Like many of you, I have Google Alerts update me on new posts, news and information about customer service. I am delighted to see that customer-focus is being discussed in many non customer service blogs — project management, HR, Brand Management, Marketing etc.

I see this as a good sign that the importance of customer service is being recognized in all aspects of business.

In a recent post on Product Management Tips, I spotted an interesting post that discussed the order of importance between customer, employee and competitor. An argument could be made for a number of orders, but I agree with the moderator that the order should be employee, customer and finally competition.

I tell my clients that customer-focus should be an outcome — not a goal. The goal is employee engagement, if we achieve that goal, then customer service will follow and resultant we will have a competitive advantage.

However, be careful that just because you are employee focused that your processes don’t become organizational-focused versus customer-focused — that is an easy trap to fall into.

When you talk about customer focus in your organization, do you consider it a goal or an outcome? How would this change the way you did things?

Let me know.