1. Feature Article
How to Get Company Wide Buy-In
By Jess Pischel, Customer Experience Consultant
When you are making a change or implementing a new project, it is inevitable that you will have some individuals or departments that are resistant to the new plan. That is because people usually do not like change. This makes getting true company wide buy-in difficult.
I am lucky that most of my clients are bought into the Customer Experience Project from the start, however I have had a few organizations that have given pushback along the way. In my experience, there are several key actions that you can take to help ensure that your project or training program will be successful while attaining company wide buy-in.
Include Key Players Early & Often
Real buy-in involves at least some element of co-creation. It invites necessary discussion, healthy debate, and allows everyone to feel even more vested in the outcome. One of the keys to a successful training program, and perhaps the most important, is having leadership buy-in from the top down. Having leadership support helps drive the significance of a program, assist with accountability, and establish appropriate expectations.
I recommend that you include some leadership in the creation process so that their opinion is taken into consideration and you can listen for any criticism or objection early on. This way, you can adjust your approach immediately and redirect the conversation. Don’t be afraid to be assertive in addressing instances where you see objections forming. This is important for two reasons. First, small problems have a bad habit of swelling into larger ones. Second, you don’t want unhappy employees poisoning the minds of other employees who are excited about the project or training program.
Show the “WIIFM”
What’s In It For Me? People like to hear and talk about themselves and by giving them a chance to do so, you will instantly have a much stronger connection with them. Carefully describe how the project will directly relate to and impact them.
Your team is likely juggling several different initiatives and projects at once, so it is important to be sensitive to that while describing exactly how investing their time/energy/resources into your project will benefit them. Perhaps there is even an incentive associated with your project or training program, as in the example below.
Excite Credit Union headquartered in San Jose, CA uses an intranet system called Kazoo. It resembles a social media platform where employees can acknowledge and celebrate any time a co-worker goes above and beyond. Each employee is given 5 “high-fives” per month that they can give. Every time an employee receives a “high-five” they earn points which they can then redeem for prizes, such as gift cards towards Starbucks, Airbnb, and other retail locations. You can also redeem for vacation days!
*Related: Help your Employees Adapt to Change
Beta Test in One Department & Share Results
There is no better way to convince a critical person than proving success with metrics and results that they can understand. If your critic can see that another department’s KPIs increased by x%, there will be no choice left but to get onboard with your initiative.
Walk the Talk – Spread Positivity
Once you have buy-in of a few individuals, let that energy begin to spread. Positivity is contagious. Everyone wants to be a part of a happy team that genuinely enjoys what they are doing. Find those positive individuals and get them onboard. Circulate the positive stories that relate to your initiative. People remember stories. Storytelling is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach and inspire. Use your stories to make the implementers of your project a hero.
2. Article You Need to Read
In Craig Russell’s podcast interview, which I highly recommend, he mentioned the impact an article by Tom Peters had on him titled “One-Minute Excellence”. I read this short masterpiece and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Peters talks about how if you want significant change in your life, you don’t have to wait 90 days, or 6 months. “In short, you do it and it’s done. Then you work like hell for the rest of your life to stay on the weight-loss, cigarette-less, or booze-free wagon,” says Peters.
3. Short Video You Need To Watch & Share With Your Team
Speaking of company wide buy-in, you can’t have it without persistent backing of executive sponsorship. TheHomeMag is one of the leading home improvement magazines in the US. In 2019 they launched their Day in the Life of an advertiser, Service Vision, Pillars, & Never and Always to all their franchisees and corporate employees. It was extremely well received. However, like any initiative, it can wear off and starts to become less of a priority, especially in today’s current climate. TheHomeMag’s COO Christopher Goebel is ensuring that won’t happen. Check out Goebel’s short, extremely passionate video sent to all franchisees about the critical part their customer service obsession plays especially in a crisis. Every CEO/COO should be sending out a similar message to their entire organizations.
4. Episode #9 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast
In Episode #9 – Dave Murray speaks to author and consultant Dan Gingiss about how to make your customer experience your best marketing strategy. Gingiss is one of the brightest minds on the topics of customer experience, social media and digital experience. In this episode you will learn:
- What’s one strategy that you can apply when attending conferences?
- How do you address customer pain points?
- What are gamers and how do you get rid of them?
- How can a remarkable customer experience become the best marketing strategy?
5. Quote of the Week
“Almost 40 percent of us in the US workforce have a boss that is younger than us and that number is growing quickly. Power is cascading to the young like never before because of our increasing reliance on digital intelligence. We are seeing young founders of companies in their early 20s scaling them up to global giants by the time they get to thirty. And yet we expect these young digital leaders to somehow miraculously embody the relationship wisdoms we older workers have had decades to learn. It’s hard to microwave your emotional intelligence.”
6. Resource to Help Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level
Most companies know they need to improve areas of their customer service. They just don’t know where to start. Are you curious about where your company’s customer service strengths and weaknesses lie?
What areas you should begin to work on first? The Company Service Aptitude Test was designed to give companies the answers to these questions and more. And for a limited time, you can receive a personalized link for your organization that enables us to pull results from multiple participants and present you with a full overview on how well enabled your company is to deliver a world-class customer experience.
We will send you your company’s 10 part report along with recommendations on where to start. Request your assessment today!