Your prices are non-negotiable. Your customers trust you, choosing your brand over those of your competitors–even when your prices are higher. Your employees are loyal and stakeholders, content. Your company is respected, and your reputation is strong when the key elements of a successful customer service strategy are in place.
Start with a Clear Purpose for Your Business
To provide superior service, your employees need a solid understanding of your organization’s true underlying purpose. They need to know what your brand brings to your community. A strong Customer Experience Action Statement will explain why your Customers buy from you–why they can’t get what you are offering, elsewhere–and provide clear direction to everyone in your business.
Prioritize Customer Service Company-wide
Customer service needs to be a regular topic of conversation in executive and team meetings across the organization. It is so much more than just a good idea or lip service; it should be continually communicated as one of your company’s core values.
Beyond customer-facing employees, “invisible” service providers such as back-office workers and those in contact centers and warehouses also greatly affect customer satisfaction and need an understanding of the impact their work has on customers’ lives.
Could your organization’s customer service vision use an update? Be sure it aligns with current and prospective customer expectations, needs, and preferences along the customer journey.
Understand Your Customer’s Experience From Their Viewpoint
World-class leaders provide a consistently great brand experience for their customers, employees, vendors, and community. Do you know how your customer experience looks or should look when operating at its peak potential?
As a leader, have you ever experienced your own company’s customer service, or worked alongside your customer-facing employees? In addition to feedback from customers, such practices can help define any problems, current and potential. They can help determine your company’s customer service goals: how you can ensure the loyalty of current customers i.e., the ones who spend approximately 67 percent more with your brand, what you can do better, and how you can turn new customers into raving fans.
Standardize Customer Service Processes and Tools
Customer service processes can be defined as all the actions and steps taken by your customer service team; customer service tools are the hardware and software supporting those processes.
How is the communication between your team members, and across your locations if that applies? Rather than messages scattered here, there, and everywhere, one central method for messaging should be one of your top business goals. One reliable method can greatly reduce miscommunication, helping all team members to stay informed and able to provide a much higher level of customer support. This is especially important when a resolution can’t be completed instantly, and a customer needs to communicate with more than one customer service representative. In the words of Derek Caron, Manager, Primary Storage at Dell: “Nothing is more feared by a customer than a disconnection from a knowledgeable human being.” Providing streamlined, seamless interactions across multiple communication channels is an important customer experience strategy; research has shown that 92 percent of customers will spend more with a brand when they don’t have to repeat information.
A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. For exceptional customer service, it’s essential for your company’s processes to be standardized company-wide, and so integrated that your customers think you might just be able to read their minds.
Tools commonly used in customer service include social media channels, phone systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, live chat, and chatbots. In addition to working across applications and being user-friendly, be sure all tools used in your organization are compliant and secure.
Set the Tone for High Employee Engagement and Overall Employee Experience
As we know, customer service representatives are on the front lines building relationships with customers. But what about your current CSR training program and your relationship with them as individuals? The best business strategy for a strong bottom line is no longer simply about keeping customers happy. Post-pandemic, becoming the brand that the best talent wants to work for is directly tied to your company’s growth. I recently shared that our employees’ work lives are a frequent topic of conversation. Even when not at work, employment-related topics take up half of their thought lives during waking hours!
Starting at orientation and during the onboarding process, equipping your team members to offer a best-in-class customer experience generates the highest levels of loyalty and enthusiasm. Eliminate any guesswork for your new hires. Train them on your brand’s signature experience including clearly defined customer experience deliverables. They need to understand the non-negotiable experiential standards to follow to provide a consistently engaging experience along the customer journey, an experience not offered by the majority of your competitors. Be sure they know what they should never do, and what they should always do when certain situations come up. On day one, sharing your organization’s top 10 above-and-beyond stories will set the tone for high employee engagement, overall employee experience, and an above-and-beyond culture in which every employee knows how to deliver heroic service.
A survey by The Conference Board found that factors including leadership quality and workplace culture were second only to competitive pay. Researchers concluded that beyond pay and benefits, “leaders gain the most by…emphasizing work experience and culture factors such as interesting work, reasonable workloads, and opportunities for career growth.”
Culture thrives when everyone feels empowered to contribute.
Mistakes Happen: How Your Employees Can Make Things Right, Every Time
In the face of a negative experience, no customer wants to hear excuses about company policy. They want an empathetic, highly trained representative to turn the situation around, tout de suite.
As businesspeople, we can be thankful for something called the Service Recovery Paradox: Those patronizing our businesses often become even more loyal after a customer issue is rectified quickly and successfully, than if there hadn’t been a bad experience to begin with.This is a good thing since mistakes happen to the best of us from time to time. It means that rather than panicking at the thought of upset customers, we can proactively make service resolution part of our company’s customer retention strategies and further empower our customer service employees to deliver a consistently zero risk brand experience.
Set Benchmarks and Measure Success, Quantitatively
Front-line employees should never be left to define excellent customer experience on their own. A Return on eXperience (ROX) Dashboard is a helpful tool for determining exactly what success looks like over time as well as offering valuable insight into customer churn. If you can measure it, you can manage it. The lower a company’s churn rate, the less it will need to spend on customer acquisition.
The ROX Dashboard contains key performance indicators (KPIs) directly tied to the level of customer experience delivered by every customer-facing employee and department. Examples include first contact resolution, resolution rate, and response time. Analysis of such key internal metrics can offer a greater understanding of customers and help with goal setting and strategic planning for achieving the best customer service outcomes; it can also generate enthusiasm within teams and across organizations when successes are celebrated.
Train Employees Not to Rely on Technology
Technology can be great…until it isn’t. For a simple issue, most of us appreciate a speedy answer from a chatbot or other form of easy-to-navigate digital help. But the more complex a problem is, the more we want a real live person to figure out a solution for us. Preferably, as quickly as possible.
To solve your Customers’ problems, avoid over-reliance on technology. Its shadow side is that it can leave them feeling unheard, unsupported, and more likely to break up with your brand. Training employees on the personal touch–aka soft skills–greatly increases their service aptitude. It remains a strong way to stand out from the competition as those choosing your brand enjoy a consistent, and consistently human, customer experience.
Everyone is Happy: Customers, Employees, Shareholders
There are many factors to consider for a successful customer service strategy. As a business leader you need a proven, customizable framework that allows you to simplify, systematize, and create accountability for the experience you deliver.
In the words of Dr. Edward Freeman, professor at Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, “The only way to create value for shareholders in today’s world, is to pay attention to customers, suppliers, employees, communities, and shareholders at the same time.” It sounds like a tall order. Once your strategy is in place, however, there will be a solid process for realistic implementation and consistent execution of superior customer service by your front-line employees.
Your employees will have the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary to deliver an experience that turns customers into evangelists who will rave about your products or services to family, friends, colleagues–basically, everyone they know–enhancing the experience of everyone connected with your brand.
Check Out Our Breakout Sessions for the Customer Service Revolution Conference
At this year’s Customer Service Revolution conference, we will have breakouts on both days.
There will be two sets: 1) General Breakouts and 2) Senior Executive Leader Breakouts.
The High Performer’s 5 Step Playbook for Playing OFFENSE
Join High Performance Coach Brett Eaton as he reveals the 5 essential steps to living on your terms and playing offense in every facet of your life. In this session Brett will challenge conventional definitions of success and guide you to define your own unique path to achievement and profound fulfillment. It’s time to break free from outdated notions and align your success with your true aspirations and values.
Living a Boundless Life
In his breakout sessions, speaker and best-selling author Andy Bailey will introduce participants to the Boundless Journal & Guide, and take them through foundational exercises, such as, “Where does distraction come from? How do you maximize your focus to create additional productivity? And what is your current state, Your Now?” to set the stage to develop the skills they’ll need in creating their actionable personal Boundless plan. The audience will leave with their own Boundless Journal which they can use to follow the steps toward living a boundless life.
The Employee Experience Revolution
Dave Murray will share with you how to become the best professional decision of your employees’ lives. This content comes from the new book John and Dave co-authored titled The Employee Experience Revolution, coming out in 2024. The “Great Resignation”, “Quiet Quitting”, and “Cancel Culture” are not indictments on employees, but rather, business leaders’ lack of focus on truly caring for the people who are under their command. Today’s employees are more selective than ever regarding who they will work for; they are insisting that companies and their leaders help them live the right life. That is how you build a world-class culture.
Deliver a World-Class Experience on a Limited Budget
Customer Experience Coaches Antoinette Kula, Brad Dick, and Frank Favaro will be doing two breakout sessions on How to Deliver a World-Class Experience on a Limited Budget. This breakout session is perfect for small to mid-size companies that want to dramatically improve the customer experience they deliver at little cost. These experienced CX Coaches will share best practices they have used to help their clients have incredible results. There will also be Q&A time in these sessions. You can submit questions now so Antoinette, Brad, and Frank can better customize their breakouts for exactly what you need.
By the end of this breakout session, participants should have a solid understanding of how to:
- Create a Day in the life of your customer
- Create a Customer Experience Action Statement
- Create Never & Always
- Learn how to build an instant rapport with anyone
- Implement practical strategies to enhance customer service within their organizations
Turn Angry Customers into Brand Evangelists
Nicole Paul will share the secrets that the best customer experience companies use to turn disappointed customers into brand evangelists. One of the key characteristics of the top customer experience brands in the world is that they are “Zero Risk” to do business with. A Zero Risk business isn’t one that never makes mistakes; every excellent customer service company drops the ball from time to time. The secret to what makes these top brands Zero Risk lies in their customer service training; specifically, how well they have trained their employees to make it right when things do go wrong. In other words, Zero Risk means peace of mind for the customer.
From Boomers to Zoomers: A Survival Guide to Leading Gen Zers
Join Cal DiJulius who will share a first-hand account of this burgeoning generation that’s set to dominate the labor market. Comprising over a third of the global population and more than a quarter of the U.S. populace, Gen Z is on track to soon surpass Millennials as the most populous and diverse generation ever. But it’s not just their numbers that matter; it’s the paradigm-shifting influence they’re set to have on technology, careers, politics, and organizational culture. In this illuminating breakout session, Cal will help you understand the unique behaviors, attitudes, and preferences of his generation. He will debunk common myths and stereotypes, replacing them with data-driven insights and actionable strategies.
Current students and alumni of the Customer eXperience Executive Academy come together and share their progress, best practices, and opportunities.
Q&A with LaQuita Cleare
Prior to her breakout session for senior leadership, LaQuita Cleare will have just completed a keynote on main stage regarding the power of storytelling. Now as a senior leader, you can ask LaQuita questions on how you can be a better communicator and storyteller.
What Does My Life Look Like in 10 years?
Andy Bailey learned to build great organizations by building his own great businesses, starting in college then, growing into an Inc. 500 multi-million-dollar national company then successfully selling and exiting. He founded Petra Coach to pass on to other entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders the principles and practices he used to build his successful enterprises.
Q&A with Anne Mahlum
Prior to her breakout session for senior leadership, Anne Mahlum will have just completed a keynote on main stage. You can ask Anne, now a senior leader, questions on anything. Anne has started, built, and sold several organizations including [solidcore], growing it into one of the country’s most successful boutique fitness companies. In just nine years, Anne raised more than $70M to grow [solidcore] to over 90 locations across the U.S. Anne is currently the Executive Chairwoman at [solidcore], which now has over 1,000 employees and more than 100,000 clients.