Some companies invest in Customer Experience (CX) as an afterthought. Other brands are 100% focussed on allocating resources to create customer excellence. They purposely establish budgets to build and expand a CX team, and measure customer satisfaction and related KPIs daily. They also close the loop to fix identified customer pain points. Continue Reading →
Communication is a significant driver of human connections. HOW messages are delivered is as important as WHAT is shared. Talking in person is ideal. However, sometimes it is not possible given physical location and related factors. Seth Godin talks about using the appropriate medium. His words resonate with me a lot. I believe that lack of communication is the number one source of customer and employee dissatisfaction. The good news is that communication is in our control and easy to fix when issues arise.
I'm constantly focussed on new ways to maximize customer satisfaction (beyond price factors) and increase employee engagement. Whether I am at my day job or on vacation, my CX hat is on. I pay attention to everything, including how employees communicate with customers as well as how employees interact with one another. My recent trip was no different when visiting The Lodge At Woodloch with my family. I could write a book about my Woodloch experience, however, there's a specific CX example that impressed me the most.
There’s an increasing amount of conversations about both customer experience (CX) as well as diversity in the workplace, and I love it! I believe that the next generation, including my own daughter, will have more opportunities to share their voice, without judgments, and pursue jobs that they may not have in the past.
I’m writing this article for two reasons:
There’s a common phrase, “Happy Employees Bring Happy Customers.” It is so true! When people feel valued and enjoy their workplace, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to delighting customers and maximizing their satisfaction and loyalty.
So, how does a company apply this principle to achieve business growth? The following are 5 effective ways that apply to all industries:
Create a Customer-Centric Organization
A centralized customer experience organization is able to monitor the quality of the experiences they deliver.
This kind of organizational setup enables teams to take action on Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback, including structured data (i.e. surveys) and unstructured sources (i.e. social media.). It helps ensure there are clear actions and ownership in the company, plus a champion of customer-first culture at the top.
Empower Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is essential to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Collecting customer feedback is great. However, this is a wasted effort if employees don’t execute on improvement plans.
Employees have a direct impact on customer experiences. In an environment with low employee engagement, success metrics like NPS scores inevitably decline. If you think about the most successful brands, they trust their employees and routinely measure their level of job happiness.
Again, if you want to delight customers, make sure employee satisfaction is included in the overall strategy.
Train Employees on CX
Every level of the organization must be educated about the importance of customer experience and how they can make a difference! This includes front line employees, managers, and executives.
Furthermore, every employee must be held accountable for delivering customer excellence. To promote accountability, I highly recommend including CX metrics in everyone’s annual objectives. Include the ability to get bonuses when employees achieve goals, similar to other key performance indicators (KPIs). I have tested this theory throughout my career and can unequivocally say that, when CX is a shared goal among all employees (not just a few) business results are significantly better.
Emphasize the importance of humanizing customer experiences throughout your organization. This starts with meeting customer needs without over-complicating processes.
Often, small things mean the most. For instance, using simple “please” and “thank you” statements help make customers feel like they matter. It is actually the secret to Chick-fil-A’s success. Also, “eye contact and smiling go a long way in the drive-thru experience.”
When customers feel appreciated, they are more satisfied. And they are more likely to recommend brands to others. The concept is obvious. Yet, it’s surprising how often employees forget the human element when they interact with customers.
Leverage Technology The Right Way
Many companies use tools and platforms to fully understand what customers are saying across channels and touchpoints. However, they don’t always incorporate the Voice of Employee (VOE), which is a key element in building a successful customer-centric program.
Employees need to know their opinions count. When that happens, they become better performers who are more motivated to serve customers, fix their issues (“Close The Loop”), and do the right thing even when their boss isn’t looking.
If you want to drive accountability and a CX culture, focus first on employees. Then look at technology. Not the other way around.
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How many times have you gone to a restaurant that does not take reservations and felt frustrated about the wait time? If you’re like me, it is too many to count.
While many companies tend to focus on customer experiences at the point people are actually using products and receiving services, brand perception and customer judgments occur much earlier in the customer journey. People don’t care if there are internal company process challenges. If expectations are not met, customers will go elsewhere.
I’m pleased to share a guest post by Annette Franz, CCXP of CX Journey. This article originally appeared on her site on April 19, 2016.
Have you put the spotlight on the employee experience at your company?
I’ve written many times about the importance of the employee experience, both on its own with regard to retention and performance and with regard to the impact of the employee experience on the customer experience.
Sadly, many companies still aren’t focusing on the employee experience. IDC’s 2015 EXPERIENCES Survey work found that 81% of companies listen to customers about their experiences, but 69.4% of companies do not measure the employee experience. Continue Reading →
According to Forrester, “84% of companies aspire to be customer experience leaders, but only 1 out of 5 deliver good or great CX.” Do you ever wonder why that’s true? Well, I can explain having worked in the Customer Experience (CX) field for many years and a consumer of products and services. I’ve witnessed bad CX and brands who are Doing CX Right. I’m sharing both instances so you can truly be customer-centric, not just say it. Continue Reading →