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By Nikolas Hatz

There Is No Cheaper Way To Learn How You Are Doing

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It’s top-level management’s responsibility to turn the company into a learning organization by building a solid corporate culture that encourages employees to listen to customers. If you want your front-line service employees to obtain customers’ feedback effectively, your management team proactively must promote this approach. Many companies have a leadership problem – why should your employees care about your customers’ opinions if the management team doesn’t care?

Build A Customer-Centric Culture

customer centric culture cardYour top-level management must embrace feedback to make it work. Managers and supervisors should put their respective corporate culture into practice and drive performance on the front lines, and your front-line staff must take these efforts seriously as well, collecting customers’ feedback, insights, and comments. Supervisors and managers carefully must analyze, categorize, and follow up on this data, which should be entered into a feedback-analysis grid that top-level management reviews regularly. Only when feedback information flows throughout the entire company, including all management levels, can companies start to benefit. Thus, you must ensure that your company is building a customer-centric culture that values feedback, whether it’s complaints, compliments, suggestions, or other comments.

People Leave Managers, Not Companies: The Risks Of Having Poor Management

Most customer feedback involves complaints about service failures or comments about services that could be delivered better. Thus, such information carries negative connotations. Front-line service employees are confronted with such feedback and need middle management’s support. Supervisors and managers have a special responsibility, as they must motivate front-line staff and analyze feedback content. The worst thing is to leave employees on their own in complaint situations and expect them to handle everything by themselves. Sooner or later, employees who perceive such a lack of support will look for a more caring employer.

Be A Good Leader – Serve As An Example

Team leader pointing at reportBehave the way you want your employees to behave – it’s simple, but efficient, advice. Ensure that supervisors and managers are available on the front lines whenever staff need management backup or just someone who is willing to listen. The challenge is that if a new CEO introduces a new corporate culture with new approaches to customer feedback, this will require companies to reassess existing staff and conduct training sessions to determine whether they are sufficiently able to adapt to new circumstances. In some cases, such changes in corporate culture might require companies to look for new employees who are more willing to support the new approach.

Hire For Attitude, Train For Skills

happy african womanIntroducing such a customer-centric culture also needs the right employees to make it happen. If you want to transform the existing culture, you might need to ask yourself whether you have the right employees in place to build a new customer-centric culture. If existing staff needs to be replaced, or you need additional employees, ensure that you hire for attitude. Acquiring relevant skills is a very simple matter of training, but you hardly can train someone to have the right attitude. Your company benefits much more from candidates who have the right attitude going in and are willing to learn skills, instead of hiring someone who has all the necessary skills, but an indifferent attitude. Studies have shown that customers are more willing to excuse service failures when employees have friendly and helpful attitudes, as opposed to acting like they don’t care.

Get Professional Advice

Excellent ideaHappy to Help: HatzConsult is entirely at your disposal to help you build the right corporate culture and implement it company-wide. We also train for leadership skills and help you identify candidates with the right attitude at assessment centers. See our complete service offer and contact us for further information and to receive your customized consulting offer.

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