Justin Clark, MBA
What are the leadership barriers to doing this?
I suppose the biggest challenge to doing this is just assuming that you already know. It is easy to get stuck in a habit or pattern and not take the time to continually re-evaluate who your customer is. It is also easy to define who the obvious customers are, but look past some of the less obvious ones. For example, as a support service at the hospital, we would say that patients are our customers. However, we must also acknowledge that our co-workers are our customers too. If we don’t properly meet their needs, then we can’t expect them to have everything that they need to take care of our patients.
What is the case for doing it anyway?
Workplace dynamics are constantly changing. As technology advances, the way we provide care to patients is changing as well. As a support service, it is imperative that we have a clear understanding of who our customers are. If we don’t know this, how could we possibly construct a culture to best serve them?
How can you do it?
Honestly assess who you’re serving. Take a step back from the day to day operations to evaluate who you and your team are serving.
Ask your team. It might not always be obvious to you as a leader who your team is serving. Involve them in defining who your customers are. After all, they are the ones going out each day and engaging with them.
Clearly define the customer. Once you have done your assessment and solicited the input of your team, define the customer for your entire team. Don’t assume that everyone understands who they are serving. In our team, we clearly articulate that we are here for patients and staff. That our responsibility is to serve each group.