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23rd February 2016

Great Customer Experience, Who Cares Anyway?

Employee Engagement, employee, customer, experience, customer experience,, value, service, profit

All we need is Engaged Employee’s who offer Great Customer Service, so go find me some of those people!

Great customer service, that’s what we want to deliver yeah? So surely we need to recruit people who are great at doing that? Isn’t it as easy as asking the recruitment teams or the agencies to find people who can do that then, right?

Wrong!

Well, its not entirely wrong. But lets just say you go out and you find the best candidates on the planet to become your new employees. And lets just say they are willing to join your company and buy into your message of wanting to offer great customer service.

What do you think will happen to them when they realise that the customer experience you offer people is terrible?

Right, they will do one of two things, both terrible for your business!

Lets examine those choices a little further.

They leave

Thats right, they cannot offer the great customer service you hired them to deliver, because of the bad customer experience design, so they leave. Great people don’t stick around too long when what they love to do (Delight customers), is not in their control. They get back out into the market and they look for a company that can match their desire to deliver great customer service and they jump ship! Whilst at the same time not putting in 100% as they know in their mind they are leaving. Great, now you’ve spent all that money on recruitment, training, not to mention the time lost when your headcount was under resourced which adds to the service challenge! So you go out and start the cycle again!

Or………..

They become disengaged

Perhaps worse than leaving, THEY STAY! It might sound odd but yes they stay with the company and become disengaged! Sure you have that headcount in place, but what you have is a team of disengaged staff. Flat, negative, blaming, why bother mentality! They lose their faith in being able to make a difference! This means that customers continue to get a bad experience, but now when they contact you to try and resolve it, they get bad service ! Oh dear, i wish they had just left you say, (I think?)

Break the Cycle

If you want great people on the team then you have to give them the ability to make a difference! That means allowing them to flourish by helping the business succeed. It is no co-incidence that companies who offer a great customer experience have 2.5x the number of engaged employees. Of course you want to work somewhere where you can delight customers, instead of having to deal with all the negative problems every day (Hats off to all you customer relations guys out there fighting the daily battle!)

The Service/Profit Chain has been around since the 1990’s when some intelligent guys from Harvard came up with the theory. It claims that if you get great people and treat them well, provide an environment where they can succeed and flourish, then they will offer a great experience to the customers. This in turn leads to happy customers who recommend you to others and increase their spend and loyalty to you, causing increased retention, higher transaction values (Yesterday’s Blog) and growing customer numbers. The company wins, the customer wins, the shareholder wins! When everyone is happy, everybody wins!

So what now then?

Well, its important you flesh out all the things that are impacting the cycle. Then when your stakeholders are considering whether they can avoid that customer experience programme for a while longer, they see the value in favour of that other initiative they are deciding to sponsor. Consider the total cost of the experience being a bad one and present it clearly so that it is fully understood.

Consider the employee experience, consider the employee experience and consider all the costs you can impact if you focus on improving the experience.

It might just enable you to put forward an unbelievable case of ROI to get your stakeholders to buy into the CX programme!

Until tomorrow, keep loving your audiences!

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