Raving Fan Customers: Creating Customer Focused Teams – Part 5

A Normal Process for Team Development Like people, teams go through different phases during their development. This is normal. A two-year old human is very different than a 16-year-old. Likewise, a team that has been together two months behaves very differently than a team that has been together 16 months. There are five stages of development for customer focused teams, each with its own distinct characteristics: Stage 1 – Getting to Know You Feeling that this customer service stuff could be fun combined with some anxiety about how to do it A degree of excitement about the concept of a team Figuring out who is in charge Clarifying the rules and developing standards Dependence is on the coach/leader Coach/leader uses a directive approach Stage 2 – Wish We Weren’t Here Feeling that this is not fun Leadership and/or members are all screwed up Feeling that “something is definitely wrong here” Feeling uncertain and incapable Performance standards not being met and a lot of finger pointing Little agreement among team members regarding standards Customer focus is rhetoric only A lot of internal strife and no sense of mutual accountability Task driven but a lot of individual agendas Performance standards are not agreed upon Stage 3 – Getting Behind the Game Performance standards hammered out Increasing ownership of those standards Decreasing hostility as the team begins working out personal differences Focus on customers Starting to like and feel comfortable with mutual accountability Positive feedback from customers starting to come in More honesty among team members Failing forward — learning and improving from trial and error, with rapid recovery from mistakes Enthusiasm...

Elevate Your Effectiveness Giving Constructive Feedback by Keith Weedman

Effectively giving constructive feedback is a learned leadership skill. When effectively given, the feedback is appreciated by the recipient as being helpful and the experience is empowering to both parties. The giver elevates their skill and commitment to generously give constructive feedback while the receiver utilizes the feedback received to elevate their performance. In this article, I will share ideas you can utilize to significantly elevate your skill to effectively give constructive feedback. I invite you to utilize these ideas to elevate your skill to a level that is highly uncommon and in great demand today. How effectively do you give constructive feedback? How do you measure your effectiveness? How do people typically respond to receiving constructive feedback from you? How consistently do people get maximum value from your constructive feedback? As a leader within your organization, you are always influencing how people around you perceive constructive feedback. Yet in many organizations, constructive feedback is given in less than effective ways, as if you, as the giver, have no influence as to how your feedback is received. In this article, we will first explore some of the common reasons why constructive feedback is given less effectively. Then we will consider a few useful assumptions you can utilize to elevate your effectiveness. Then we’ll review a step by step process for effectively giving constructive feedback. Most people have had past unpleasant experiences receiving constructive feedback delivered in an ineffective way. It is too often understood as a criticism or a critical judgment. Because of their past experiences, you can unintentionally trigger a defensive reaction from someone when you are giving them...

Raving Fan Customers: Creating Customer Focused Teams Part 4

Customer Focus, Feedback and Service Strategy To create customer-focused teams, employees must understand that they win when the customer wins;  there is more to this positioning than meets the eye.  The customer win has to be defined so that the company also wins.  If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you I want the service and product for nothing.  Typically companies cannot stay in business by doing this.  So the raving fan service strategy needs to be designed so that the company and its employees can deliver.  Back to Apple, their products are easy to use and their informed employees can teach consumers how to use their products.  All this conspires to make many raving fan Apple customers.  Every service strategy needs to be designed so that this concept is constantly reinforced. The front line (people who directly impact the customer) has to get feedback so that they can: Know what it is doing right in creating raving fan customers Know what it is doing that is not working Coordinate and fix problems with other departments that impact the delivery of raving fan customer service Ensure that the customer consistently perceives great value from the product and service that they are getting.   Two challenges exist in creating successful, high performance, customer focused teams.  The first challenge is getting the voice of the customer clearly delivered to the front line regarding the service or product.  Therefore, it is important to create forums and opportunities for the front line to listen to the customer.  The other challenge is to make sure everyone understands the standards by which...

Raving Fan Customers: Creating Customer Focused Teams Part 3

Why are Raving Fans a good thing? Ask Zappos, ask Southwest Airlines, ask Apple, ask Jimmie Buffett and ask CMI (that is us). What companies do not have competition? When you earn raving fan customers you have a strategic advantage over your competition. You have customers that are going to buy from you no matter what. In essence your company becomes a monopoly. This is the ultimate positioning from a business perspective. One frequently sees this with Apple’s iPhones. Apple customers are disdainful of any other smartphone product and are absolutely loyal to Apple – no matter what – even when Chinese workers might be suffering. Apple Customers say “Heck, Apple might need to change some Chinese employment tactics, but no way am I giving up my iPhone!” For more information about creating raving fans click here....