Customer Focus Gap

Joel posted this question in response to yesterday’s post.


I am assembling a “Mission statement/mission focus” plan, and I have a question: I think my team simply needs a more positive and customer driven focus. Misbehavior is not the main problem (as far as I can see), but if I can tune up any issues at the same time it would be fine. What changes would you make to the above plan?


Widen the question. How can we, as Managers, create a discussion about any topic to stimulate thinking, and a positive response in behavior?

Using this skill is one of the most important activities of the Manager. I use this process in the classroom and in most meetings I run.

It’s a simple Gap Analysis, containing three parts.

  • What is the major benefit if we solve [this problem], make progress in [this area]?
  • What is stopping us from solving [this problem] or making progress in [this area]?
  • What can we, as a team, do get [this problem] solved?

Here is what it sounds like related to customer service issues.

  • What are the major benefits if we are able to create a culture that focuses on the customer?
  • What are the conditions, what are the elements that stop us from focusing on the customer?
  • In what way can we, as a team, make changes to create a culture that focuses on the customer?

Get your team together. I usually allow seven minutes for each question, with seven minutes as a wrap-up. This is a powerful thirty minute meeting. -TF

2 thoughts on “Customer Focus Gap

  1. Manuel Bollue

    In addition: team changes implementation tracker

    In one of the bank’s department, we set up an easy system to make sure team changes got implemented:
    – Each idea for change got linked to an owner in charge of implementation
    – We drew a simple table with phases (CONCRETE IDEA – TEST – ADAPTED – GO LIVE) to monitor implementation
    – In each team meeting, there was a 10′ implementation follow-up where the owners shared the idea status & got team feedback

    => visible implementation & commitment

  2. Todd Dayton

    Any time you are working on customer focus you must make sure the team is recognizing the plan you are presenting. Frontline employees particularly employees in heavy turn over positions will never implement a plan unless they truly recognize the issue. Focus on a particular area of customer service such as timeliness of response, follow up or intial greetings and break out your plan in these stages to reach the improvements you are looking for in the field. Big plans take great implementation structure and small pieces to get buy in before it ever reaches your customer.


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