When you have survived 175 years in business, it would be fair to say that you are good at keeping up with the needs of your members and the broader community, and that you’ve somehow maintained your relevance and connection to your customers. This is Australian Unity in a nutshell. The kookaburra on the company logo is a strong national symbol for its customers to identify with, and the Australian consumer is always front and centre of Australian Unity thinking.
Self-reflection is a key driver for this organisation, which is why I chose Australian Unity as my case study for the questions mindset.
James Heath, Customer Experience Manager, explained that self – reflection is the key:
You look at the world, and the new technology coming out, and see consumer expectations are evolving and changing day by day. The same goes for employees. They too want to bring their whole self to work and be recognised as people, and so their expectations are forever evolving.
For this reason, the status quo will never be good enough. When in business we must continue to innovate. Self-reflection becomes a continuous thing that allows you to take actions that are far more effective and relevant to today’s needs of the customer.
Two reflection activities that the organisation adopts with their employees are:
- Roadshows at which leaders facilitate both the storytelling of learnings and celebrating customer service staff.
- Workshops where all frontline leaders are asked to dissect what they do each day – not to try and ‘catch them out’, but to determine if there are tasks that can be removed from their day-to-day activities in order to free them up to do more side-by-side coaching with their team members.
Organisations that build lasting relationships with their customers constantly ask their employees and customers, “How are we doing?” James went on to explain the benefits of leaders asking questions of employees and customers about what they value from the relationship, and clearly demonstrating that they are not afraid to ask.
Without any meaningful data from your customers and your employees, it is very difficult to truly know the health of your business.
If you do not ask and be fully prepared to listen and take action in addressing what comes up, it’s a pointless effort.
To learn more about how Australian Unity interpret their data and build coaching questions into their culture? Get your copy of Creating a Customer Service Mindset. June Release.