The Power of Customer Centric Leadership & Tone from the top!

In the fiercely competitive business landscape, one undeniable truth remains: customer-centric companies reign supreme in the profitability game.

 The formula for success is clear – prioritise customers in every decision and action and build a customer centric culture. But to make this happen within your organisation, it all begins at the top. According to an insightful IBM survey, 60% of CEOs leading high-performing companies regard customer experience as their top priority.

Consider the giants, like Amazon, that are celebrated for their unwavering customer focus. Jeff Bezos ingrained this principle right from the inception of the company. When you start with an organisation that values customers in every conceivable way, from strategic planning to daily operations, growth becomes almost second nature. Yet, the real challenge arises when you’re dealing with a legacy of operational priorities and the uphill journey to transform into a customer-oriented powerhouse.

Its complex which is why leaders need to focus so we’ve distilled it down to four key areas within our Customer Centric Framework;

1. Buy In, Accountability, Role Models and Communication

The foremost pillar, buy-in, takes the spotlight because it’s the keystone. Without the unwavering support of senior leaders and CEOs, it’s nearly impossible to shift the organisational culture towards customer-centricity. If leaders don’t embrace and advocate for a customer-focused culture, expecting employees to do so is an exercise in futility. Leaders must not only endorse customer-centricity but also allocate resources and be accountable for the necessary changes. Actions speak louder than words – leaders must embody the values they wish to instill, showing their commitment through behaviour and communication. They need to be constantly reminding employees that the customer is paramount.

2. Developing Customer Centric Habits and Behaviours

Moving beyond leadership’s buy-in, the focus shifts to developing customer-centric habits and behaviours. It’s not just about setting an example; it’s about ingraining these values into the very fabric of daily operations. This means measuring staff performance and behaviour against customer-centric benchmarks, aligning business KPIs with customer-focused objectives, and infusing a customer-centric lens into every stage of recruitment and employee lifecycle. Customer-centricity should be the default way of working.

3. Collaborative Strategy and Priorities

Collaboration emerges as a key driver for customer-centricity. When we speak of collaborative strategy and priorities, it means involving employees in the decision-making process. Merely dictating a strategy without employee input is bound to fail. However, when employees feel they are part of shaping the organisation’s future, they are more likely to embrace and execute customer-centric initiatives.

4. Clear Purpose, Engaging Vision and Values

Clarity is essential. Employees should have a clear understanding of the organisation’s purpose beyond just strategy – they need to connect with the broader mission. A compelling vision should be easy for them to grasp and something they can align with. Values then serve as the compass by which they navigate their actions, providing a solid foundation for the organisation’s ethos.

In the midst of day-to-day business pressures, it’s easy for leaders to lose sight of the customer as financials and operations often take center stage. To change this narrative, it’s essential to speak the language of business benefits and ROI. It’s about understanding who is accountable for the customer and sparking conversations around this vital issue. Keeping an eye on what competitors are doing can also serve as a reality check, and it’s essential to articulate the risks of underinvestment in the customer.

For those still unsure how to rally senior leaders and drive change, the answer could lie in measurement and benchmarking. Data and hard facts can be powerful tools to make leaders sit up and take action. By comparing your organisation’s performance against other customer-centric companies, you can paint a compelling picture of what’s at stake and better prioritise your strategic initiatives.

The path to customer-centricity starts at the top, with leaders who embody the values, prioritize customer-centric habits, embrace collaboration, and set a clear vision making it imperative to streamline focus. The dividends reaped from such a customer-focused approach will not only benefit the bottom line but also ensure the organisation’s long-term success.

Article By: Leonie Williams

Next Article: CX Story: Collaborative Water Works! 

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How will Measure Up ↑ help you?

By adding strategic focus and momentum! We will give you flexible support, ongoing mentoring and best practice to put the customer into the heart of your culture.

In order to transform your culture to be more Customer Centric long term, during the Measure Up ↑ Programme, we will upskill your team so they continue to measure and track progress in a long term, cost effective and sustainable way.

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