Everyone who touches the input, throughput and output related to your customer must put themselves in the shoes of your customers and take a walk around. That strategy involves everyone from your administrator in the lobby to the folks on the shop floor to the people delivering finished product to your customer’s house.
You have so many hidden resources – value Cinderellas – in your own company that can create tremendous value in your customers’ houses. Do you know where they are? Have you included them in your business strategy?
There’s a lot of information you can learn about your customers if your employees are encouraged to wear Customer Shoes first and foremost.
Wearing Customer Shoes allows everyone in your organization to recognize and build their roles in driving revenue through your organization and your customer’s. They create enduring relationships, as well.
Is this your leadership strategy?
If your business is self-focused, your team tends to wear your own company’s shoes first. That strategy leaves everyone inwardly directed on their own performance. If your own company is obsessive about maintaining tight control over process and execution, your employees are fearful for their jobs.
That executed strategy translates into your team paying less attention to the customer’s scenario. They miss out on discovering triggers which will impact your customer’s competitiveness.
There’s nothing sissy about wearing Customer Shoes. You aren’t giving up your processes, practices and tight tolerances. You aren’t holding hands and singing “Kumbaya.” You are, however, creating value that is understood and embraced shop floor to C-Suite. This strategy translates into differentiated value creation that is well-received by your customers.
You must walk in the shoes of your customers first. Only then will they truly invite you to sit at their business tables.
As the leader of your business, put on your Customer Shoes and take a walk around: your business and your clients’ businesses. You may be over looking factors which could catalyze growth, expansion and sustainability – yours and theirs.
Then take a walk out of your office, through your own organization. How many of your folks are consciously wearing that particular pair of Customer Shoes? Some of those Customer Shoes are not particularly comfortable to wear. You may discover tremendous opportunities if you all take the time to determine why those shoes feel the way they do, when you wear them.
Wearing Customer Shoes makes everyone in your organization outwardly-focused, where they need to be first and foremost. The best way to start understanding how to serve customers is by wearing your Customer Shoes.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.