Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Here’s the truth about evolving to a customer-centric culture – if your leadership team is not aligned on all working together for the good of customers then the work to improve experiences will be in vain.
Customer-centric culture change shifts from the unique way a business works to putting the customer at the centre of the organisation’s decision making and actions to all working together to enhance customer value.
The beginning of the transition to customer centricity starts with a mandate from the CEO. There’s a strong business case; rising costs and higher churn, evidence of customer friction across the journey leading to frustration and disempowered frontline employees dealing with more complaints.
There will be nodding of heads that action is required however the reality is often a prevailing attitude of ‘is this my really responsibility?’ This attitude slows, even stifles intended progress.
Whilst you will never hear this directly, the sentiment will become apparent when managers are called upon to prioritise their functional group’s focus, effort and budget to begin the work of improving customer experience.
The transition to customer centricity seems to be most difficult for function group leaders and their teams who are non-customer facing due to their primary focus on serving business and internal stakeholder needs. For these leaders and their teams, the shift to serving the external customer requires both mindset and behavioural change.
I have found in my customer experience consulting that there’s one critical factor that always splits the transformation leaders from the laggards – a CEO with customer purpose.
A CEO with customer purpose activates customer alignment with a passion for making a difference in customers’ lives; galvanizing this passion with a can-do attitude – this activation is when working together becomes a success.