Creating a Customer-Centric Culture

The recent United Airlines debacle, dragging a customer off of a plane sparked enormous outrage.  It also revealed a shocking discrepancy between what passengers (the customer) and United Airlines (the company) consider reasonable expectations.

Creating a customer-centric culture can build unweathering brand loyalty for years to come.  In contrast, damages to United Airlines reputation are seemingly irreversible, at least in the short-term, evident in the immediate plunge of its stock price.

Here are some take-aways businesses can learn from the United Airlines incident that can guide your organization to a customer-centric culture:

  • Be customer-focused rather than company-focused
  • Take immediate responsibility when a customer has a concern or problem
  • Encourage your employees to use good judgement
  • Never underestimate the power of social media

Be customer-focused rather than company-focused

A customer-focused organization would never diminish a customer’s satisfaction for the benefit of its employees. In other words, the customers’ needs always take precedence over those of the employee’s. Having a customer-focused orientation is also known to be a strong contributor to the company’s overall success.

Take immediate responsibility when a customer has a concern or problem

Timing is everything. Taking complete responsibility instead of directing blame at other parties is one way to show empathy and care. Gather information to obtain a balanced, nuanced perspective before jumping to any conclusions. Remember to never get defensive.

Encourage your employees to use good judgement

The level of internal communication with your employees is just as important as your interaction with customers. It is best for you to deliberately instill a company culture where employees are encouraged to make decisions in favor of your brand. Unexpected emergencies happen, and it is up to your employees to work around the set boundaries or guidelines.

Never underestimate the power of social media

In the age of internet, information sharing takes place faster than the blink of an eye. Because people heavily rely on social media to communicate, leaders of companies should be especially careful with the delivery of information online. The implications of how messages are conveyed must not be undervalued.