I have a customer?

I have spent over 20 years working with leaders in health care and higher education who do not like the word customer. “We don’t have customers; we serve patients/students/the community/family/society” (fill in your own word.) For some reason it feels like the title of customer diminishes the value of the work or the service provided. Yet, who among us does not value having our needs, concerns and requests met? Or being listened to or asked what we believe is important? In the end that is what a customer is, someone we pay attention to and work to deliver a valuable service, experience, education or future!

As the president of the Performance Excellence Network says, “High performing, world class organizations focus on their customers.” To be an effective leader requires the ability to build a customer service orientation in your team and to use your management skills to ensure that the day to day work focuses on your customers.

Over the next month we will be sharing ideas and asking for your insight on the competency of building a customer service orientation.  Yes, we all have customers and staying focused on them keeps us moving in the right direction.

Todd Thorsgaard

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