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Building a Culture of Creative Response to Customer Need

Shep Hyken interviews Jeff Gothelf. They discuss how companies must build a culture around listening and responding to customer need.

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The Interview with Jeff Gothelf:

  • Do work that has an impact on your customers. Don’t measure your work based on completion; measure it based on growth and the positive impact you can have on those around you—especially your customers.
  • Leaders need to start managing product teams differently, putting the focus on the customer rather than on products and deadlines. If you build a customer-centric product, it will help you attract the best people and have the biggest impact on customers. This is the way to succeed in today’s world.
  • Organization leaders must empower all employees—but especially those closest to the customer and in customer-facing roles—to make decisions that best impact the customer. The employees in customer-facing roles are going to have the best understanding of the customer’s experience—their wants, needs, problems, and potential solutions to those problems.
  • Exemplary companies and technologies have universally raised customer expectations to a higher level. If you and your company don’t meet and exceed those expectations, you will lose customers to a company that does. Find out what your customers like about those exemplary companies, and incorporate some of their practices into your own business.
  • Use the concept of “sense and respond” when delivering your customer service and experience. You must listen to your customers and use what you hear to actively and rapidly grow and change. The rate of change in all industries is faster than ever, and it happens continuously; if you fall behind, you’ll lose customers.
  • Talk to your customers and listen to what they say. Have a real conversation with them instead of merely relying on surveys. This will help you understand them and get more qualitative data that will help you learn, grow, and succeed.


“It’s the cultures that build customer-centric products that succeed, attract the best people, and ultimately have the biggest impact on their customers.” – Jeff Gothelf

“It’s your responsibility to discover what customers want. What customers say they want and what they actually do are often two different things.” – Jeff Gothelf

“The faster you can build learning into the culture of your organization, the faster you can build the response mechanisms to adjust course to the wildly changing market conditions and customer expectations.” – Jeff Gothelf



Jeff Gothelf works as a coach, consultant, and keynote speaker. He founded Sense & Respond Press and co-authored the books Lean UX and Sense & Respond.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is sense and respond?
  2. How can I make my company stand out?
  3. How can I deliver the best customer experience?
  4. What should I do with customer feedback?
  5. How should I build my company culture?


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