Aspire to be the next Nordstrom’s or Zane’s Cycles? Do you marvel at the legions of Apple fanatics? These companies all have one thing in common: a customer experience that is completely unique in their market.
Henry Jones, VP Western Region at Satmetrix, provided a how-to guide for creating a differentiated customer experience.
You have to start with the money…well, at least, you need to build a business case that shows that you can create value by delivering great service.
- Show that improving loyalty will drive growth. Henry described a client with a theory that happy customers are less likely to default on their loans. And they actually proved it to be true for their business – improvements in NPS generated revenue from customer income and reduced the risk of the business.
- Show the link between service and growth. Henry showed a call center team NPS ranking from highest to lowest. Now, these were service reps that were also charged with selling. They saw a 26% purchase increase between the top 5 NPS ranked teams and the bottom 5 call center teams. Since the key driver of the score differences was staff knowledge – there’s a direct linkage for the CFO - if I invest in creating knowledgeable staff…we’ll sell more.
- Understand what creates loyalty & destroys loyalty. What are the moments of truth where we can put in proactive processes to prevent detraction/customer churn?
You and your employees must to act with heart and passion. This isn’t something you can fake. It must be real and genuine.
- Create empathy with customers
- Show employees verbatim customer comments – Things always appear more clearly when you can read them in your customer’s own words.
- Ask employees to follow up with customers – There’s nothing more humbling than having to say “I’m sorry”.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes…literally – employees at USAA dress in full military gear and eat MRE’s on their first day.
- Generate ideas from the front- line
- Ask your front-line employees for their ideas – They see/talk to your customers every day, your employees are the gateway to their wants, needs and feelings.
- LISTEN to your employees and USE their ideas – There’s no sense in asking for ideas, if you’re not going to use them.
- Publicize the adoption of employee generated ideas – Make it clear to employees that “you are changing the way we do business”.
- Communicate & celebrate success
- Rewarding employees for good performance – Everyone loves to have their name in lights once in awhile.
- Show employees that this is important from the top – down.
You must invest in mechanics to build the process. Successful programs have systems in place to do this efficiently.
- Collect data at the right touchpoints – Identify the key moments across the customer journey that drive your relationship with the customer.
- Automate processes to drive & share information – Get information into the right hands quickly.
- Put process in place to ensure that customer concerns are responded to – Developing a process for closing the loop with customers ensures that it gets done right.
Money + heart + mechanics = differentiated customer experience AND a slew of loyal customers