Leadership Summit Series: Creating a Culture of Accountability

last updated on Monday, October 16, 2017 in General

2017 Leadership Summit presenter Linda Galindo discusses below how to create a culture of accountability at your organization that engages both employees and customers.

How Leadership Accountability Empowers Customer Engagement

Imagine walking into your role each and every day with your top of mind concern being: How to engage your employees to engage your customers.

Customer engagement is the competitive advantage and the leader is ultimately accountable for customer engagement.

If a top “want” of bank consumers is to see me as a person and every employee is accountable for seeing every customer as a person, what's your strategy as the leader?

The usual answer is, “Put employees through customer service training.”

Will that work? It could help.

But to leverage every opportunity for customer engagement consider a spin on this quote by N.D. Walsch: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Leaders must consider that the competitive advantage begins at the end of a leader's comfort zone. So consider this uncomfortable strategy suggestion…

What if the creator and teacher of the customer service training is YOU. And you know from the data that the top want of consumers is “see me as a person.” You decide to empower yourself to do whatever is necessary to create a customer service training that results in the top possible rating on the customer service survey item: “My bank sees me as a person."

Here is what you might think about doing:

Step One: Define what “see me as a person” means.

Let's say the customer says “see me as a person” means:

  • Great listener, you give me your full attention.
  • You are focused on my needs and wants rather than on the transaction.
  • You are up front about what can and can't happen and follow through on what you can do by when you say you can do it.
  • You always present an option that keeps me connected to you if I am getting a “no” or there is going to be a further delay in the process.

Step Two: Ask your employees to rate YOU on each of the statements.

Step Three: Any statement that does not get a 5 out of 5 becomes an opportunity to create examples of how to specifically fix that and that becomes your training to your employees!

If employees experience "being seen as a person" from you and your entire C-Suite as defined by the customer it's hard to believe you would not pull away from the competition so as to be the obvious choice each and every time banking services are needed. The competitive advantage has to start at the top.

The C-Suite in banking has to model the behavior expected of every employee. Period. No exceptions. This kind of culture attracts and keeps customers like no other. And the ultimate banking bonus: it retains employees who are they key to attracting future revenue streams to the bank.

Start where you can make the biggest difference and empower yourself to:

1. Know your employees needs and wants. I don't have to meet every need or want but should know what they are.

2. Respect your employees' time, they will respect the customers' time. The number one way to demonstrate respect for time is to be a fantastic listener…ala Stephen Covey's admonishment to be interested not interesting.

3. Make expectations clear. Be careful about thinking out loud. Employee confusion about what you expect can cause a lot of problems. The same can happen with the customer, “What did you need from me to get this transaction to work?” With clear expectations, everyone walks away with the same understanding of what is going to happen and by when. Clear agreement is the ultimate in accountability and results in fantastic customer service.

Leadership accountability empowers employees to own, act on and answer for the competitive advantage in banking today -- customer engagement. Customer engagement is grounded in “seeing me as a person, not a transaction.”

Are you ready for the brave new world of competition at the relationship level? Find out. Get out of your comfort zone, teach what you need to learn to meet and exceed employee expectations and watch employee's step up in ways you never imagined possible.


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