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Building a Customer-centric Culture From the Frontlines to the C-Suite with Diane Hopkins

Building a Customer-centric Culture From the Frontlines to the C-suite

Shep Hyken interviews Diane Hopkins, Certified Experience Economy Expert, CEO of ExPeers Consulting and author of Unleashing the Chief Moment Officers. She shares how to leverage the insights of your frontline staff to design customer experiences and create a customer-centric culture.


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Top Takeaways:   

  • When employees interact with customers, they have the great responsibility to represent the entire organization. They should be empowered to answer questions and help customers in a way that motivates the customers to come back. In that interaction, they become the Chief Moment Officer.
  • When we hire good people and train them to do what they are supposed to, they become empowered to make good decisions for the customers, fellow employees, and the company.
  • Employees on the frontline have unique knowledge about their customers that comes from constant first-hand interactions. Companies should have systems in place to leverage that knowledge so that everyone, from the frontlines to the boardroom, is headed in the same direction in terms of the customer experience culture.
  • The company’s leadership needs to be aligned with its customer experience goals. Once leaders have figured out the desired success, it is time to invest in training tools, like storytelling to facilitate real change in behavior toward customer-centricity.
  • Create a one-sentence motto that expresses your vision for customer experience. Make it short and simple so that everybody can remember it and it is easy to train for it. It needs to be intuitive to eventually become “just the way we do business.” For example, Ritz-Carlton’s motto is “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”
  • To build a customer-centric culture, look at what is, what if, what wows, and what works.  
    • What is – What is the current state of our company’s culture?  
    • What if – What could we fix that is out of line?  
    • What wows – How can we use innovative techniques and tools to push our goals? 
    • What works – What can we afford? What is legal? 
  • Customers pay the bills. Without customers, there is no company. However, companies still neglect to remove friction points that make it difficult for customers to stay. Most of the time, these friction points, such as making it hard for customers to find a phone number on the website or making customers re-do things unnecessarily, have simple solutions.
  • Plus, Shep and Diane share exercises you can do with your team to figure out what you are doing that prevents your customers from having a frictionless experience. Tune in!


“If your frontline staff doesn’t see the company’s vision, doesn’t feel like their insights matter, or know that their leadership values them, aligned behaviors towards customer-centricity won’t happen.”

“Why spend money on advertising and representing what the company stands for if it is not the experience that the customer gets when they interact with you?”

“There must be consistent, enjoyable, enthusiasm-building, and memorable training to strengthen a customer-centric culture.”

“Instead of telling your employees how lucky they are to be working for your company, let them know how blessed the company is to have them.”

“Take off the bib and put on the apron. Don’t show up to work wearing a bib and look for someone to make your life easier. Come to work wearing an apron and be ready to serve.”


Diane S. Hopkins is a Certified Experience Economy Expert, healthcare strategy consultant, and author of Unleashing the Chief Moment Officers and It’s Hard to be Easy. She also co-authored Advice from a Patient and Wake Up and Smell the Innovation.

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

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

  1. What is a Certified Chief Moment Officer?
  2. What is the Awesome Responsibility?
  3. How do you build a customer-centric culture?
  4. How do you make it easy for your frontline staff to share their ideas?
  5. What happens when customer experience goals are not aligned across the organization?

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