These days I've been out teaching people how the culture they create inside their company affects the relationships they have outside the company.
Now of course we all know this, have always known this, but as I tell the people enjoying my workshops - the first enemy of knowledge is "knowingness." It's not what we know that matters, it's what we do with what we know that matters.
In order to create consistently positive customer experiences, people need to feel pretty good about their jobs and the experiences they have at work. While it is possible to churn out positive customer interactions despite a negative internal environment, it's rare to be able to do it for a long period of time without getting sick, cynical or both.
To take exceptional care of our customers we need to feel good about ourselves, our jobs, where we work and what we offer.
Companies that use the customer experience as a competitive advantage have leaders that put their focus on creating a great place to work as much as (if not more than) creating a great product or service at a great price. They know that an engaged and happy workforce is a prerequisite to having engaged and happy customers. But you knew that, didn't you?
So what are you doing about it?
Deliberately creating a positive workplace culture means focusing more of your attention on the things that are going right than on the things that are going wrong. It means focusing your attention - as a leader - on what's strong and what's possible rather than on solving the problem of the week.
It means asking yourself and others new questions:
What's good? What's right? What's strong? What's possible here?
What's great about this? Where's the gift in this? What's fascinating about this? What's called for now? What actions do we need to take?
What are the options here? What one change would produce the best result the quickest? What can we learn from this? What are we happy about right now? What works well? What are we most proud of? What's going well?
It means looking for and finding things to appreciate and acknowledge. It means expressing and encouraging gratitude at the same time you are striving for improvement.
It means creating change by paying attention to what you want vs paying attention to problems and the things that hold you back.
It's knowing that you get what you focus on and what you focus on expands. When as a leader you emphasize someone's weakness it decreases their performance by 26.8%. When you praise, support, and help develop their strengths it increases performance by 36.4%
That's a 60% spread! That's a 60% advantage in performance, engagement, positivity and ultimately customer loyalty and advocacy.
In today's world your customers want to do business with people that make them feel good about spending their money. What are you doing inside your culture about making it the best experience ever?