So many organizations struggle to train their teams in customer service, and
then conversely, struggle to provide a consistent experience to their
customers. Why is this? In theory, providing quality training seems to make
such clear sense. Yet, in reality, most organizations have poor execution, or
worse, don’t focus on customer experience at all and then wonder why
they’re routinely having customer service issues.
Are You Expecting Excellent Results from Inadequate CX Training?
In his Harvard Business Review article, Wharton School Professor Peter
Cappelli explores this phenomenon. In “How Financial Accounting Screws UP
HR” Cappelli outlines how it is common for organizations to provide employees
with such little customer experience training -despite it being well known that
it improves performance- AND that many candidates would often take less
money in exchange for the benefit.
Cappelli points out one major reason organizations get stuck in a lack of
training trap is the way financial accounting is used in the United States looks
at employment costs. Despite all the evidence we have on the importance
“investing in our people” and a focus on training and development, the
bottom line is that accounting professionals do not see employees as
investments. Rather, they see them as an expense–a fixed cost, just like
carpeting in an office. When business owners and their accountants view
employees as being that fixed cost, as opposed to an investment that will
continue to generate returns, we as consumers pay the price.
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
– Harvey S. Firestone
For an Improved Bottom Line, Shift the Focus to Your People
In his 2021 book Winning on Purpose New York Times best-selling author
Fred Reichheld makes the case for companies employing what he calls
“Customer-Based Accounting”. Reichheld discusses how current accounting
methods make it difficult for organizations that want to focus on customer
experience as a strategy by having to focus instead on quarterly distractions
that he refers to as “side-shows” when it comes to quarterly numbers.
Reichheld argues that a more long-term approach with focus on training and
development just makes better companies in the long run. The issue is
navigating the short-term quarterly pressures organizations often feel get in
The Competitive Advantages of CX Training and Professional Development
If you’ve been thinking of re-focusing on training and professional
development for your organization, now might be the perfect time. In a June
2023 article from the MIT Sloan Management Review titled “Empower Your
Team, Empower Yourself” authors Russell Clayton, Andrew Artis, and Dejun
Tony Kong discuss the importance of a professional development focus and
the highest level of training to prospective and current employees in today’s
work environment. In this article, the authors make the case that
organizations need to focus on learning and development (L&D) and training
as an investment, as it does provide an organization with a competitive advantage.
And ultimately, enhanced organizational performance leading to stronger client relationships.
human and have an inherent need to be competent in their roles. The
authors also cite research from Gallup that suggests L&D and training are
top factors in retaining employees, especially Millennials.
*Related – Consistently World-Class CX Starts With Supporting Your Employees
Playing the Long Game for Employee and Organizational Success
Most employees appreciate having room to grow in their work lives and
knowing how they can make the most positive impact. And all employers
appreciate having employees who stick around! Employee retention tends to
contribute to a more consistent customer experience, and if it’s a great
experience, a business will enjoy both longer customer life and stronger
World-class customer experiences begin with shifting the focus to what your
people need to become loyal employees who can offer the best to your
customers. At every point throughout their time with your company–from
interview to orientation to all subsequent stages of their career–they need to
be educated about the professional development opportunities available to
them. They need you to define how they can be a rockstar in your
organization and what you’ve built into the employee experience to help
them achieve their goals. The most positive relationships develop when
employees feel their employers truly care about them. And appreciation is an
internal factor that needs to be built into your company’s culture.
It’s worth keeping in mind that in today’s hyper-competitive world, potential
and even current employees are aware they have options. Quality of service
is always affected when employees are treated like easily replaceable
commodities. They no longer hesitate to jump ship. And if the best talent
doesn’t see a robust L&D program built into your business practices, they
won’t climb aboard to begin with.
So again, if you feel your company’s customer service is struggling, instead
of starting with the CX team or the HR office, maybe start by having a
conversation with the accounting department!
Take care of your people, and your bottom line will take care of itself.
David Rendall Keynoting the Customer Service Revolution
During the last twenty years, David Rendall has spoken to audiences on every inhabited continent. His clients include the U.S. Air Force, the Australian Government, and Fortune 50 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, United Health Group, Fannie Mae, and State Farm. Prior to becoming a Certified Speaking Professional, he was a leadership professor and stand-up comedian. He also managed nonprofit enterprises that provided employment for people with disabilities.In between presentations, David competes in ultramarathons and Ironman triathlons.
The title of David’s presentation is “The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness
by Flaunting Weakness.”
- Do you want more happiness, fulfillment, and energy?
- Do you want better relationships at work and at home?
- Do you want to dramatically improve teamwork and increase
Our parents, teachers, and managers have told us that, if we want to succeed, we should find and fix our weaknesses. But what if our biggest weaknesses were also our biggest strengths?
What if we could create outrageous personal and professional success by amplifying flaws, instead of denying them? How would that change the way we parent, teach, and manage people?
- Increase productivity
- Enhance employee engagement
- Improve teamwork
- Develop better relationships
- Increase self-awareness
- Appreciate individual differences
- Amplify unique strengths
Episode 120 of the Customer Service Revolution Podcast
What’s the secret to building lifelong relationships and turning bad luck into good fortune? Join John as he chats with the incredibly likable Eddie Cheyfitz. Eddie reveals the power of curiosity in building lasting connections and how he used these bonds to rise through the ranks at Nestle and, later, fulfill underprivileged children’s dreams.
You will learn:
- How Eddie turned bad luck into good fortune in his careers.
- The technique Eddie uses to learn about people, getting people open up, drop their guard, and become friend for life.
- How Eddie has made his encore career, building a nonprofit, Believe in Dreams, his most rewarding part of his professional life.
- How Eddie and his wife Kathy of 50 years overcame the two biggest blows to a marriage and still have an incredible relationship today.