What does it take to become a Customer Experience Champion? Why should even be concerned with such an endeavor? Well, don’t take my word for it, but according to Gartner 2016 CEO survey, “CEOs seem to be concerned about improving customer service, relationship and satisfaction levels. Today’s CEOs are faced with big challenges: market competition, talent acquisition, and new technology. Above all, they want their company to grow and prosper. Customers are the source of sustainable business growth. Companies CEOs that truly “get” their customers outperform their competitors in a big way!
In a recent PwC survey, 90% of global CEOs said customers have the biggest impact on their company strategy. Therefore, CEO’s personal leadership practices can set the tone for success of failure for winning the customer. As a company CEO, you simply cannot lose touch with customers. You must to set the right example for the rest of your organization to follow.
The Customer Experience starts at the top. If you are not engaged and leading the way by providing hands on leadership, most likely things won’t change for the better. Is customer service a real priority in your organization? If you are a business owner, your company will either thrive or stay behind the competition if you are not keeping your current customers happy. Loyalty is not what it used to be. You have to stay relevant and unique to keep a fresh edge on your competition more than any other time. Customer experience is a key driver of retention and customer loyalty
Do you have someone in your company who is responsible for the improvement of customer experience? Well, look no further because I am going to share with you several ways you can become the customer experience champion starting today.
Establish a clear service vision for the customer experience.
What does the customer experience look like for your organization? How will you know if you are successful in customer excellence scorecard? Your vision for customer excellence must be important enough that it’s worth spending time on. I highly suggest to get away from everything you have to do for the day and focus on creating your customer service vision. It must be clear, inspiring and compelling to share with your team.
Come up with three to five Customer Service Values. Why should you worry about customer service values? Values shape behaviors. And behaviors can create the right relationships with your customers. How will your employees know whether they are doing the right thing in order to take care of the customer? Brainstorm with your team and come up with three to five values that will make your customer experience stand out from anyone else. Take for example Zappos. They created ten core values that makes their service culture unique and inspiring. They wanted a list of committable core values that they were willing to hire and fire on. If they weren’t willing to do that, then they felt that they weren’t really “values.”
Hire the right people. Most managers underestimate the value of hiring the right people. The most important person in your company is probably the front desk receptionist or someone at a call center taking customers phone calls. They are the first and last impression of your company. They are truly the ambassador of your brand. Take the time to select rather than hire people. Look for people who can really make someone’s day.
Train and Develop. This is where managers stop. They hired the right person and off the go. But in all reality, customer service must be an on-going commitment to training and development of people. Service mostly can be a friendly attitude, but it’s also a skill that must be developed. Customer service is like being an athlete. Think of yourself as trainer who is training athletes for the Olympics. You have to be the chief trainer and developer in your company in order to take your team to the next level of customer excellence.
Build Positive relationships. Forming strong relationships in every area of your business is an essential component to success. The relationships you’ve formed with various people can serve as a foundation for long term success. Forging solid client relationships seems simple on the surface, but these things require time, effort and courage. Developing and maintaining customer connections can sometimes feel draining, but the rewards can be significant to your bottom line. A successful client relationship, whether developed over weeks, months or years, can lead to positive word-of-mouth, increased sales, and loyalty.
As a company leader, it is your responsibility to have a proactive approach to customer experience management. CEOs need to help their teams get in front of issues by sharing important guidelines and drive the culture to set a new standard of excellence. The value of customer experience is higher when CEO leadership is involved on a day to day.