Recently a new client of mine said “Jaquie, we believe in our own BS.” It took courage for him to say that, but it was the first step to getting clear on what was real and what was not.
I can smell it a mile away. You know, when people talk about something, but they don’t walk it.
A survey done by Bain and Company found that;
80% of CEO’s believe they deliver superior customer experiences and only 8% of their customers agreed.
So how many organisations out there believe in their own BS? How can the perception gap be so big between CEO’s and their customers?
I reckon one of the things that amplifies this perception gap is business leaders being internally focused instead of externally focused. When you are internally focused you approach problem solving, procedures and service standards with a view of what is best for you the organisation as opposed to what is best for the customer.
It’s like when you stare into the sun on a bright sunny day with no sun glasses on. You cannot make out clearly the shapes you are looking at, and often it is too much to continue to look at it. When you put some sunglasses on you can all of a sudden see. A filter has been applied where you are looking at the same thing but seeing it differently. It is clearer and you can see what is really going on as opposed to assuming.
Internally focused leaders; both unconscious or conscious tend to forget to put their sunglasses on and see experiences through the lens of the customer. They tend to;
- Lack empathy and are unable to see solutions from customers point of view
- Do not listen to the voice of customer
- Are no good at receiving feedback without getting defensive
When we orientate ourselves around the customer we make decisions that build sustainable relationship with the customer.
In order to create a proactive leadership culture where you are consciously looking at the business with an external focus, you need to adopt a mindset that is service orientated.
- See it through the customer’s eyes
- Ask questions and listen
- Take on feedback like you want to hear it from the customer’s point of view
‘Why serve when you can inspire’