Learning from the Front
Walking the Talk
In the world of client service and customer experience I hear business leaders who are great at talking the talk. Predictably, people inside their organisations are hearing exactly the same thing.
What these leaders don’t seem to realise is there is a huge difference between talking and walking the talk. Customers are the first to pick up on this difference, and react to it.
When I evaluate any service on customer experience performance, I look for leadership behaviour that highlights this “walk the talk” approach. It usually means the CEO or owner taking time to interact with front counter staff and also with customers.
The Supermarket Owner
At the local Super Value supermarket, where I go several times a week, I see the owner Stuart helping to stack shelves with his team, operating one of the checkouts, or chatting with customers.
If I need any help or wish to offer feedback on a product or service, the opportunity to deal with the owner invariably exists. Stuart (pictured above) makes a point of spending time on the shop floor.
Making sound business decisions relies on more than evaluating the numbers. It is based on a working knowledge of how customers feel and respond when dealing with your company.
Commitment To Get Involved
Any effective customer experience strategy involves the business owner/manager committing to direct, personal involvement with frontline staff and customers, as with Stuart.
Achieving a customer focused service culture relies on a total teamwork approach, one that necessarily includes an informed and knowledgeable leader. In this way the company can improve all levels of customer satisfaction and outperform its competitors.
Knowledge Adds Value
Business owners who properly understand how customers interact with their staff can apply this knowledge commercially in many creative, practical, and beneficial ways.
Invariably the result will be more consistent and higher quality customer experiences and sales success delivering added value to the company’s bottom line.