Customer obsession - being laser focused on a customer's experience, selection, ease of use, service, and access to information - can be the key to making your business thrive.

As a leader, you can take steps that help to drive this obsession in your culture, and make it the standard way of operating for your people.

Working Backwards For Customer Obession

Beginning with the end state in mind - your customer's experience - can help drive this culture.

Take a look at how Amazon maps out their own working backwards process.

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When you have a new business idea, do you immediately wonder about the bottom line? Or do you think about your customer. How will your idea fill a need of theirs?


Your customer calls and is ready to sign a contract to move to your service. Do you:

Create A Mock Press Release

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You can also apply the working backwards framework by creating a short mock press release announcing the finished product. It includes key information like:

  • What is the problem?

  • Why is the current solution is failing?

  • How will the new product create a better experience?

This exercise helps you determine whether the product is worth building, as in - whether it will truly help the customer.

Hire People Who Get It

As a leader, you can guide your people to practice behaviors that fuel customer obsession. But the best way to cement this culture, is to hire folks who naturally practice these behaviors too.

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Having people in all parts of your team understand good customer service will make it much easier to shift towards customer obsession.

Is an understanding of good customer service something you currently consider when hiring?

If not, should it be?

Make It Part Of Your Company Training

Talk about customer obsession with employees from their very first day.

Include the mock press release and working backwards approach in employee training. Or run a roleplay activity where your employees take turns acting as the customer. It will help them really understand their perspective.

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If you make customer obsession just as important in training as product or process knowledge for new employees, it will become something they value too.


Customer obsession is more than just a few exercises, but taken seriously, they can totally change your organization's culture.

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If you're a leader... which of these exercises might work well in your organization?

How can you work to implement it?

If you're not a leader... do you think your organization could benefit from any of these activities?

If so, talk to your leader about it.

Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash


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