CUSTOMER FOCUS SKILLS

This analysis of customer focus skills is useful to managers who are hoping to recruit staff with these skills or assist their existing employees to acquire the skills.

It can also be useful to job-holders who already possess these skills, and would like to be able to describe and define them more precisely, as well as to those who would like to be able to develop the skills further. 

Describing customer focus skills using Spotlight

Attribute statement and Spotlight translation

Spotlight activity example

Spotlight skill level

Customer focused attitude

A. Shaping awareness – capacity to develop, focus and shape your own and other participants’ awareness

Responsiveness

A1. Sensing contexts or situations

Automatically picks up early warning signs.

2. Automatic fluency

Solves problems by sifting key information from a mass of detail.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Shares their approach to solving client problems, so that co-workers’ performance also improves.

4. Creative solution-sharing

Empathy

A2. Monitoring and guiding reactions

A3. Judging impacts

Develops understanding of reasons for clients’ behaviour.

1. Familiarisation

Guides others how to behave in a situation.

2. Automatic fluency

Automatically minimises others’ discomfort

2. Automatic fluency

Senses when others are becoming to be uncomfortable.

2. Automatic fluency

Conveys news at the right time, judging from reactions how much to say.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Deals with conflicting demands about release of information

3. Proficient problem-solving

Commitment to quality

A2. Monitoring and guiding reactions

A3. Judging impacts

Learns to predict the impacts of actions on the behaviour of others.

1. Familiarisation

Automatically acts to reduce the stress of others.

2. Automatic fluency

Screens unsettling procedures from clients.

2. Automatic fluency

Chats to relax clients who might otherwise become stressed.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Constructively challenges practices that may compromise the safety or dignity of others.

4. Creative solution-sharing

Monitors community perceptions of an initiative.

5. Expert system-shaping

Interaction and relationship management

B. Interacting and relating – capacity to negotiate interpersonal, organisational and intercultural relationships

Integrity

B1. Negotiating boundaries

Learns to establish role boundaries.

1. Familiarisation

Learns to explain each step of a process.

1. Familiarisation

Provides support unobtrusively to enhance others’ independence.

2. Automatic fluency

Finds a pleasant way to refuse requests that would deflect from deadlines.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Communication

B2. Communicating verbally/non-verbally

Puts people at ease, keeping their spirits up.

2. Automatic fluency

Interprets the needs of people who have restricted ability to communicate.

2. Automatic fluency

Uses listening skills, allowing people to express their concerns.

2. Automatic fluency

Pitches and paces communication to the varying abilities of different listeners.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Translates between diverse groups, such as children and experts.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Creates a suitable working environment for colleagues.

4. Creative solution-sharing

Crystallises the views of a diverse audience with apt or memorable language or images.

5. Expert system-shaping

Uses understanding of community issues to gain acceptance by a range of audiences.

5. Expert system-shaping

Intercultural focus

B3. Connecting across cultures

Learns to interact easily and respectfully with people from diverse cultures.

1. Familiarisation

Sees one’s own and the work team’s behaviour from the perspective of another culture.

2. Automatic fluency

Identifies the correct community spokespeople to approach.

2. Automatic fluency

Works with people from diverse backgrounds in the community to overcome prejudice.

5. Expert system-shaping

Works to implement obligations of partnership, participation and protection of indigenous people.

5. Expert system-shaping

Helps build culturally appropriate programmes.

5. Expert system-shaping

Time management and teamwork

C. Coordinating – capacity to organise your own work, link it into to the overall workflow and deal with disruptions

Flexibility

C1. Sequencing/ combining activities

Sees what needs to be done and automatically does it.

2. Automatic fluency

Assesses the urgency and importance of simultaneous calls on attention to avoid crises.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Frequently reprioritises tasks and new demands, to keep within deadlines.

3. Proficient problem-solving

Teamworking

C2. Interweaving activities with others’

Follows up loose ends.

2. Automatic fluency

Mobilises a range of support networks for quick responses.

4. Creative solution-sharing

Develops networks for accessing, tracking, sharing and building on solutions.

5. Expert system-shaping

Resilience

C3. Maintaining/ restoring workflow

Rebalances and refocuses quickly after an interruption or crisis.

2. Automatic fluency

Fixes up minor misunderstandings before they escalate.

2. Automatic fluency

Works with others to find a way around or through obstacles.

4. Creative solution-sharing

Works to maintain continuity and stability as well as responsiveness to change.

5. Expert system-shaping