We had a really inspiring venue for the launch of Global Standard© Version 6 this week at Altitude, with panoramic 360 degree views over London. It was particularly apt for a new era in Global Standard© that involves a 360 degree view of an organisation, encompassing leaders and frontline teams and fostering strengths in both.
BBC Audience Services revealed how empowering front line agents and encouraging them to inject personality into their roles, has paid off in two important ways: higher customer satisfaction and higher employee engagement. These are vital elements in achieving a third highly desirable outcome - increased advocacy.
We also heard from Clydesdale Bank (part of National Australia Group) about the positive results they have achieved from giving greater latitude to customer service staff and from re-engineering service predicated on a belief that the overwhelming majority of customers are honest and trustworthy. It sounds like common sense but it is a surprisingly far from commonplace approach.
It takes a winning combination of strong authentic leadership and employee empowerment to make a difference to not only how customers feel but to what they will say about your organisation. In an era of diminished consumer trust, increasing customer advocacy becomes even more imperative.
If you were in any doubt that advocacy matters, we had a reminder this week in Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use & Attitudes Report (included in this month’s CCA Research Update) which stressed that while only a minority of customers write reviews, more than half will read them. 
This kind of ‘word-of-mouth’ recommendation generates not just enhanced trust but twice the sales of paid adverts so is not only powerful but cost-effective. But how do you achieve it? Is the battle for advocacy won or lost at the top of the organisation or at the front line? The answer is both.
John Knell reminded Industry Council members last week of an important tenet of good leadership which is addressed within CCA Customer Experience MBA: ‘Be Yourself, More Skillfully.’  In an age when consumers are particularly highly attuned to inauthentic leadership, the advice resonated strongly.
Kaye Adams, broadcaster, presenter and Chair of CCA Convention 2014 facilitated yesterday’s launch of CCA Global Standard© Version 6.  At the launch, Kaye made the very valid point that you are likely to get as many positive as negative comments for the same product or service, and in her case, show or broadcast.  So how do you know what to listen to? Kaye concluded that the only answer is to be constantly vigilant and understand your own performance in relation to expectation – the same must surely apply to organisations. 
There is a tendency to think effective leadership is mostly about charisma and personality. While these matter, in fact modern leaders who deliver real value to the organisations and customers that they serve are as much pragmatists as visionaries who show their leadership mettle in skillful execution of strategy.  
Maintaining a lateral view of what is required as a leader is hard on a day-to-day basis which is why taking regular time out with fellow customer service leaders to gain a panoramic overview of the customer landscape is so invigorating.