Industry Update
Opinion Article 9 August 2017

Five Ways To Create The Customer-focus Mindset

By Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author

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Your people attend customer service training. They learn techniques and tactics on how to deal with complaining customers, angry customers or customers who just need a little support. They are taught the right answers to some difficult questions. This is what customer service training is all about. But…


What happens when something happens that is outside of the parameters of the training your employees have received?
While good customer service training teaches the how-to's, great customer service training goes into the mindset – and, that's more than having a great attitude with lots of smiles and a warm personality. That's important, but a customer-focused mindset goes beyond that.

A customer-focus mindset encompasses all the how-to training, the positive attitude and (here is where the mindset comes in) an understanding of the reason behind a relentless effort to deliver an amazing customer experience. The concepts of the mindset can be considered intangible. They can be about an inner drive and an ambitious effort to take care of the customer. Sometimes they can be intuitive. So, with that in mind, here are five concepts that will help create the customer-focused mindset:

  1. The desire to take care of people – Not every employee has that mindset coming in. Even after basic customer service training, they may still not get it. Sure, they may understand the techniques to deliver service, but don't get the essence. A customer-focused mindset includes the desire to serve.
  2. Being in the moment –
    This is realizing when you are delivering a positive service experience. There are certain parts of delivering service that are natural and automatic, however people must be conscious of what they are doing and always looking for ways to make it better.
  3. Know where the line in the sand is – An environment that fosters a customer focus mindset empowers people to do what is necessary to take care of the customer – without crossing the line. The boundaries are typically further out than most people think. Teach them, by example and story, how far your employees can go to take care of their customers – both internal and external customers.
  4. Always learning – The best of the best are continuous learners – and not just about their own products and services. They learn about competitors, what's the latest and greatest in the industry, and general knowledge about many things. They are interesting people to talk with and understand how to talk to customers the right way.
  5. Recognizing the Awesome Responsibility At any given time, one employee – the one who your customer is interacting with – has the responsibility to deliver an experience that is in alignment with your vision. This one person represents your brand and all his or her fellow employees. Does he or she deliver?

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