Crafting a culture around knowing your customer starts with how you operate on the inside.

If you create a culture around achieving the next profit milestone, or designing to cut costs and increase margins, your begging your team to focus on things that are not your top priority: meeting the customer’s needs. Whether you know it or not, this is your top priority. Your current market share might be a good indication of if you are actually working to achieve it.

If your growth isn’t quite what it could be or if you have all the right infrastructure but can’t quite get through that glass ceiling, you may want to take a look at your teams and systems.

Is your management team operating at the right level, are your employees empowered to coach up and suggest improvements, is your team just that, a team?

If the answer is no, you’re likely not getting where you could be with your customers.

If your people are distracted from your purpose and mission because of administrative burden, team frustration or because they don’t feel empowered to act, in the end, you and your company are losing out. Your business infrastructure has to be designed to maximize input and two-way communication at every level.

Internally this means your front-line who are closest to the problems and to your customers, can provide feedback up and influence decision-making. Externally this means your customer needs are understood and customer feedback dictates how you operate and what products or services you provide.