thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer

Getting Past Task-Oriented Behavior

By on September 1, 2010

Task-oriented behavior describes actions involving a person's cognitive abilities in an attempt to solve problems, resolve conflicts, and gratify the person's needs to reduce or avoid distress. (Mosby's Medical Dictionary).

Highly task-oriented leaders and workers focus only on getting the job done. They define the work and the activities required, put structures in place, plan, organize, and monitor. For them, completion of particular tasks becomes their measure of success.

To-do_lrgThis type of person is very capable of carrying out transactions with customers. However, the dilemma is that he or she feels that these encounters are sufficient to deliver customer satisfaction. They cannot see that there is much more available. A musician does not simply play the notes on a sheet of music. He or she puts his energy and emotion behind it. Otherwise, the effort is flat and lifeless. The same concept applies when connecting with customers.

How do you get these people past transactional thinking? Show them a new, higher-level category of success. Educate task-oriented employees as a group by demonstrating what a customer-centered culture would do. After showing them the new way, measure the progress of the organization and its subgroups. Knowing what you should be measuring—proactive ideas for customer, reduction in silo behaviors within the organization—is fundamental.

Customer-centricity will never happen unless there is a measure of the new behavior that the culture is trying to achieve.

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