Think about a time you felt you didn't get the service you wanted, needed, or deserved. Perhaps you had taken time off to have someone come fix an appliance, and that person didn't show up and didn't call. Maybe you had paid a bill but the accounting department kept sending you statements. Possibly you had made arrangements with your supervisor to take a personal leave day but he or she had forgotten and scheduled you into a meeting.
Try to remember what you were feeling. Frustration? Anger? Resentment? Now, think of just the opposite situation.
Think about a time you were treated as a valued customer. Perhaps the accounting department notified you of an overpayment. Maybe someone from your clinic called to tell you that the doctor was running late. Possibly your supervisor stopped by to make sure that you had everything you needed to get the proposal in on time.
More and more leaders are finding it essential to adopt a client-centred focus. Take education as an example. The ultimate customers are the students and the community. In the old paradigm, if students did not have basic skills in reading and math, it was their fault. After all, they had the opportunity to learn, didn't they? If that situation occurs now, schools are more inclined to look at their own systems to determine what else can be done to ensure that the students reach the learning goals. Their core mission is to teach students, not just 'deliver' lessons.
Students, their parents, and the community are external customers but there are also internal customers - the colleagues with whom you work. It is important to maintain a client-centred focus with them also. Having a client-centred focus means always thinking about how you can provide great service and making sure that people receive value.
From: Leading Every Day by Joyce Kaser, Susan Mundry, Katherine E. Stiles, & Susan Loucks-Horsley
Published by: Corwin Press