When it comes to initiating change within an organization, you must first ask, “Are we united in how we make decisions that impact customers?”
One of the first activities I often take to unite leaders during my coaching sessions is to use a customer journey framework to build an operational “code of conduct.”
It gives the organization clarity about how to make decisions, and it’s a powerful first step in embedding the customer journey to inform and enable decision-making.
Most leadership teams don’t invest in the deep thinking required to answer these questions. As a result, decisions are driven by silo objectives and inside-out goals and metrics. That’s something we have to avoid, so I encourage you to do the work that’s needed up front.
Build a Code of Conduct for Customer Treatment
Unite leaders in your organization by having a conversation about how you will and will not grow, so that you can provide employees with a clear roadmap for how they should steer their own decisions. This will allow your organization to avoid random and inconsistent treatment that customers may receive, and which would negatively impact your business.
Have this discussion with leaders and engage the organization to establish your code of conduct to guide decision-making to improve customers’ lives. Build your code of conduct for customer treatment.
The following two questions are grounded in using the customer journey framework. (As you see, your journey framework serves a great purpose in your transformation, acting as a consistent way to discuss and define priorities and work.)
- What must we always do to honor customers?
- What must we never do to dishonor customers?
Answers to these two questions, when agreed upon, create specificity in operations and behaviors. Through communication of these commitments and actions they prove to be a powerful “prove-it” leadership strategy.
Leaders must be unified in fearlessly talking about the growth or loss of the customer asset at their team meetings. Unity in this messaging is what creates the impact. Take these actions in unison across the leadership team. When consistently executed and committed to, this messaging has powerful results. It moves the work from being a program and elevates it to the higher purpose of the business.
3 Tips for Fostering Leadership Unity
Here’s a little help to encourage unity across the leadership team. When consistently executed and committed to, this messaging has powerful results. It moves the work from being a program and elevates it to the higher purpose of the business.
1. United Leadership Communication: Focus on Customers as Assets
- Every leader starts their meetings with employees by fearlessly sharing the growth or loss of the customer asset in that period.
- Evolve leadership messaging from “getting the score” to “earning the right to customer asset growth.”
2. Put the Voice of the Customer in the Ears of Leaders
- Each month, every leader calls lost customers to care about the “why” behind customer losses, and humanize the life of the customer.
- Tell the story of the customers’ lives to employees.
3. Establish One-Company Rewards for Customer Asset Growth
- Evolve to an overall customer experience success metric of company-wide performance in customer asset growth. The measure of customer experience success then becomes your customers voting with their feet to stay or go.
Company dynamics, collaboration, and communication can be effectively addressed, using your customer journey framework as a guide. This is where you address human issues critical to building your customer growth engine. How are leaders enabling the organization to work? How are decisions made? Building upon all of these actions will help make your transformation for customer-driven growth stick.