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Posted by Paul Hagen on November 19, 2010
Most companies have the intention of providing excellent customer experiences. However, most find it difficult to translate those intentions into the cultural fabric of their companies. I like to give companies feedback on how they’re doing — and to see how customer service people deal with feedback. Three recent incidents with employees made me question how well these firms were making this translation:
The takeaway from the stories is this: Companies can’t merely state that they are customer-centric; every employee must act customer-centric. Sample sizes of one do not constitute a failure on the part of a company, but these employees demonstrated a profound failure in some of the customer-centric basics, such as listening to customer feedback seriously and treating customers with uniform respect. It certainly made me question what kind of hiring, socializing, and reward systems these companies have in place.
Firms that seek to translate their customer-centric intentions into actions need to 1) hire staff who are passionate about serving customers; 2) socialize employees to internalize the brand promise to customers and show how that translates into delivering experiences; and 3) reward staff who exemplify that brand promise.
If your company is long on intentions and short on cultural change, check out my new report, “How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture.”
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