An alliance of the right people is the only way to create a sustainable customer service focus culture.
In order to make customer service focus central in your organization and for it to become a core component of your organizational culture, you will need to develop an alliance of the right individuals in order for sustain it through the challenges of daily business life.
An inspired customer focused leader will rarely be able to convert an entire organization around a service focused model by himself.
What is customer focus?
A strong customer service focus alliance is a differentiator between the organizations that wish to create the type of customer experience that generates customer loyalty and those that don’t. Evangelizing customer service focus requires more the effort of a group of strong, talented, influential leaders.
In your efforts to build a strong alliance you will quickly see that not all individuals will join your cause. Yet you may still need those individual within your organization for other business purposes.
The key then becomes managing the process of building and maintaining your customer service alliance.
Recommended for YouWebcast: A Week in the Life of an Agile Creative Team
5 Major priorities to building a customer service focus alliance
In their book, The New CIO Leader, Broadbent and Kitzis suggest 5 key priorities you must manage when building your alliance. These five can be the factor behind a failed service chat and successfully revolutionizing the customer service focus culture of your organization.
1. Convert influential customer service opponents
Your strongest opponents are typically seen as the enemy. You generally want to avoid them at all costs. You ignore them. Undermine them. Look for every opportunity to undercut them. But when building your alliance to win your organization these individuals are some of your greatest opportunities for major breakthroughs with the rest of the organization.
If you can win an strong opponent over, the rest of the group will follow.
2. Restrict influential service focus opponents you can’t convert
If your strongest opponents are unwilling to budget from their position, you can focus on their arguments and use that as an opportunity to refine your approach in winning over the rest of the organization. Take aim at their argument in your alliance building process with others and you will essentially stop your strongest opponents in their track.
Keep the focus on customer needs in order to solidify your position.
3. Retain your influential customer service focus supporters
The change process from your current service focus state to your desires future state isn’t easy. Your supporters need motivation and support in order to make it through the transition process. Work with them individually and enlist them in the process of building the rest of the alliance and planning for the future actions of the group.
Teach them how to keep customer focus within their sphere of influence. The more they participate in the building process after they’ve been won, the stronger their commitment to the cause will be.
4. Recognize your customer focus weak supporters
Not all of your alliance wins will become service culture leaders. Some will be on board, but lack the devotion to the cause. You have to accept the fact that not everyone will have the same fire, the same ambition, and the same passion that you will have. Accept it.
Recognize your weak supporters and limit the amount of transitional work they have to perform.
5. Keep track of your service focus weak opponents
The same principle of lack of conviction applies to those who don’t share you same vision for customer service focus. Even if when these individuals aren’t strongly contending against you and your cause, you still need to keep tabs on who they are, where they fall in the organization, and what they are working on to make sure that they don’t become stronger opponents or that they don’t restrict the change process you’re working to achieve.
Building a foundation for service execution
Whether it’s transforming the culture of your organization or changing the way service is performed within a team or department, it will take an alliance to build the foundation for service execution and an united effort to manage those individuals who lack the same vision for how service is to be performed.
Service alliance building is a tricky process that can easily fail if you don’t carefully manage the needs and actions or supporters and opponents. Building your customer service alliance will take time, it will take effort, it will take dedication, and it will take giving up some things in order to win the support you need to make changes in your organization’s customer service focus approach.