Brilliant Leadership Is a CS Requirement

John Krautzel
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Great customer service doesn't just happen in any organization. It's the role of leadership to build the framework in which customer service is a priority for employees. Training front-facing employees to help them understand their responsibilities to customers is essential, as is fostering a work environment in which workers are valued and given the freedom to do their jobs productively. Examine these key leadership elements as they relate to customer service.

Good Leaders Value Their Employees

In a healthy corporate culture, customer service employees are valued for their performance. Good leaders recognize great results and make it a point to regularly reward them. They may set expectations high, but they also give their subordinates more freedom in deciding how to best serve customers. As a result, employees tend to take more personal responsibility for their choices and actions.

Good Leaders Focus on Others' Successes

When it comes to customer service, too many people in charge approach their roles as managers rather than as leaders. They often view their front-facing reps as interchangeable or even disposable. However, handling service as a leader means knowing about your employees' successes and applauding them. Even more, if you want to gain the respect of those under you, you need to put their successes ahead of your own and help them grow professionally.

Good Leaders Communicate a Sense of Purpose

When customer service employees understand the impact they're making, they can better see how their roles fit into the company's overall mission. A good leader should be part of orientation, explaining his own role within the company and communicating a sense of purpose to new front-facing employees. Each customer-facing employee makes a lasting impression on customers, ultimately playing a role that's often more crucial than that of many managers. Good leaders help foster this understanding so that customer service employees see how their work contributes to the larger company strategies and success.

Good Leaders Put Customers First

Too many corporate leaders focus on their own advancement, often at the expense of the customers their business is supposed to be serving. However, a great leader knows that success is defined by the customer. A good leader always puts customers' needs and expectations first, and this sets an example for all front-facing employees to follow. Only by understanding how the company's customers truly think and feel can a leader know how to meet their needs, how to communicate those needs to customer-facing employees, and how to empower those employees to truly serve their customers.

The role of leadership in customer service is to lead from behind. By valuing front-facing employees and putting customers' needs first, a strong leader can empower his employees to go the extra mile, which in turn contributes to customer engagement and satisfaction and overall company success.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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