“Treat your customers as if they were newspaper reporters; this is the new mantra for savvy companies of all sizes.”
Think about that statement. What makes you gravitate towards a particular brand, product or service? With access to more affordable technology and companies investing heavily in data analytics and insights, that differentiator is going to become a norm and companies attracting customers to their brand, product or service are ones who can provide the best customer experience both in a digital and non-digital context.
There is a misconception recently that customer experience is more about the digital experience (using data analytics and insights as well as enhancing mobile capabilities) than it is about the people who are using it. Don’t get me wrong, these factors play a big role, but ultimately when your customer reaches out to customer service or walks into a retail store, it’s about the relationship they build with your employees that is core to your CX strategy.
As a consultant, I interact often with companies that have an imbalanced approach to CX strategies. They may have an outstanding workforce and it’s a great place to work, but they (the leadership) have overlooked the technology needed to take the service they provide to the next level.
On the flip side, I have seen companies invest in the best of breed technology and yet the workplace environment is a grind. They can’t keep good people around to use it. Now, technology plays a huge role in enabling this experience. It enables information to be presented quickly to the person taking the phone or other channels such as live chat, social, email and text messaging. It also enables a business to streamline its operations to reduce cost to provide a competitive product, in both price and turnaround time. However, it is the people both on the front line and in the back office that did this. Technology is the tool that enables them to provide a great customer experience consistently.
"Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees." - Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
Here are three things you can do to create a better customer experience in combination with a great digital experience:
- Understand your customers: Simply just collecting data off your website such as click-through rates, hot spots, traffic, etc. is not enough. Use the front-line agents in collecting intelligence on customers. Trust me, they know better than anyone else in the organization what the most frequent complaints the customers have. Use CX systems to make it easy for agents to classify issues so you can perform a trend analysis and then take action on those findings.
- Understand your people: If your agents are not raving fans of your product, how can that transfer to service? Take time to learn what makes your staff tick. Then help them understand your vision and your brand, and look for ways to make their working environment more efficient and enjoyable. By doing this, your agents will do the marketing for you and deliver the best experience for your customers.
- Empower your people: I have mentioned this in some of my earlier blog posts, but you simply can’t achieve greatness in your CX strategy without empowered employees. An empowered employee will do what's right for your customers, help correct broken processes and provide feedback to innovate new ways of delivering the best customer experience possible.
It’s never too late to create a “customer first” culture with your people. Focusing on their processes to make them more efficient and relevant in adding value to your customers, and using technology to enable it, is a way that you can deliver a consistently great experience for your customers.
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