Commits to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external stakeholders; acts with stakeholders in mind; values importance of providing high-quality customer service.
|Level 1: Basic
||Level 2: Intermediate
||Level 3: Advanced
||Level 4: Expert |
|Seeks to meet the expectations and requirements of internal and external stakeholders
||Commits to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external stakeholders
||Dedicated to and openly communicates to staff that customer service to stakeholders comes first
||Strategically plans ways to demonstrate superior customer service for district stakeholders|
|Considers stakeholders’ needs to be important
||Gets firsthand stakeholder information and assesses it to measure stakeholder satisfaction
||Interacts regularly with stakeholders to gain feedback and to ascertain ways to improve services
||Investigates and analyzes external indicators to project stakeholders’ future needs |
|Establishes relationships with stakeholders and gets firsthand stakeholder information
||Builds and maintains effective relationships with stakeholders and gains their trust and respect
||Acts with stakeholders in mind and considers customer service of paramount importance
||Establishes and nurtures relationships with stakeholders, regularly inviting feedback and suggestions|
||Directs staff to ensure stakeholder trust and respect for the organization|
Overdoing customer focus
- May be overly responsive to customer demands
- May be too willing to change established processes and timetables to respond to unreasonable customer requests
- May make too many exceptions and not form consistent policies, practices, and processes for others to learn and follow
- Sticks so close to current customer needs that breakthroughs are missed
To improve your proficiency, ask yourself the following questions on a regular basis:
- What must I do today to follow through on a promise?
- What have I failed to do that I said I would do, and can I redeem the situation even now?
- Who can I touch base with today, just for the sake of keeping in contact with them?
- What can I do to improve an existing process, even if it seems to function properly?
- Can I listen to a complaint without becoming defensive?
- In what specific way(s) can I exceed the expectations of someone today?
To avoid overdoing customer focus, ask yourself:
- Am I inconsistent in setting policies or forming processes to try to please everyone?
- Am I overreacting or overcompensating when dealing with a complaint?
- Am I getting overwhelmed by negative comments?
- Describe a time when you made meeting and exceeding customer requirements a driving force behind your activities and decisions. Who were the customers and how did you clarify the needs? To what extent did you involve others? What were the results?
- Share a time when you actively gathered information to measure stakeholder satisfaction. How did you gather the information? How did you use it to improve customer service?
- Describe specific methods you’ve used to build relationships and gain the trust and respect of key stakeholders.
Learning on the job
Learning on your own: These self-development remedies will help you build your skill(s).
- Keep in touch: Keep in touch in various ways: phone, face-to-face, mail, email, etc. Ask customers what they need, want, and expect.
- Be ready for the good news and the bad news: Listen and be responsive to legitimate criticism; make a note of the rest. Resist getting defensive and overwhelmed.
- Anticipate customer needs: Meet on a regular basis to develop rapport, relationship, and understanding. Anticipate what they need before they do, and be ready to fill the gap.
- Put yourself in their shoes: Gain perspective from the other side of the fence. Respond to communication in a timely way, and deliver what you promise.
- Arrange and design what you do considering your customers’ point of view: Design and manage your interaction from them in, not from you out.
- Create an environment of experimentation and learning: Drive for continuous improvement.
- Look at your own personal work habits: Design your behavior for effectiveness and efficiency. There is always room for improvement.
- Think of yourself as a dissatisfied customer: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Study ways your performance is less than stellar, and try to eliminate the cause of at least half of them.
- Think of yourself as a satisfied customer: Consider the ways you perform with excellence, and reinforce or institutionalize them. Study what others do well and incorporate their methods.
- Play detective: Study work flows and processes around you (airports, malls, restaurants). Note changes you would make or good points you see, and incorporate those principles into your activities.
Learning from develop-in-place assignments: These part-time develop-in-place assignments will help you build your skill(s).
- Do a customer satisfaction survey.
- Represent your organization at a conference, convention, or workshop.
- Launch a new procedure, process, or curriculum.
- Troubleshoot a performance or quality problem.
Learning more from your plan: These additional remedies will help make this development plan more effective for you.
- Learning to learn better:
- Monitor yourself more closely and get off your autopilot. Think freshly about each situation before acting.
- Pre-sell an idea to a key stakeholder. Identify those whose support you need. Collect information needed to be persuasive and try to pre-sell your solutions.
- Sell something to a tough group or audience. Understand opposing viewpoints; find common ground. Prepare yourself with your best data and arguments.
- Learning from experience, feedback, and other people:
- Use multiple models. Select role models of towering strengths (or glaring weaknesses). Learn from characteristics rather than from the whole person.
- Learn from those in authority. Distance yourself from your feelings, and analyze what they do and do not do well. Choose to imitate the successful behavior.
- Get feedback from those in authority. Communicate that you are open to constructive criticism and are willing to work on issues they view as important.
- Be open to feedback. Ask for examples and detail; listen, take notes, and keep a journal.
- Learning from courses:
- Take a course to brush up on or refresh your job skills.
- Take a course designed to offer feedback, such as how to develop negotiating skills or influence people.
- Take a survey course designed to give a general overview of an area of interest.
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Copyright © 1992, 1996, 2001-2003 by Robert W. Eichinger and Michael M. Lombardo. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This work is derived from the LEADERSHIP ARCHITECT® Competency Library developed and copyrighted by Robert W. Eichinger and Michael M. Lombardo for Lominger Limited, Inc.
This competency is one in a set of complete functional and behavioral
qualities that, when fully realized, can help lead to professional success.