Of late customer centricity has become the buzzword in every organisation. Organisations have realised that without a strong customer focus it is impossible to survive in today’s highly competitive and fast paced business environment.Managers at every level are facing increasing pressure to enhance their team’s customer focus and develop a customer-oriented culture in the organisation. If you are in a similar situation and are looking for some ideas to boost yo ur team’s customer focus here are some useful suggestions:

Studies indicate that there is a strong correlation between the level of customer service that an organisation can deliver and the way its employees are managed.

So you must have appropriate methods of managing your staff in place before you can expect good results from your customer centric policies.

Practise: Recognise that with changing times employee aspirations too have changed. You must first create a work climate that encourages, empowers and stimulates them. Long sermons on how to secure customer satisfaction hardly motivate them. Instead, lead by example.

Practise what you intend to preach! Always keep your commitments, promise less and deliver more and also make every employee feel special and a valuable member of the team. Now they know for sure what behaviour is expected of them towards the customers.

Create a vision: Communicate proactively with your team. Provide them the information they need to deliver the best possible service to the customer. Apart from focussing on the current goals you must also create a vision for the future.

A vision that bolsters customer-centric goals of the organisation and creates a sense of pride in achieving those goals. Constantly remind your team to analyse if what they are doing now directly or indirectly affects the customers in a positive way.

Empower team: In a dynamic world, you cannot wait for the market to change before you change. In fact, you must be the first one to initiate change through your trail blazing e fforts. For this you need loads of creativity. So empower your team. Promote their participation in idea generation, decision-making as well as problem solving.

Create an environment where people can mingle well, communicate openly and share ideas and thoughts. Employees who are in direct contact with the customers must be delegated with the responsibility to solve all customer related issues.

They should be empowered with the skills, expertise and the necessary authority to solve problems they face.

Since they have the best knowledge about the customers their solutions work best too. All you need to do is to make them realise that they have the capability and resourcefulness to solve their own problems.

Recognise achievements: Don’t wait for the annual performance appraisals to recognise performance. Achievements have to be recognised quickly and appreciation delivered immediately in order to reinforce good behaviour. The motivational effect is highest when good efforts are given immediate recognition.

Every customer-centric effort whether it relates to sorting out a customer problem or an idea that led to customer appreciation must be rewarded instantly. Whenever you have to say something negative, think it through and put it in a positive context.

Help people to see where they are going wrong and what can be done to improve matters.

Coach team: Take time out at regular intervals to coach your team to perform better. Teach them better ways of doing things and serving the customer better. Also provide them means to upgrade their skills through formal training programmes. Be a learner yourself and share your learnings with the team.

Aim for continuous improvement and growth of yourself, your team and the organisation.

Your team will soon top the charts of customer-centricity in your organisation.