The Leadership Imperative
Ask Simple Questions!
by Rick Sidorowicz

The simplest questions are usually the toughest to answer, however, living in the question for a time can often lead to very meaningful insights and very powerful activities and outcomes.

Customer service questions:

How do I look to my customer? 
What do my customers want that they are not now getting? 
What should I do?

Talk to customers in their own language;

Sell customers what they want; 
Learn from customers what they need; 
Do what customers need differently or better than anyone else; 
Get every employee responsible for getting and keeping customers - every person, every day, every activity, every procedure, every process is viewed in terms of what great performance is for my customer!

Turn all of the above into simple questions for your employees;

How do we talk to customers in their own language? (I seem to be repeating myself!) 
How do we sell customers what they want? 
How do we learn from customers what they need? 
How do we do what customers need differently or better than anyone else?
How do we get every employee responsible for getting and keeping customers? 
How do customers see us now? 
Is this the best we can do?

Turn all of the above into simple questions for your customers;

How do we talk to you in your own language? (One more time!) 
How do we sell you what you want? 
How do we learn from you what you need? 
How do we do what you need differently or better than anyone else? 
How do we get everyone of our employees responsible for getting and keeping you as a customer? 
How do you see us now? 
Is this the best we can do?
N.B.#1 
If you listen closely enough you can hear your customer!

N.B.#2 
If at first you donít succeed, youíre not with your customer!

The Leadership Imperative is inspired by the perspective on self directed action in Flight of the Buffalo, Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead, by Belasco and Stayer, Warner Books, New York, 1994.


Rick Sidorowicz is the Publisher and Editor of The CEO Refresher and
the Minister of Culture of High Performance Retail.

Many more articles in The Leadership Imperative in The CEO Refresher Archives

   


Copyright 1999 by Rick Sidorowicz. All rights reserved.

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