One of the most under utilized business practices today is doing an internal audit of your current systems and programs. Sure, you can hire a research firm to do it for you but save the cost and experience it first hand. The phrase that best describes this is: “Inspect What You Expect.”
When was the last time you inspected your customer experience strategy?
Often, we get too preoccupied in making sure that we are keeping up with outside influences, like competition, that we neglect everything that is happening inside of our business. We’ve all heard the saying, “Work on your business, not in your business” but I think there are a few exceptions.
Customer service is continuing to receive the investment it deserves but we are not all there yet. Take a look at the organizations around that you admire such as Zappos, Amazon and Apple. Why is it that we love them?
It’s not because they are profitable (many of us aren’t shareholders and don’t see their profits).
It’s not because their CEO’s are Tony Hsieh, Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook.
It’s because they take care of us as people not as consumers!
The reason these three have grown into billion dollar brands is because they have the right customer experience strategy and programs in place to support their customer service. The ROI of exceptional customer service is customer loyalty, high customer retention and being an admired company.
Three areas where you may need to improve your customer experience
How are you hiring your employees?
You can have all the high end software or systems in the world but if the people operating them aren’t a cultural fit then it’s good for nothing. Evaluate the way you’re recruiting and interviewing your employees for there may be some quick fixes to improve that process.
When I visited Zappos HQ in 2008, I learned their ‘will vs. skill’ hiring format. A candidate comes in for an interview on day one to be tested on ‘will’ related questions. If they pass, they will come back for the ‘skill’ portion on a separate day. Adopt the ‘will vs skill’ format today to see results tomorrow.
How are you training your employees?
Too often we hire someone then hand them the keys to our business without providing the proper training. I’d imagine that most people reading this own or work for an organization that has a proper training program but what is it that you are teaching them?
Many businesses teach their employees about the ABC’s of customer service (find out what it is here) which includes very low level customer service training methods. In today’s business landscape, where our customers have more influence than ever before, we need to be teaching them of the high level theories of customer experience.
Take a look at your training program. Are you teaching your employees what organic growth is? How about defining the five customer personalities? Or, the difference between customer service/customer experience/customer centricity? If not, you have an opportunity for improvement.
Have An Average Employee Training Program? Here’s What To Do.
How are you collecting customer feedback?
Remove yourself as a business person and put your customer hat on. Within the last 24 hours you most likely purchased something like a haircut, groceries or gas for your car. Were you surveyed after your experience? I’d bet that you most likely weren’t but wish you had been.
Now, go back to being the business person that you are. Are you surveying your customers? I’d bet that you aren’t. Even if you are, you are probably asking a few questions, collecting the data then moving on. Too many organizations are guilty of gathering customer feedback then not analyzing it to make operational improvements. Perhaps, you are making operational improvements with your data but I’d bet that you aren’t sharing the customer feedback with your ENTIRE organization. If you are doing everything, then you’re amazing and I want to meet you! Email me so we can connect: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you happen to say, “No, we aren’t doing that” or “That’s a good idea for my business” to any of the content above? If so, you have an AMAZING opportunity to strengthen your business.
There you have it, a whole bunch of things to think about! I genuinely love what I do, help entrepreneurs and business owners (of all sizes) build the right programs to deliver amazing customer service. If you have any questions, please email me them so I can help you out email@example.com
Understand what make your customers tick and what ticks them off