22 August 2014 – Andrew Burns
Customer experience management. It sounds so simple on paper, but there is just one variable that’s difficult to control: the people.
In a previous post, we looked at how customer experience management addresses every aspect of the individual’s interaction with your company. From a decision maker’s perspective, it is easy to see why customer experience management is important and valuable to the customer, as well as to the business. But how do you instil the same ethos in your business’ frontline: the employees who will probably be dealing with customers the most?
Customer experience management begins with the leaders of any organisation, but it can’t end there. Every employee, whether client facing or not, is a conduit through which you communicate your objectives. Company culture is a good place to start.
Change your company’s culture
If your company doesn’t have a customer experience management strategy that puts the individual at the core of the business, how can you expect your staff to do the same? Conducting a cultural revamp is a complex task and most often requires guidance from a customer experience management consultant. This is particularly true for established cultures. However, once it’s engrained in your ethos, the results are amazing.
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Starbucks, for example, doesn’t create layers of bureaucracy for its customers. Instead, it provides every customer with a simple feedback card that lists a variety of ways to provide feedback, including the personal name, phone number and email address of the district manager.
So, if you’re unhappy, you can address your concerns with a decision maker rather than turn to social media to vent.[/vc_column][/vc_row]
For those who argue that customer experience management isn’t profitable, here is some food for thought: research conducted by Deloitte has found that companies that take customer experience management seriously were 60% more profitable than their peers.
Back at Starbucks, if the person who serves you your coffee isn’t on board a customer experience management programme, it won’t matter how much the manager loves you, because the frontline has already failed. Much like customer experience management needs to be engrained in the company culture, every tier needs to be held responsible and accountable, too.
Nordstrom – an American fashion retailer – is an example of a business that is so customer-orientated that its service stories have now become legendary – including one about a staff member who ironed a new shirt for a customer who urgently needed it for a meeting that afternoon. Now that is going above and beyond the call of duty!
Reward your staff for excellent customer service[vc_row padding_top=”40px” padding_bottom=”20px” border=”none” bg_color=”#2c6489″ style=”padding-left: 30px; padding-right: 30px;”][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″]
As a call centre agent, Steven handles 40 customer queries a day, and is rated 98% helpful by his customers. Cathy handles 20 customer queries a day, and is rated 57% helpful by her customers.
Both Steven and Cathy receive the exact same salary, and management just loads more queries onto Steven because he’s hardworking. Ultimately, if Steven doesn’t see a reward (besides more work), he will most likely develop Cathy’s work ethic.[/vc_column][/vc_row]
A key aspect of any strategy based on customer experience management is retaining and rewarding those who go the extra mile. Ensure that your staff’s KPIs are aligned to customer experience management, and they will also see the benefit of their efforts.
Companies that engage in customer experience management are more profitable than others. With real business value in being customer-orientated evident, don’t you think it’s about time that your company introduces a good customer experience management strategy that helps align every aspect of your business?