The value of customer-focused talent

Written by Rachel Calleja for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Most team leaders are agreed on one mission: companies around the world are trying to build passionate, multi-generational teams based on people and their commitment to the customers.

Getting professionals to understand the value of their work fosters motivation to perform, creates memorable experiences for customers, and is the surest way for a company to distinguish itself in a crowded marketplace.

Room Mate Hotels, a company that focuses on creating different and cozy spaces for travelers, is a good example of a company with this type of philosophy. According the company’s president, Enrique Sarasola, the secret to “winning customer [is] putting on your skin.”

To accomplish this task, Sarasola said that, “despite [there] having arisen models similar to ours, one thing can not be copied: Room Mate spirit. That spirit is shared by all people who work with me and receive everyone who visits us.”

This company spirit grows and spreads, “promoting equal opportunities, non-discrimination and diversity of people, ideas and cultures, in order to maintain a close and friendly environment where our employees work, while working, fun and where our customers feel at home.”

What conclusion can we draw from this strategy?

To provide the best customer experience we must first offer the best experience to our employees.

To offer this memorable employee experience a company must create an environment in which their workers feel positive about their involvement with the company and interactions with the clientele.

A company can foster this by listening to, and acknowledging, their employees’ emotions and experiences, as well as managing talent to ensure their motivation and ability are customer-centric.

This new Customer Centric talent management involves:

1) Knowing the talent we have, and those who work for internal and external customers. Identifying those who think only of their own gain rather than the benefit of the company, and those who do not move in any direction, which is a great loss to the company.

2) Developing projects for each profile talent. Do not punish the “talented,” but rather use their influence and reward their commitment. There are schools that encourage and help the “intermediate” profiles develop their potential to serve customers and instigate change for the “motionless.”

3) Measure before and after to show that focusing on the customer is profitable.

For example the Employee Engagement Activities study, done by the state in 2013, shows that 80% of companies that enhanced the engagement of their employees had a customer experience above average.

Joining the company around a single purpose equally motivates customers, employees and shareholders to provide financial results above the average 75% of companies.

Taking responsibility for customer experiences, practices, and HR projects gives employees meaning and leads to increases in customer satisfaction of up to 12%.

There is also a value above this, which we as a company have to consider: acting with social responsibility. Doing this leads to greater well being in employees, and customers who feel that they are treated equally.

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