top of page
  • Writer's pictureRCA

Junior Management and Developing Customer Centricity

In the ten years that I have been working in the culture development space with small business to large enterprise, a few common threads have become evident within those that succeed as well as those who fail. Below are my observations with specific reference to the correlation between junior management and the successful (or unsuccessful) development of a customer-centric culture.

The notion of working smart and not just relentlessly hard is an important point of departure within the more successful purpose-driven organisations. By that I mean that in order to effectively build a customer-centric culture, one has to develop a way of thinking and doing primarily within those who influence behaviours daily within the organisation. Nobody has more influence over the execution of the customer experience than junior management. These staff members, whilst no longer at the coalface of the interaction, are close enough to the action to influence the consistency and long term public perception of the brand from a customer experience perspective. Alarming to note is that many of these junior managers are thrust into these positions with little or no guidance of what it means to drive a culture of customer-centricity. Instead they either walk the line of the authoritarian and lose any connection with their teams or alternatively try and win the most popular boss of the century and consequently lose the respect of those they are meant to be leading. The result is a group of people on the executional level that do what they think is effective but without any unified approach required to build a customer-centric behaviour-set.

The outlook and approach taken by the junior level of management is therefore critical towards the customer experiencing the optimum degree of value from every relevant touch point of the customer journey. The junior manager, in essence, sets the tone for the behaviour-set that will follow from their team and be felt by the consumer. The current reality however is that the majority of these junior managers have little or no idea of how to proactively construct and communicate a set of expectations in order to achieve the necessary accountability.

Root Causes of the Problem

One of the most fundamental errors in decision-making made on a consistent basis, is the assumption that a staff member strong in execution will be a strong and effective manager. The skill-sets are in fact vastly different and the reality being that highly effective managers may well not be as effective at execution. As a result, the person often placed into the management position isn’t the best person for the job. A strong junior (and senior) manager has to be a naturally strong and proactive