you communicate with your customers; don’t just talk to them, listen to them. As they continually add to your bottom lines, add to theirs by empowering them and rewarding them.
In short, invest significantly in their growth and development as you would your own (which is ultimately what you will doing in the long run).

3) Remember the Fundamentals, Be Open to Change
As you train and empower your teams to treat customers as people, be clear on your core values as a business and communicate these across the organisation. Keep everyone in the loop, both internally and, externally, so they can become more active and invested in your organisation’s path to customer service excellence. Remember to take those little moments to reward customer excellence just as you would to tell customers “Thank You”. Above all, be receptive to changing your approach as the need calls for it. Inflexibility can quickly undo all the progress you and your team have worked so hard to achieve.

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