The next time you have a large group of your employees together, ask them this question: How many of you feel we provide a superior Customer experience? I have asked this question hundreds of times. When the audience is made up primarily of one company, nearly every hand in that audience proudly goes up. It is easier to count the hands that are not raised. Typically, the vast majority of the group raises a hand, feeling quite confident that they and their company provide excellent Customer service.
Then I share a study, demonstrating how companies and their employees rank themselves significantly higher in Customer satisfaction than their Customers rank them. The following are the reasons why employees feel they deliver Customer service so much better than their Customers perceive:
1. Your Employees Do Not Know What World-Class Is
Frontline employees’ standard of living typically does not afford them the opportunity to fly first class, stay at five-star resorts, drive a luxury automobile, and enjoy other higher-end experiences. Yet we, as managers, expect those same employees to be able to deliver world-class service to clients, guests, patients, or whomever we call our Customers, who may be accustomed to these types of experiences. It doesn’t make any sense.
Customer facing employees in the vast majority of businesses cannot relate to their Customer. They are not the same age range, income, or professional position. Many businesses have frontline employees in their twenties dealing with clients between the ages of 35-50, maids who clean Customer’s homes worth $400,000+, or account executives, accountants, lawyers, consultants, and other professional service providers that deal directly with CEO’s and entrepreneurs.
3. Your Employees Are Not Looking At It From The Customer’s Perspective
World-class service organizations teach their employees to view things from the Customer’s perspective. Remember, many employees have never been their own Customer, have never needed the services and products their company provides, and cannot comprehend what the Customer’s mind-set is. Therefore, they do not relate well and find it difficult to empathize, be compassionate, and anticipate Customer needs. Businesses need to build their Customer experience from the Customer’s perspective instead of from the company’s viewpoint. They must understand their Customer’s circumstances, their pain, and their needs. What is it like to be their Customer for a day? What are their personal commitments to their families, their professional commitments to their company, and demands from their Customers?
4. You Compare Yourself To The Rest Of Your Industry
Whether you are a law firm, insurance agent, jewelry store, salon, or accounting firm, the comparison of your competition to you is really pointless. After your Customer receives a haircut, they don’t leave your salon, go visit another one and say, “Wow, my salon is so much better.” Your firm’s client doesn’t hang up with you and call another accounting firm. After your Customers deal with you, they then interact with other types of businesses. They finish their errands, go to the dry cleaner, go shopping, and make a few other calls to businesses in entirely different industries. As a result, they are doing one of two things: they either wish the other businesses they are dealing with were providing a service and experience as good as yours, or vice versa.
All businesses battle with going on autopilot and, from time to time, becoming numb to their Customers’ conditions. While consulting with a large hospital, I found out that too often, their nurses and doctors would refer to patients as “201B.” Saying something like “201B needs their medicine.” They were referencing room 201, bed B, instead of the patient’s name.
At John Robert’s Spa, we are sometimes guilty of doing something very similar. It is easy for our service providers to look at their next guest as a “5:30 haircut.” However, many of the guests see their appointment as an experience to look forward to. Some of these guests may ask their family members to purchase them a gift certificate to our spa for their birthday. After they receive it, they request a day off from work, add it to their calendar and begin counting down the days until they can get away from work, relationships, kids, and all the other stresses in their lives. They look forward to coming into the one place where they can relax and be rejuvenated, so they can leave and continue giving to everyone in their world. I can’t have my service providers looking at their next Customer as their 5:30 or their third-to-last appointment before they clock out. I need them to be present with each and every guest.
How can you ensure you train your employees and address each one of these misconceptions about their customers?
Get Your Masters In Customer Experience
We are now accepting applications for the 2019 Customer eXperience Executive Academy (CXEA). Having worked with the top Customer Service organizations in the world, The DiJulius Group’s Customer eXperience Executive Academy (CXEA) gives you both theoretical and practical eXperience on how to elevate the levels of service at your company.
With the need for rapid growth of the Customer eXperience Executive in businesses today, the Customer eXperience Executive Academy uses the X Commandments Methodology, which covers all facets and responsibilities that fall under Customer eXperience.
Unlike any other institution, the CXEA’s focus, strictly on the Customer eXperience, prepares leaders to champion change at any company, regardless of industry.
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.