There are ways to change the experience for your customers and employees alike for the better. There are even plenty of ways you can improve things today.
Yet when we are working day after day on the same set of projects and goals, it can be easy to become a little complacent about what customers really want from us. It’s also easy to assume what happens within our walls doesn’t have a direct impact on our customers.
Take at least one action today and see the results tomorrow.
Almost every organization could challenge themselves to become better in the following ways. And we don’t need another survey, task force or social media firestorm to remind us.
Are you ready? It’s time to challenge your organization to simply do better by following these ideas.
1. Stop using patronizing language.
Sometimes it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
“You should” is something we tend to read as a judgement. It is accusing and patronizing. “We would like” or “may I suggest” can change the whole tone of a message. “You should be turning in your sales reports no later than noon on Friday” is much different than “We would like to complete our sales analysis by Friday at 3:00pm. Please report your sales by 12:00 on Fridays.”
A customer-focused culture is NOT about us and them or you and me. It’s WE as often as possible.
Take a closer look at just your internal communications from the recipients’ perspective. How would it make you feel? If this requires more of a mind-shift than you expected, stick with it and it will become natural. In the process, nobody’s self-esteem takes a hit. Win-win.
2. Re-connect executives with the true customer experience.
I recently conducted an executive workshop where the participants were hard-pressed to recall the last direct interaction they had with a customer. They were relying on data to paint a picture of the customer journey, and therefore did not understand why their churn rate was spinning out of control. Too often, this disconnect is part of the package as we get further away from customers when we move up the corporate ladder.
Decision makers need to understand real-life customer issues, especially those which have been marked as “resolved” by frontline employees. Real customer feedback and anecdotes are the golden ticket to informing executives on how customers feel throughout the journey and why there was an issue to resolve in the first place.
Think of a creative way to bring your customer’s true voice into the C-Suite. Invite a customer to share a story or read some recent comments, verbatim. Ask your frontline staff to do the same and record as much of the dialogue as possible.
However you do this, deliver the truth and surrounding context to the C-Suite, and don’t hold back.
3. Help a team member out today and get a close look at their daily challenges.
Frontline success and challenges have a direct impact on your customer’s experience. What can be done to reduce their effort and focus more energy on the customer? What processes are getting in the way, causing more time on hold as the representative scrambles for a solution?
Pick a department, or a specific team member. Spend a portion of your day assisting them with the challenges they face day-to-day and welcome their questions. This exercise will give you knowledge about what your employees need to be successful.
Take note of everything that complicates their efforts and recognize those things as obstacles on the path to a better customer experience.
Put it on your calendar, and mark it as important!
Take at least one action every day.
Like most changes, it can take a while to get the hang of these things as a natural part of improving your customer’s journey. But take one action today. See what happens. Then move on to the next and the results will follow. And others will follow your lead! In the end, your employees and your customers will thank you!
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