Monday, June 25, 2018

Five easy ways to create a client centered culture in your organization

Client centered culture is a way of thinking and doing things that sees the people using the product or services provided by your organization as equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring processes to make sure it meets their needs.  It means that the person receiving the product or service provided by your organization is an equal partner in the planning of service and that his or her opinions are important and are respected. This means putting people and their families at the center of decisions and seeing them as experts, working alongside professionals to get the best outcome.

Client centered culture is not just about giving people whatever they want or providing information. It is about considering people’s desires, values, family situations, social circumstances and lifestyles; seeing the person as an individual, and working together to develop appropriate solutions to the problems they are experiencing. With a client centered culture in mind, your organization will ensure that services are fit for purpose, better targeted and effective for the people that they are designed to serve, and thus a more effective use of resources.

So, how do you create a client centered culture for your organization? 

My first advice is to start with those inside the organization. The best ways you could create a client (service users) centered culture in your organization is by getting all staff and board members to understand the importance of client centered culture. Define the client centered culture your organization would like to foster and communicate the culture to your team. Articulate your philosophy of putting the service users first, in a clear and concise manner.

Second, to succeed in this make sure client centeredness is reflected in your NGO’s mission, vision, values, and goals. Even before you start practicing it; client’s centricity should be a part of your organization’s philosophy. This might appear to be a formality but it has a deep impact on your organization’s strategy, its attitude towards service user’s issues and how your employees perceive client satisfaction.

Thirdly, incorporate service users as key staff/volunteers/board members to reflect patient experience, concerns, and realities. Involving your users can improve your services; I have seen this as I work with the organization Nation’s Together which is an organization based in Hai Kilimanjaro involved with social inclusion of people with learning difficulties. The organization has service users on their board and they are involved in planning decision making. Let your organization embed a culture of engagement and empowerment of service users.

To become a client centric organization, every aspect of your organization should be aligned with the sole purpose of creating an optimal service user’s experience. For this to materialize, you need to have a motivated team that sees personal gains in client satisfaction. Smart organizations achieve this by linking employee growth and incentives with service user’s satisfaction. They reward employees who go the extra mile in resolving complex service user’s issues or create something that makes the lives of the end-users easier.

The process of creating a client centric culture in your organization starts with hiring the right employees and creating the right expectations. Any professional joining your company should understand the value you place in service user’s satisfaction. They need to be ready to go the extra mile for your clients, and understand that every employee in your company has a stake in it. You can take a look at a blog post I wrote about the crucial need for human capital planning and strategy, as well as a post on being patient in the hiring process to be able to scan for the right candidates for your organization. Client centricity should be a core value for your organizations hiring procedures. All your employees should be aligned with it.

The shift towards becoming a truly client centric organization is both complex and long but, do not be put off by this as even the smallest changes to policy and procedures can have a significant benefit for both employee and your service users. Starting from your organizations values, you need to create an environment where every employee in your organization takes service user’s satisfaction into consideration before making any decisions. By making this a part of your employee appraisal and reward system, and by making your higher management employees lead by example, you’ll be on your way to creating a truly client centered culture in your organization.

Because of His love, I am forever a secure package
Chaow Chaow!

Rumishael Ulomi is a Freelance Christian Consultant, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker in the areas of Christian Ministry, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Social Sector development residing in Moshi,Tanzania.


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