Choosing to create a culture of customer centricity involves many specific actions, processes, initiatives, and methods to make sure the outcome is not only what is intended, but also expected, in order to make a real difference to the overall success of your organization. As such, it is the role of a great leader to help their people do what is necessary to bring customer centricity to life, within the broader context of many other equally crucial and demanding activities. In this video, Phil Geldart, author of "Customer Centricity: A Present and Future Priority," explains the role great leaders play in a customer centric culture.
Phil Geldart: And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize, to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves.
Customer centricity is a culture. It's not easy because it means that everybody in the organization is thinking about the customer. The reason that's not easy is because many people in the organization never actually meet a customer. They never talk to a customer and they feel, “oh, customer centricity is what happens at the front lines.” What happens at the front lines is customer service; within the organization, it’s customer centricity.
So now: I'm an employee, how do I start thinking about the customer? How do I start evaluating whether the decisions I'm making are actually going to benefit the customer? I'm going to look at my leader. I'm going to expect my leader to be there to help me think about the customer, to show me how to think about the customer, to remind me about thinking about the customer. If my leader doesn't do that, I'm just going to focus on my job. So, the leadership is vital within any organization, if you truly want to be customer-centric.
Which leads to an interesting question: do the leaders know how to do that? Because the leaders know how to do their job. And it's difficult for them to think about the customers because they, too, have leaders. And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize that to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves. And then to equip them to take those skills and that thinking, and coach their employees to do the same. You can't have customer centricity without great leaders who are modeling that behavior and coaching others to do the same.