Respect Questions

To determine how well an organization exhibits respect, leaders can ask the following types of questions:

  • Recognition respect: Do we know who our customers are? Does our market research treat customers simply as numbers or does it reveal their values, wants, and needs? Do we understand the cultural context?
  • Evaluation respect: Which customers can we best serve? Are these our current market segments? How can we treat all our customers fairly, but not necessarily equally, according to clearly communicated criteria, such as gold and platinum customer accounts or benefactor and patron donor levels?
  • Deference respect: Do we understand the contributions of our customers to important metrics such as cash flow and organic growth? In our business, to what degree should we defer to customer tastes rather than lead customers in new directions?
  • Attitudinal respect: Is our company culture one where all employees believe all customers should be respected, regardless of status or monetary worth? Do we believe the customer is (almost) always right?
  • Behavioral respect: Do we treat customers respectfully in all service encounters? Do we ask customers´ permission to collect, use, and retain sensitive personal information or to receive direct-marketing communications? How often do our leaders meet face-to-face with customers?

Source: Respect Your Customers by John A. Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz | Leader to Leader, Summer 2011

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