CUSTOMER FOCUSED LEADERSHIP

 

Leaders will have to bring with them employees at every level. Approaches will vary, but are likely to include:
• Communicating a clear message about customer focus that everyone in the organisation can understand.
• Establishing a customer-focused role for the senior management team and ensuring they understand their relationship with the customer.
• Using the role of leader as advocate for the customer within the organisation and demonstrating customer-focused behaviour.
• Nurturing distributive leadership and encouraging people at all levels to take responsibility for customer service.
• Making customer satisfaction a measurable performance indicator and rewarding achievement accordingly.
• Setting customer focused objectives for individuals and evaluating their performance.
• Using customer focused tools for continuous improvement.
• Implementing effective customer service training.
• Rewarding teamwork that delivers customer value, including a ‘Total Reward’ approach that addresses a wide range of factors to motivate employees.
• Designing strategies for workforce loyalty and encouraging ‘promoters’.
• Making positive customer attitudes a key factor in recruitment.

Leaders will need to identify and respond to a complex set of customer needs in order to move away from concept ‘one size fits all’ provision. This requires a clear understanding of who their customers are and who they may be in future. Leaders will need to manage a range of tools that help them dissect and respond to a mutable customer base with changing expectations. These include:
• Customer Segmentation techniques
• Commissioning of targeted data and research
• Effective interpretation and use of statistics
• Surveys and market research
• Using customer Insights to re-design the customer experience

An effective dialogue between customer and provider is a prerequisite for delivering a service tailored to users’ needs. Leaders must generate benefit for the customer through active engagement, consulting and involving them in service delivery.