6 Steps in Launching a Successful Customer Service Initiative that Lasts

5 Quick Tips to Help you Make Price Irrelevant

1. Customer Service Feature Story

6 Steps in Launching a Successful Customer Service Initiative that Lasts

Every company is guilty of having a bunch of great ideas and incredible initiatives born in a meeting room only to eventually fizzle out and die, leaving the management team frustrated and cynical and the employees skeptical about what the next program of the year, flavor of the month, or management by best seller will be. The following list is how The DiJulius Group ensures our consulting clients are seeing tangible results twelve months, three years, even five years later.

1. Create it – Whether you are creating your Customer Service Vision Statement, your Non-negotiable Standards, or your Service Recovery (Zero Risk) Protocols, you need to have a team that is tasked with this project. They are most commonly known as a steering committee, ideally composed of 12-18 people. This group should not only be made up of management, rather representative of nearly every department the company has, as well as some front-line employees. This will ensure the group as a whole is working for the best interest of the entire company.  

This project also needs to have a leader, a champion (CXO), someone who reports to the CEO/President and will lose sleep at night over the success of this project at every stage; not just in the short term, but also 6-18 months from now. When creating an initiative, the project champion needs to get the steering committee together for a workshop initially, and at minimum a follow up. Homework and exercises need to be created to create the absolute best outcome possible. In between meetings, the project leader will need to manage regular communication between the steering committee to ensure everyone is collaborating and staying on target with outcomes and deadlines.

2. Launch it – Creating your initiative can be exhausting. It should be exhausting, otherwise it won’t be taken seriously. Now the hard work starts. The only thing that is nearly as important as executive sponsorship is front-line sponsorship. Here is where a major mistake is commonly made. The steering committee can assume that everyone in the organization will have the same passion and commitment to this initiative, but no one else outside of the steering committee has been immersed in it for weeks, debating with passion what will help take the company to the next level. So, there is typically a disconnect between the group that gives birth to the project and the rest of the organization. That is why it is so important to have a launch that gets everyone on board and able to understand why this initiative is so important to the company’s success, the customers’ well-being, and employees’ future. 

A launch involves communicating with everyone, and in that launch, there needs to be a story told. Every story has a villain and a hero. The villain is what’s wrong with the way it is currently being done. The villain may be the competition, the status quo, price cutters, or the pain the customers are experiencing. The hero is easy; the hero is our initiative and how it will change the company, the industry, our customers’ lives, and solve their problem. You have to be able to sell the purpose of your initiative to all your employees and get them to rally around it–rise up to defeat the villain. You also have to make sure 100% of your employees partake in the launch, either at the live presentation or watching it online within a certain time frame.

3. Certify It – Just because your employees were in attendance, or watched the presentation online, doesn’t mean they retained anything. There has to be a certification component. It is important to test each employee to make sure they learned and retained the information that was taught/launched. There are many ways you can do this. One of my favorites is gamifying it, making it a competition between teams, departments or locations. This makes it fun and a team building activity.

4. Implement it – This is where most plans, projects and initiatives fail — at the implementation phase. You can create the greatest idea and get everyone to rally around it, but if you don’t have a solid implementation plan, it will be another good idea that never amounted to anything, because no one made sure there was a plan to roll it out effectively after the pep rally. Implementation is a roll out calendar of phases: crawl, walking and running. This calendar needs to be timed with training and support materials.

5. Measure it – Just like the project leader needs to lose sleep at night over the success, now every department, manager, and employee needs to know the key metric that measures the success of this initiative, i.e. retention rate, number of referrals, resign rate, closing ratio, conversion rate, customer satisfaction score or NPS. Not only do they need to know what it is, but what it has to be, and they need to see it daily and know exactly what impacts it. Management and employees need to obsess over this metric. The ones hitting the goal need to be celebrated loudly, the ones who are underperforming need to be coached and convinced that this is the way we are operating now and forever. Live it, love it or leave it.  

a) Measure who is doing it consistently and recognizing and coaching until it is 100% consistently being executed (this has to be measured immediately with the rollout to ensure employee know that it is serious and non-negotiable)

b) Measure that it has an impact on the customer. Do they recognize the value and is it affecting satisfaction levels and impacting the key metrics, i.e. average tickets, conversation rates, retention, referrals, resigns, Net Promoter Score (this can’t be measured for about 30 days and for 90-120 days to see the impact it is having)

6. Sustain it – Be relentless. There is no ribbon cutting ceremony for a world-class customer service organization. You never arrive; you just need to keep branding and advertising your customer service culture back to all your employees. Bringing it up in daily huddles, recognizing and celebrating employees who are modeling the behavior. Continuingly playing games and posting your ROX (Return on Experience) results to show performance of the company, teams, and individuals.

Customer service systems evolve; some things work, many things need tweaking, better training, support, technology, better communication, and awareness. The steering committee needs to continue to meet regularly to develop new systems as well as evolve the existing ones, constantly evaluating progress and defects. Most of all, all the work done and rolled out needs to be part of the new employee orientation and training, so the future generations get it, provide consistency and understand the legacy the company is built on.  Then your company’s Customer service will be your single biggest competitive advantage. 

 

2) Episode 38 The Chick-fil-A of Police Departments

In Episode 38 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast,

Johnny Jennings, Chief of Police at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Charlotte, has a vision for what type of police department he wants to build, some may call it an unrealistic vision. Jennings wants Charlotte to be known as the Chick-fil-A of police departments. And he is not just talking about it. He is committed to making this vision a reality, in one of the largest cities in America. 

What you will learn:

  1. That you can be for Black Lives Matter and have a tremendous amount of respect for what police officers do
  2. Why he has a vision of delivering world-class hospitality in his police department
  3. How do you change the stigma and rewrite the narrative of policing in the US
  4. What a day in the life of a police officer is like
  5. How to avoid empathy fatigue
  6. How their goal is to earn a genuine thank you and leave a positive impression even when they have to enforce the law

3) Must watch short video

Watch this 1-minute video on How to create an Emotional Connection that drives Customer Loyalty.

4) Quote of The Week 

“Haters aren’t your problem; ignoring them is.” 

–Jay Baer 

 

5) Only a Few Spots Left in the April CX Coach Camp

your dreams as a CX Coach

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business and making a significant impact? Maybe it is time you become a licensed Customer Experience Coach—register for April’s Coach Camp

In April, The DiJulius Group is holding their second CX Coach Camp, training passionate CX (Customer Experience) Coaches. These entrepreneurs will be licensed to train businesses on the exact same methodology that has been used with the best customer service companies from all over the world, to start their own six figure coaching business. 

 

 

 

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.

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