What makes a company great?

Shep Hyken, professional speaker, bestselling author and Chief Amazement Officer for Shepard Presentations, said it’s not just the product.

Hyken, a customer service and experience expert, spoke during CXweek, an online conference featuring daily webinars and content downloads to raise awareness of and celebrate the role customer experience plays in business success.

“The companies that get it are extremely customer-focused and they put the customer at the heart of all their decisions,” he told attendees during a conference session.

Follow the 6 D's


“A customer-centric company stands out. It's more desirable for consumers to do business with. It's a more enjoyable place for employees to work. And the top-rated customer services companies are often the best-rated companies to work for.”


Because the culture within the organization offers a similar experience to the one the customer experiences on the outside, said Hyken.

So how can companies that want to stand out become customer-centric?

For Hyken, it all begins with the letter D.

1. Define It: “We want executives to clearly define what the customer service vision is supposed to be,” said Hyken. “It’s important that everybody gets it.”

2. Disseminate It: “It’s very important that everyone’s aligned and going in the same direction,” said Hyken. The vision needs to be communicated clearly, he added.

Learning Opportunities

3. Deploy It: When it comes to training, Hyken emphasized that ongoing training is much more valuable than simply onboarding employees and saying you’ve done it. “Customer service training is not something that you did, it’s something you do all the time,” he said. “In order to keep it fresh in their minds, you need to constantly reinforce it.”

4. Demonstrate It: Hyken shared that, as a consultant, he gets frustrated that executives don’t show up for trainings to demonstrate the importance of customer experience to others in the organization. “To demonstrate it is to truly show how it’s going to be,” he said. “Treat people you work with the way you want your customer treated — maybe even better.” 

This is a concept Hyken calls “The Employee Golden Rule.” He advised attendees to ask themselves this question to ensure they are demonstrating proper behavior: “Is the behavior that you are showcasing exactly the behavior you want the employees you’re working with to deliver to the customer?”

5. Defend It: “When it comes to great service, everyone can be a leader and everyone needs to defend the culture,” said Hyken. “If you see somebody doing something they shouldn’t, use it as a teaching opportunity to defend the culture and show how it should be done.”

6. Delight in It: “Celebrate!” said Hyken. “If it’s working, let people know it.”

His final takeaway? “You don’t want to see a customer service program be a flavor of the month, or flavor of the year. For business, it’s a team sport – there’s a constant focus on winning the game — winning the customer and getting them to come back and do business with you.” 

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  Title image by The Tedster.