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How leadership impacts the customer experience

Of all the business trends to come into focus over the last few years, customer experience is one that has really taken hold. It started as a way for companies to view themselves differently through the eyes of their customers, to go beyond a rigid structure and respond to their needs.

The arena of customer experience now has various terms, such as ‘consumer journey’ and ‘user experience’, but often the effect of high quality leadership on cx is ignored. Leadership is usually thought of as the CEO or Board of Directors, but modern companies have lots of layers of leadership with differing responsibilities. While upper management can create business strategies, define the company culture and chart the ideal customer experience, unless this is also communicated to the lower levels of management, it won’t become a company-wide process.

Leaders also affect customers, not just staff

This makes high-quality leadership absolutely critical to business in a whole new way. Leadership doesn’t just have internal impacts or affect how you deal with employees, but also how those employees represent your business and ultimately how the public perceives your company. The C-suite can define a customer experience, but if the customer doesn’t get the quality of service they expect, they simply take away a bad customer experience.

Effective communication is at the very top of the list for desirable business skills for this very reason. “Big Picture” ideas start on the boardroom table, but unless the aims, reasons and execution are passed through the management chain, the message could be misapplied or even entirely lost. It’s at this point that new ideas and plans from the board are tested to their limits – simply because customers have a habit of making unforeseen requests that take a little creative thinking or a critical approach to solve.

Good customer service is much more than a smile

Every business has always claimed to pride itself on high service standards, but now the customer journey is a key business differentiator. Technology has effectively removed barriers in almost every industry and loyal patrons make a huge difference to companies. If key leaders aren’t supported – or don’t provide support and feedback – then it’s entirely possible that plans won’t reach full potential.

Businesses need candidates and leaders with the necessary skills to communicate, support, problem-solve and feed back to create the difference in the customer journey and therefore to the business as a whole. University of York has three 100% online Masters degrees in Leadership and Management to give you the skills to make the difference to your company.

By taking advantage of the world-class teaching available at the University of York, coupled with the flexibility of learning online when it suits you, you can gain a top-quality Russell Group degree without the need to take a career or study break. We also offer a pay-per-module option to remove the burden of large, up-front payments and we run six start dates throughout the year, letting you begin as soon as you’re ready.

Creating positive customer experiences is one of the key aims for any business looking to ensure its future success, but those that seize the leadership opportunities and the impact they have could be the big players in future.