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How to Create a Customer-Centric Culture

Want to create a customer-centric culture? That’s a lot of words that begin with C. However, we’re going to focus on D’s in this article. No, not the kind that you get in school – that’s not a very good grade! And when I went to school, “D” was slang terminology for a demerit, which meant a Saturday morning spent at school in study hall – not a fun Saturday for a kid. But our D’s today are of a different variety. They will lead you and your company on the path to building a customer-centric culture and offering great customer service.

The Six D’s of Creating a Customer-Centric Culture 

Define How can you deliver customer service as part of your brand promise if you don’t have a clear picture of what it is you want the customer to experience? Define your customer service promise in clear and simple terms. Ace Hardware, for example, calls itself the “Helpful Hardware Place” and is known for its customer service. It has defined its service with just one word – helpful – and that guides its hiring, training and customer interactions.

DisseminateNow that you know the type of service you want to deliver, don’t keep it a secret. Train your employees on what you want and how to make it happen. There are many ways to keep your brand promise foremost in your employee’s minds. The Ritz Carlton hotel chain has laminated cards with its “credo” and several other important core values printed on it.  Employees carry the cards with them, and many have it memorized as well.

Deploy Once you have your brand promise defined and employees trained, you must follow through and act on the customer service promise. This holds true for everyone in the organization, not just the front line employees who interact with the customer. Others must support their “internal customers”.

Demonstrate Customer service is everyone’s job. From the leaders to the most newly hired employees, once everyone has been taught and trained, they must demonstrate the customer service brand promise. Leaders must be on board and show how it’s done, but anyone can be a role model for delivering amazing customer service.

DefendUpholding your promise to customers is so essential that if you see someone doing anything contrary, you must step in to help. This is not about reprimanding someone for doing something wrong, rather a teaching opportunity that keeps your culture and employees going in the right direction.

DelightTake time to celebrate the success you have built with your employees and your customers. Delight in the company and the individuals who work to advance your vision and deliver amazing customer service.

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Human Resources Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

Being High From Happiness

 “Happiness can be elusive. When you need happiness the most and you can’t find it within yourself, make someone else happy. It’ll find its way back to you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Are you happy when you’re high? Depending on your interpretation of ‘high’, that may or may not have the same connotation to you as others.

Being high can stem from a myriad of sources. It can stem from the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs. It can also stem from a more natural source.

If you seek a natural high, one that’s unencumbered by a false sense of spirited motivation, you can experience the true sense of happiness. The challenge becomes where to find, corral and keep that sense of happiness so you can call on it when needed.

No one can be on a natural high all of the time. But, if you evoke it without false insemination, you are on your way to unlocking one of the keys to a successful life; that key is happiness.

Here’s the point. One day none of what you think is important will be important. None of the challenges you have will be important either. That day will occur when you’re no longer able to influence your thoughts or those of others. That’s the day that you will have transitioned from this life into another realm of being. So, make yourself as happy as you can, while you can. And, when you can’t make yourself happy, make someone else happy. That act will come back to you in the form of happiness … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

When you negotiate, be extremely protective of your mind (i.e. the way you think and feel) and your thought process. If you’re able to contemplate happiness in the face of adversity, happiness may not appear to be that daunting. That will allow you a freer thought process, one that’s not encumbered by dread.

It’s the thoughts fueled by negativity that causes our negotiation efforts to become derailed at times. The thought of being happy can keep your thoughts on the right track. It may sound quirky but, try it. Act happy when experiencing dread during a negotiation. At a minimum, it will cause the other negotiator to wonder what’s occurring. That may give you the time needed to assemble a more robust rebuttal.

Think happy thoughts, be happy. You really don’t have anything to lose and you might discover something that’s unique about your negotiation abilities than you previously realized.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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