The Customer Experience Series: “Show Me” Leadership

Leaders who like being snowed about how their customers are being treated ask single, closed-ended questions like “Did your team institute the customer service policy we discussed?” or “Did you satisfactorily solve that customer issue that arose last week?”

The answers to questions like these always match what the leader wants to hear; “Yep.”

Conversely, Show Me Leaders not only uncover truthful answers, but their “deep dive” style ensures that their teams proactively do whatever is expected – without having to be told. Show Me Leaders ask open-ended questions like “How has your team been instituting the customer service policy we discussed?” or “How did you satisfactorily solve that customer issue that arose last week?”

They immediately follow their team’s answers with “Great, show me;” and then silently stare at their subordinate as he or she squirms to prove the answer they just provided was truthful. This is how leaders get to the honest answers beyond the filtering.

Want to make this work for you? Great, let’s start today; and just walk right up to a frontline employee or manager and ask, “How are we wowing our customers today?” Expect to get a vague, but affirmative answer like, “Oh, boy, we are doing this and this and this and the customers just love it.”

Then say, “Great, show me;” followed by silence.

Congratulations. You’ve just become a Show Me Leader.

Next up in the series: How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say.

(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: Why Does Good Customer Service Matter?)

About TheManager:

Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in The Customer Experience. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at