Leadership Due in 12 hours, APA Style, minimum 1.5 pages

TWU Global
LDRS 300:
Leadership as service
Unit 10:
Building a Customer Focused Culture


Unless otherwise noted material and ideas for this lecture are based on the book, The service culture handbook (2017) by Jeff Toister

Toister, Jeff. (2017). The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service. Toister Performance Solutions.

So what is a service culture?
“So, service culture is an organizational culture where there is a collective way employees think about providing outstanding service, act to provide it, and understand how and why they do it.
My shorthand definition is a service culture is one where employees are obsessed with customer service.”
Jeff Toister, 2017, p. xi

Building a customer focused culture
So, what kind of culture will you create when it comes to serving others?

Defining your

How does an organization define its culture? More specifically, it’s service culture?

Customer service vision

”A statement that clearly defines the quality of customer service employees are expected to provide”
(Toister, 2017, p.35)

Sample customer
service visions

We inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.
REI Outdoor Store

Sample customer
service visions

To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.


Sample customer
service visions

To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.

McDonald’s Restaurants

3 steps to creating a customer service vision
1. Gather Input.
2. Writing the Vision.
3. Validating the Vision.

1. gather input
1. Who needs to be around the table?
2. What voices are important and why?
3. How, when and in what space will we gather their input?
Face to face
Teams or individuals
Onsite or off-site
3. Ask one key question, “What would you like customers to think of when they think about the service we provide?” (Toister, 2017,p.40)

2. Writing the vision
1. 7-10 people is optimal.
2. No more than 2 hours in length.
3. 4 steps:
Clarify objectives
Review data
Draft Vision
Capture examples

A good customer service vision has the following criteria:
1. It is simple and easily understood.
2 It is focused on customers.
3. It reflects both who you are now and who you aspire to be in the future.
(Toister, 2017, p. 43)

#3 validating the vision
Getting all the stakeholders on board with the vision is a key step to having the vision embedded throughout the organization and become part of the culture.

It needs to resonate and make sense to everyone in the organization, not just those who created it.

There are several ways you can engage stakeholders:
One on one meetings, phone calls, zoom with senior executives
Focus groups, town hall meetings, department meetings
Use a survey to get input about their response, concerns or feedback to the vision.

Engaging employees with
your culture

Pause & reflect…
What did you notice about Zappos approach to their service culture?

For your group project…
What is the approach to the culture of service of the organization you are analyzing?

Employees need to be able to easily answer three questions as it relates to a customer service vision
1. What is it?
2. What does it mean?
3. How do I personally contribute?

Develop a plan
1. Roll out the Vision.
2. Create tools and training to get everyone on the same page.
3. Reinforce the new culture with encouragement, memos, evaluations, quarterly check-ups, coaching and mentoring.
4. Assess employee engagement (ongoing) through a variety of tools, both formal and informal.
At the end of the day, every employee should be able to answer these three questions:
1. What is our customer service vision?
2. What does the customer service vision mean?
3. How do I personally contribute to the customer service vision?

Starbuck’s wanted to refine their service vision…what does that look like?

Retieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VH5IuOBEBU

Rackspace – Unique culture, high performance, fanatical customer service

Please watch this video on your own for some excellent insights into creating an exceptional Customer Service Culture in an organization.

Changing your company’s service dna

The key is alignment

How are business & culture misaligned?
1. Hired the wrong people – not a good fit, not interested in service culture.
2. Not everyone knows or understands the service vision.
3. Staff are unclear about how to carry out the service vision.
3. Different departments have different goals and are not seeing the overall picture of what the organization is trying to accomplish.

Customer service alignment survey
Jeff Toister (2017) has developed this simple Customer Service Alignment Assessment to help organizations test their alignment to make sure they are ready and willing to have a great customer service vision.

Align your business around a customer-focused culture

5 Key Areas:
1. Goals
2. Hiring
3. Training
4. Empowerment
5. Leadership

Pause & reflect

What do you think drives an organization to have an outstanding customer service/ customer service culture?
Can you think of any organizations where you have experienced excellent customer service? What made it great?

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