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What Does Your Company Believe Customer First or Profit First?

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Has your company forgotten that providing customer’s positive experiences increases profits and retention? If your customer has a bad experience you will likely lose more than just that customer. Raving fans are what gives your company the edge over your competitors!

See below three customer service industry leaders interviews on this one question:

This original article was written by Steve DiGioia

As an organization gets larger there is a tendency for the mindset to change from “the customer comes first” to “higher profits and lower payroll first”. What are the causes of this change and how do you keep this from happening?

Shep Hyken

Customer Service and Experience Expert—Hall of Fame Speaker

As an organization gets bigger, there is no excuse for it to lose its focus on the customer, if that is actually what the company wants to do. As some companies grow, they purposely change their shift from customer focused to bottom line focused. Long term that can be a mistake.

For those that are interested in staying focused on the customer, it is more important than ever to hire the right people that fit the customer focused culture. Training is also essential. Also, as the company grows, it is important for leadership to be aware if any part of the company (departments within the company, people within the company, etc.) is going out of cultural alignment.

How to prevent it? Keep focused on the people. Constant reinforcement of the importance of customer service is key to sustaining the culture.

A good example of this is As they grew and added different areas to their business, they always put the customer first. The first question was to ask if what they were doing was right for the customer. The second question they asked was if it was a good business decision.

Remember what Dr. Ted Levit of Harvard business school said: “The function of a business is to get and keep customers.” The goal is to make money. If you don’t focus on the function, it might not reach your goal.

Bob Thompson is CEO of CustomerThink Corp., an independent research and publishing firm focused on customer-centric business management.

As for me, I think the cause is that as organizations get larger, senior leaders have more stakeholders to answer to. Having worked in a very large organization earlier in my career, it’s all too easy to spend your day in one meeting after another. Metrics are designed to focus on what the organization wants to achieve. Direct contact with customers is limited, so they become figures on a sales report, not real people.

The solution is to keep customers “front and center” for leaders and everyone else. I like the idea of a Customer Room proposed by Jeanne Bliss. I also think that companies should require leaders to spend time answering calls and dealing personally with customer issues. Metrics that focus on customer satisfaction/loyalty, and have a real impact on compensation or advancement, are also essential.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., CCXP, CSP New York Times #1 Bestselling Author, Certified Customer Experience Professional.

As companies get bigger there are more stakeholders and leaders making decisions on behalf of customers and get farther removed from customer interaction.

In entrepreneurial organizations leaders are often engaged in direct interactions with customers and they are more solution and action-focused. These smaller companies also have less brand equity and entrenched processes to circumnavigate as they nimbly address customer needs.

The solutions for growing organizations include customer experience officers, c-level sponsors of customer facing initiatives, voice-of-the-customer metrics presented on the dashboard of senior leaders, and other processes to assure that leaders strategically hear from and prioritize sustained customer engagement, loyalty and referrals.

Let The Hart Experience give you a Fresh Perspective on your company’s customer experiences. We will assess your business through your customer’s eyes. Great way to start 2017!!

Contact Debbie at The Hart Experience 602.717.3271 or

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