“A constant trickle of water will wear away the stone that a burst of rain will leave unchanged.”
How do we maintain momentum?
We get asked this question a lot by clients. Undertaking a new customer focus initiative is an exciting and motivating experience. Most people enjoy the opportunity to improve, grow and do things more effectively. The initial kick-off is usually accompanied by a flurry of passion and enthusiasm at the prospect of improving customer interactions.
After the initial excitement action and momentum must follow. The alternative is lost credibility and increases in resistance to future improvement initiatives.
We have found a number of key ways to make this happen:
1. Keep the customer focused vision and goals out front.
Customer focused businesses are more successful and more enjoyable places to work. Take this vision of customer focus and keep it top of mind. Keep it where you will see it every day, where it will always be front of mind. Write it down, visualize it and gather photos that remind you of this vision.
2. Remind everyone of the customer focused vision.
Keep the customer focused vision out in front of the whole team, so that everyone knows where they are going, and every knows WHY they are going in that direction. Continually reinforcing the vision for your team will be an important part of maintaining momentum.
3. Maintain Leadership Buy-in and Commitment
Its not enough for only the CEO to buy-in to a major customer focus initiative, leaders at all levels need to be on board. It is important for the initiative lead to spend time with all leaders to make sure the program provides value from each executive’s perpective.
4. Focus on progress
“We’re looking for progress, not perfection.”
Every step towards improving the organizations customer focus counts. The fact there are more discussions happening about customers and what the organization is doing for them is progress. The fact that teams are forming to improve customer insights, develop customer metrics and drive improvements in customer-focused behaviors is progress. Although these activities are clearly not outcomes they do demonstrate progress.
5. Celebrate quick wins and best practices
Identify stories and examples of employees doing things in a customer focused way and share these with the rest of the organization.
- What new insights into customer behavior are being discovered?
- How are decisions being taken to maximize customer satisfaction and retention?
- How is the organization demonstrating how to make the tradeoffs between investing in customers for the long term and short-term profits?
- What best practices do we already have in place and how can these be shared across the organization?
How do you keep everyone focused on the customer?