When it comes to delivering an amazing customer experience it takes everyone in your organisation to pull their weight, focus on their contribution and understand the impact they are having on the promises your company have made via the customer value proposition.
I had the privilege of facilitating a customer service workshop with an exceptional Customer Care team last week for a national welding company in Sydney. Having presented on "above the line" behaviour as taking ownership, accountability and responsibility we began to focus on Customer Service. The question was asked, who in the business is responsible, accountable and should take ownership for providing exceptional customer experience (CX).
Having listed all the departments and their roles across the whole organisation there was an unanimous agreement that "EVERYONE" is responsible for delivering CX. The person who answers the phones, the warehouse folk that pick and ship the orders, the tech team who provide ongoing technical support, senior leaders and so on. Everyone has their role to play in delighting customers and ensuring an exceptional customer experience every time.
The challenge we discovered is that leaders seem to talk about the customer as the centre of their business model but have little or no investment into developing client or customer centricity with their people. What I found most interesting about this team was how they articulated very clearly, as Customer Care professionals, they were restricted on delivering exceptional service by all the other teams in their organisation.
They said, even if they provided the best customer experience possible, if the warehouse guys were rude to a customer or the accounts receivable department overcharged, then the whole customer experience would break down losing trust and credibility risking abandonment and reputation.
Ric Navarro, CMO of the year 2018, writes in his book "Marketing with Purpose", over the past two decades companies have moved away from placing their customers at the top of their business model to placing shareholders or share prices central to business success. Problem is, after decades of trying to please shareholders through strategies like cost cutting, shoestring customer service budgets, releasing products too early, not rewarding loyalty, organisational restructure after restructure, SHAREHOLDERS are still not happy. Consequently, this has created a customer culture to have little or no loyalty or trust.
Customers are poised to jump brands or write a negative review as soon as they get a sniff of a bad customer experience or not receiving what was promised in the value proposition during the sales process.
So what is the point of this article. We are suggesting a top down and bottom up approach to Client Centricity. It starts with the Leadership team and cascades through all levels of management, departments and roles. All stakeholders are required to deliver on the companies customer value proposition and should be engaged through trained formally. Admittedly there needs to be greater levels of customer focused training with the customer facing people. These days it seems almost everyone is responsible at some level to provide exceptional customer experience delighting their consumers at every stage.
An engaged workforce means everyone is absolutely clear how to consistently deliver their responsibilities throughout the entire customer life cycle and is key to your future business success. Investing in an engaged workforce through Customer Centric training and development will provide a return on investment.
Forbes.com states "87% of companies surveyed expect to be competing on customer experience". This means companies need to figure out ways to delight their customers.
As an example, Employees at Nordstrom department stores are given just one rule in their employee handbook: “Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.” Instead of being bogged down with corporate guidance, empowered employees know they are trusted and valued. That translates to their interactions with customers and is a large reason why the “Nordstrom Way” of doing customer service is world renowned and respected.
We are proposing if you are shifting your focus to delighting your customers, empowering your employees through adopting client centricity and delivering exceptional customer experiences, this is our speciality. Our professional development consultants will develop a learning program that begins with your leaders and cascades through the ranks. We can help transition your people through your business transformation.
Delighting your customers consistently will enhance reputation, growth and leadership in your market. Let us help you achieve your goals. www.malreid.net