Customer Service and being Customer Centric – what is it and how do I develop the Skill?

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Customer Service and being Customer Centric – what is it and how do I develop the Skill?

In my last blog, I wrote about my thoughts and personal definition on what I believe and understand Customer Service to be (I outlined six different behaviours that are essential to develop to be able to deliver excellent Customer Service – and how you can be happy while you do it!)

This time I want to explore the whole concept of being “Customer Centric” and what this means for you and your organisation.  It’s a phrase that is used a lot and a few years ago I had one of those “light-bulb moments” when I understood what it meant to me.

So guess what?

I have my personal definition of what being Customer Centric is too: “the ability to always put yourself into the shoes of the customer and have an appreciation of what it is they are experiencing (whether good or not so good) and what your role is in enhancing that experience by responding to the situation in a way that you would like to experience if you were them (the customer).”

As you can those six behaviours come in handy here too – just in case you forgot they are; Self-Awareness, Listening, Questioning, Empathy, Responsiveness, and the Ability to Receive Feedback.

The first realisation for me that led to the understanding of what being Customer Centric is the knowledge that everyone you interact with in the workplace is your customer – something that we sometimes forget in our daily routines.

A simple question – who do you communicate with on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis in your work?

Dependant on your role and the environment you work in this could be a long or short list.

What if I was to tell you that everyone that you interact with is your customer – from Facilities, Couriers, Canteen Staff, Co-Workers, Contractors, Management and of course Customers or Clients to whomever else you interact with. The only difference being that they can be categorised as Internal or External customers.

A lot of time can be focused on the External customer – as is appropriate and expedient to ensure success in the form of growth and business retention.

Realising the impact and importance of the Internal Customer also, can deliver unexpected positive results – a more positive workplace, with increased co-operation/productivity, decreased internal conflict, which in turn can create a creative and forward thinking workforce – and who wouldn’t see the benefit of that?

So today, look at who your Internal Customers are and see what you can do to enhance their experience….

Having the ability to do this with the people you work with is truly what it means to be Customer Centric.

Submitted by our Leadership & Personal Development tutor, Gina Ryan

If you would like to hear more from Gina on Customer Service, have a look at our Customer Care & Contact Skills Course


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