Unforgettable is a customer experience education program, focused on delivering fresh content weekly to give business leaders what they need to succeed in a customer-driven, digitally-disrupted world. The program brings together the expert minds of Jay Baer, Shep Hyken, Jeanne Bliss, Ian Golding, and Blake Morgan to spotlight modern customer experience excellence. Get the latest content by bookmarking smartercx.com/unforgettable.
It is more important to learn everything than it is to know everything— at least when it comes to customer experience. In this episode of Unforgettable, Ian Golding describes a common attribute of the most customer-centric organizations, and how a change in mindset can move organizations to be more sustainably customer-centric.
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Hi, this is Ian Golding, Global Customer Experience Specialist bringing you episode 26 of Unforgettable, the series that’s all about delivering great customer experiences.
The most customer-centric organizations in the world share a number of common attributes. One of them being that they recognize that the way they treat their people is the way they would like their people to treat their customers. But, perhaps, the most significant shared attribute of all is the fact that the most customer-centric organizations on earth are led by individuals and teams of people who recognize that they have never stopped, and will never stop, learning.
For example, the CEO of one of the largest organizations on the planet, Microsoft, a gentleman called, Satya Nadella, is one of a string of leaders who has made it very clear that for Microsoft to be a sustainably successful organization, they need to not be an organization that knows everything, but be an organization that learns everything. In the last seven years, I’ve been privileged to share knowledge with in excess of 10,000 people around the world from across all industries. That is significant, significant because there are many organizations who are investing in giving their people knowledge to enable them to apply the skills and competencies required for that organization to be sustainably customer-centric.
However, of those 10,000 plus people that I have shared knowledge with around the world, I can confidently say that less than 3% of them have represented the C-suite, or the board of directors. I’ve always got to ask myself, why is that? Why do so few members of the top table come to knowledge transfer sessions around a subject that is commonly misunderstood? Is it because they know everything already, or is it because they don’t care? Or is it a combination of both of those things?
Customer experience is a science, and one of my favorite quotes of all time, from a very senior leader of a bank in South Africa, having attended a customer experience masterclass of mine, was that she always knew customer experience was important, but she didn’t realize it was a science. Behind that science is a heart. If we want our organizations, across all industries, to genuinely put the rhetoric of customer experience into a place where it becomes a sustainable reality, then we have got to ensure that we never stop learning. I describe myself as a customer experience specialist, not an expert. An expert infers that I know everything. I don’t.
Customer experience is such a diverse subject. Every organization is different, every industry is different, every geography is different, and my role, personally, is to never stop learning. Because every day, every month, every year, I learn something new that helps me to become a better customer experience professional. We need that principle to become more commonplace in organizations in all industries around the world.