How to help your team build a customer-centered mindset?


The Sun of Every Business is its Customer

In the solar system of business, there can only be one sun. Everything else is planets, moons, and stars. The “sun” of any and every business is its customer. If the sun is not cared for, the solar system is affected. This care for the sun is what we call customer-centricity.

Attaining customer-centricity happens when customers are satisfied. A customer-centered mindset is where the critical concern is meeting the customer’s needs and wants. A business owner should be concerned with whether or not employees have a customer-centered mindset.

The team builds a customer-centered mindset with these four things: education, empowerment, equipment, and measurement. This list is expandable concerning a business’s solar system, but these are foundation principles.

Education

Most times, the customer’s first point of contact is the employee. Building a customer-centered mindset starts with the business owner. When there is a new hire, the onboarding process should be thorough- indoctrinating new hires with the company culture. The vision and mission statements mounted on the reception area walls, or worse, in the CEO’s office, do not equate “culture.” Instead, the company’s practices- consistent practices- should be focused on the customer. The messages that are shared within and outside the company should reflect customer-centricity. Whether implicit or explicit, these messages should have every employee modelling behaviour that translates- “we are all about the customer.”

If there are already team members on the team that do not speak the company’s language, starting the process is not too late. Show team members how they are required to operate. Communicate intentions clearly and ask them if they understand the goals. Get their feedback.

Empowerment

The Ritz Carlton $2000 is no secret. The hotel’s success in customer satisfaction has its roots in one rule- empowering its employees. Ritz employees were allowed up to AUD 2623 to resolve any customer issues without going to a manager. This amount was not per year; it was per incident. The aim behind it was to ensure that the customer’s experience will remain unparalleled.

The company intending to instill a customer mindset in team members should empower them! Give them autonomy- “smart empowerment.” Team members should be able to make an impact on the customers in real-time decision making. However, the legal, operational and financial risks that the company can experience should not be affected by these decisions.

When team members are empowered, they help to retain customers. Autonomy is a proven way to improve staff satisfaction. An employee who trusts his organization is likely to improve it.

Equipment

Technology characterises this millennium. Customers are accustomed to getting their products and services hassle-free. Team members need the correct equipment to handle a customer base fuelled by the “emotion economy.” Richard Yonck said that the emotion economy is a whole system of devices and software that can detect the buyers’ “emotions.” Sales are now not only about what the customers do but also about what they feel. The team needs the resources to interpret the customer’s emotions- whether the business is online or in the brick and mortar.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) developed technology as a part of its transition process to a customer centric business. Today CBA is one of Australia’s recognised companies that focuses on the customer’s well-being. Over 4.5 million CBA customers acknowledged that they are satisfied clients. A business owner has the responsibility to ensure that the right software, correct devices, adequate machines, up-to-date infrastructure, among other business necessities, are provided for the team.

Measurement

Measurement is required to determine if the team has a customer-centered mindset. After implementing a solid education plan, providing resources, and empowering the team, measurement occurs. Be transparent in the way tracking and monitoring each team member’s level of customer-centricity is done. Get them involved and informed to keep them accountable.

One way to measure performance is through customer feedback. The feedback given can also act as a means of coaching the team members. Another way to measure a customer-centered mindset is the attrition rate! Yes, the attrition rate is not only for team members but also for customers. How many of them stay with the company and for how long? How much money does the average customer spend with the business? The lifetime value (the sum of the financial profit a single customer brings to the company) of a customer is essential in determining whether they are satisfied. Happy customers spend more and recommend even more.

Customers are evolving and demanding more from businesses. A company with customer well-being at its core will meet and exceed their demands and needs before they even realise they have them. A customer-centered mindset is as much the company’s responsibility as it is team members’. Develop it


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