Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to Build a Customer-Focused Company the Right Way

Customer service is the single most pressing problem for business managers and people in any service or sales operation. Many experts believe that you build a business from the customer up.

Ken Blanchard, bestselling author and inspirational speaker, has written or co-authored many great books dealing with this topic. In “Customer Mania!” Blanchard and co-authors Jim Ballard and Fred Finch write of the key to customer service: creating a people-oriented, performance-drive, customer-first organization. Drawing on a real-life study of the world’s largest restaurant company, Yum! – owner of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and A&W – the authors explain how any organization can develop a unified, people-first, customer-oriented culture. Customer Mania! emphasizes four critical steps:

  • Step One: Set Your Sights on the Right Target-the bottom line grows from taking care of customers and creating a motivating environment for your team.
  • Step Two: Treat Your Customers the Right Way-determine the kind of experience you want your customers to have as they interact with every part of the company.
  • Step Three: Treat Your People the Right Way-use strategies ranging from smart hiring to training and development to managing performance and creating a recognition culture.
  • Step Four: Have the Right Kind of Leadership-you can’t do it all yourself, so let your team put their own brains to work and then support them all the way.

In developing each of these concepts, Blanchard introduces his “dream” of how they should work. That is followed by Yum!’s reality and a scorecard of how they are doing.

Yum! Turned out to be an excellent choice; the book chronicles their journey from being a lackluster division of PepsiCo to a standout independent company. Along the way, they moved from giving lip service to focusing on the customer to diving head-long into creating a “customer mania culture” throughout the organization. And it worked.

Yum! Doesn’t merely have a purpose; it has a passion. Can you say the same about your church or organization?

Questions for ChurchWorld
What is your target?
Who is your “customer”?
Who is on your team?
Who are your leaders?

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