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Great Customer Experience – Deliberate by Design

Great customer service doesn’t just happen. Organisations that provide their great customer service do so by design. Everything they do is deliberate. In this way they deliver excellent customer experience – consistently and repeatedly. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be impersonal or bland – probably the opposite. It just means that the process it designed to create the right customer experience and outcomes every time. It’s deliberate by design.

Whether it’s the experience you get buying a coffee in Starbucks, when you check into a Sheraton Hotel, fly with Virgin or buy stuff on Amazon, every step of the process you go through – because that’s exactly what it is – has been designed with you in mind, the experience you will have, the thoughts it will evoke, how it will impact you, make you feel and ultimately, if you’ll be back for more. ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time’ is Starbucks mantra when it comes to engaging customers and providing consistency and excellent customer experience.

The human contact that is part and parcel of the experience you have as a customer is, you may think, impossible to control. Think again, the way customer facing employees are recruited, trained and managed is a key element in ensuring the experience the customer receives is consistent, exemplary and creates the right outcomes and customer emotions. It’s all part of the process. It’s all deliberate by design.

Even when things are going wrong, there will be processes in place to ensure that the outcomes leave you feeling positive towards the provider. Indeed many organisations focus closely on the experiences they provide to customers at times when things aren’t going the way they should and treat these as their opportunity to shine.

There are two key elements to organisations to grapple with when it comes to providing – or not providing – a great customer experience. The first is answering the question ‘Why?’ Sure organisations know that providing a great customer experience is an admirable thing to do, but unless they are able to properly articulate either the opportunity from doing it or the threat that comes from not doing it, it’s not going to happen.

Providing a great customer experience involves effort, thought and investment. Any normal business won’t take decisions to invest money unless they know what returns that investment will realise. That, for most businesses, is the hard part. It’s also what results in many businesses either doing nothing or, at best, tinkering around the edges of what is needed to provide that great experience for their customers.

To provide customers with great service and to provide them with a consistently great customer experience, everything in an organisation needs to be aligned to create that focus and deliver that objective

How well you understand customer requirements and how well you can quantify the benefits of increased customer engagement;

How and what leadership communicates and how leadership is structured and focused;

How you recruit, measure and reward your employees and how motivated and prepared they are to provide excellent customer service;

How your processes and IT systems are focused on delivering consistent and excellent customer service and how well you bridge the gap between strategy and technology;

How you measure customer experience and how well your MI enables you to identify areas for improvement and quantify benefits.

For most organisations tackling the issue of why and how to improve customer experience is hard. It’s the conversation that never happens.  Improving the experience they give to customers, ironically, is the one proven, sure-fire way for organisations to improve new and repeat sales volumes, create longer and more profitable customer relationships and to simplify customer processes to increase efficiency – and create differentiation and sustainable competitive advantage.

Work with us to improve your customer experience.

Work with us and help you to identify the necessary areas of focus to develop the right conditions for providing a consistently excellent customer experience success in your organisation.

High Performance Culture Questionnaire – follow the link below and complete the Inaccord High Performance Culture Questionnaire. It’s free and will tell you just how well you’re doing in creating a High Performance Culture in your organisation.

It focuses on three main areas necessary to create a High Performance Culture – customer experience, employee engagement and organisational alignment – and will provide you with data to show how well you rate in these three key areas.

Inaccord High Culture Questionnaire

 

 

  • Paul Leadbitter

    Very interesting stuff – especially the bit about businesses needing to be able to measure the payback from improved customer service. Although it can be measured, it inevitably takes a while for the results to become apparent – and that means an element of risk, even if common sense tells you it’s a risk worth taking. So employee incentivisation is key to seeing improved customer experience right through to the payback and beyond.

    Also, it’s very important for businesses to really understand what customers really value as key elements of service, otherwise money can quickly being spent making “improvements” that don’t matter a jot to the customer.

    Rory Sutherland gave a TED talk a few years ago, about Eurostar spending many millions to make their trains go faster – yielding time savings that they thought would be welcomed with open arms by their customers. But on reflection, it would have cost them less to employ outrageously attractive onboard crew members serving unlimited fine wines throughout the previous, slightly slower, journey. Which option would have delighted customers more?