Customer needs are best identified and met locally, not centrally. Leaders need to create a positive environment for reform, creating the right organisational conditions and empowering staff. Leadership is central to Customer Service Excellence ®. It supports the qualities of leaders including customer empathy, commitment to excellence throughout the organisation, capacity to influence wider service delivery systems, and encouragement for co-development of services.

To be most effective, leaders need to find ways of providing responsive services and recognising the needs of their service users, including those who need help the most. And inherent in meeting customer needs is co-operation between leaders within the organisation and across sectors, often engaging with multiple partners to ensure that complex requirements can be delivered, seamlessly, to the customer.