customer centric leadership

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said: “A leader is better when the people barely know he/she exists, when his/her work is done and the goal accomplished, they will say: We did it”

This wise sentence sums up what a good leader shall be; that inspiring person that helps to achieve a company’s common objective through initiatives, management and evaluation of a team.


What do we call a “good leader”?

The characteristics of a good leader are all those abilities and behaviors that influence in a positive way the rest of the team.

For example:

  • Takes important decisions: The leader finds a focus and then guides the rest of the team towards that lighthouse. At the same time, the decisions he/she takes do not have to be precisely the most usual ones, but also the ones that encourage creativity and innovation.
  • Inspires trust: The best example of a good leader is the one that inspires trust in each member of an organization. Maintaining assertiveness and fostering kindness are crucial aspects when making the team feel listened to, and therefore, motivate it at all times towards a common objective.
  • Emanates inspiration: A good leader must be an inspiration for the rest of the employees. Feeding by external factors, the leader will travel though known paths or will risk to take new ones equally productive and by so showing that, even though it seems impossible, it is actually possible to achieve all goals proposed.
  • Shows passion for his/her job: If a leader has traveled a lot, he/she will be ideal to lead a travel agency. If a leader is passionate about marketing, the Communications department will be for sure in great hands. The leader that truly loves what he/she does, will achieve any goal, but always hand by hand with the team.
  • Is analytical: To evaluate the actions of the team and the obtained result at a service will help the leader to apply the improvements needed though a more globally-focused perspective.
  • Is silent/quiet: as Lao Tzu revealed, the best leadership is exercised quietly. There is a very fine line between being a guide and a tyrant, therefore, this capacity cannot be confused with any level of egocentrism.

Now we add the characteristics of a CUSTOMER CENTRIC leader

The Customer Centric leader shall possess all characteristics of a good leader. However, he/she shall always act in front of his/her team with a perspective totally focused on the customer and his/her experience with the company.

The personality of a Customer Centric leader can be described as follows:

  • Has a natural, profound and instinctive understanding of the relevance of customers. It is obvious that if we do not have customers, we do not have nobody to send the invoices to.
  • Puts an emphasis on the purpose and sense of the company.
  • Transmits respect and consideration for any person without taking into account the hierarchies.
  • Has an open mind to receive positive feedback but also bad news (both of customers and colleagues/employees).
  • Sees the glass half full, never half empty.
  • Questions everything at all times to break pre-established rules.
  • Knows how to manage fears and overcomes them.

In addition to these personality characteristics, we consider that a good leader must have the following abilities:

  • Boosts the idea that the customer is the priority for the company, at all times and for every employee.
  • Involves and empowers the team to comply with what has been promised to the customer.
  • Assures that the employees have all resources they need to provide a food experience to customers (education, budget…).
  • Motivates to work side by side with the customer and not against them.
  • Transforms other people’s emotions in a positive way.
  • Assures that a positive experience is provided through frequent and constant communication with employees and customers.
  • Removes processes and procedures that do not add value nor to customers or employees (within the legal and fiscal framework established).
  • Is able to relate the experience objectives with the economic ones, since the efforts dedicated to generate experiences in customers and employees will have a direct impact on economic results.
  • Enhances the feeling of belonging to a team in which all members feel valued and listened to.

As long as all those competences are assumed and put into practice by all people of the company that have teams under their supervision, the hardest part of the cultural transformation, will be resolved successfully. All the rest turns then into something easily achievable.

Each one of the factors mentioned will have a differential role for a leader. However, the truest reflection of a CUSTOMER CENTRIC leader will be related to making customers and employees feel better, more confident and capable of achieving any goal.

At Buljan & Partners we are specialists in localizing and boosting the leaders of your team, always with a philosophy centered 100% on the customer and employee. Do you need help with finding your Customer Centric leaders?

See you in the next post!