It no longer makes sense to expect your customer service team to be the face of your organization. Successful, aggressive leaders are looking to their entire teams to be the champions of customer experience. In today’s environment, that experience, when successful, is not static, but an ever evolving culture to whom every member of the team is responsible. As a leader in your organization, it will be challenging to get your entire team to understand their impact on customer experience. You may be asked… “How can I impact customer service, all I do is repair equipment in the back of the warehouse?” You might answer…”True, you may never come face to face with a customer, but your preparation and focus on keeping equipment up, running and in immaculate condition is as important as any other process that happens in the customer/product/service cycle, so it takes every employee, in every position striving for excellence to achieve a great customers experience. If one link in that process chain is broken, the chain of customer experience excellence will be broken.” If your people and processes are founded on the culture, your customers will have a great experience.
My customers tell me this frequently, not always in words, but sometimes with actions, and then sometimes with inaction. It is human nature to choose the path of least resistance, so it is no surprise that the entrepreneur who best uses technology to empower his customers to purchase their products and services will often prosper above and beyond the other consumer options in a given market space. Are your customers buying less frequently than in the past? Have long term customers slowly stopped buying all together? First, ask yourself, “Do we make it easy for our customers to buy?” This may sound like a simple question, but the true answer may surprise you. Picking up the phone and reaching out to your customer base may teach you that you could re-win or even penetrate your existing customer base by offering the buying experience easier, either with technology such as simplified online ordering or booking, or even through old school process simplification. I very rarely buy a product or service and say, “Man, that was easy!”, but when I do, they are typically rewarded with my brand loyalty.
Lets face it, Google and Amazon has spoiled us to instant gratification. With our smart phone in our palm, we are, at any given time, seconds away from an answer or a purchase that the internet even seems smart enough to often anticipate. If your customer experience does not deliver just as fast, you probably have a competitor working to make that experience happen while you are sleeping. The truth is that making it easy for your customers to buy coupled with a great customer experience, is just not enough in today’s digital world. Customers expect fast, great quality and a great price. Yes, I am old enough to know when customers were satisfied with two out of three, but those days faded with the era of analog phones and Amazon selling only books. In 2019, you have to take a hard look at your market space and their true product or service delivery cycle. Good new is that, if you can deliver days, hours or even minutes faster than your competition, your customers WILL pay a premium!