Are you fighting “Woe is Me” syndrome?
By Dave Murray
Many organizations today, regardless of business model or industry, are experiencing the same struggles – customer demand is at an all-time high and staffing is a major issue. This toxic combination can leave even your best team member saying, “woe is me…we need help!”
As a business leader, not only do you have to focus on your customers and hiring new team members, but you cannot forget that supporting your current team members is now more important than ever. Here is why – even your best team members will eventually wear down after dealing with an increase in upset customers, a backlog of orders, and a long list of missed opportunities. Regardless of what your primary issues may be, the “woe is me” attitude will bleed into your customer experience – if it has not already!
What you can do about it
Here is one way to support your teams. Hold an Internal Culture workshop with a focus on departmental communication and handoffs. During an Internal Culture workshop, we identify the interaction points that have the biggest impact on the customer’s experience. Examples can include customer check-out in retail, or a follow-up call in the service industry.
Then, take it a step further, and focus on where you typically drop the ball on customers during these critical customer interaction points. Examples here very often include poor internal communication, careless internal customer hand-off, and not properly setting expectations the first time. Once we have identified these common issues, the team can start to work together to find solutions. What steps can you take to provide better internal communication and handoffs? Where can your behind-the-scenes staff, or “invisible service providers,” better support your front-line team members, and vice versa? What efficiencies can be identified during handoffs that could save steps for several departments?
This process not only gets teams working together in a team environment, but it also very often uncovers opportunities to improve the experience both internally and externally. Simply removing some of those steps that happen simply because “we’ve always done it that way” can always be a great start.
Here is an example of one company’s successful workshop. Mid-States Concrete Industries was dealing with information and experience gaps at critical customer handoff points from department to department. While most companies experience this, Mid-States decided to do something about it. They held a workshop that included representatives from each department involved in a customer’s order – from start to finish, and they included departments that interact with customers, as well as those behind the scenes.
The first part of the workshop identified the most critical touchpoints the organization had with customers. Each one of these touchpoints was analyzed by participants and they worked together as a team to do the following:
- They identified service defects in these most critical customer interaction points, building better awareness and proper protocols.
- They validated that their most important operational standards were still in fact valid and achievable.
- They created experiential standards designed to truly set Mid-States apart from competitors.
- They created above and beyond scenarios designed to further enhance the customer’s experience and build relationships.
Once step one was complete, the participants went back with a critical eye to review all internal handoffs that take place during the customer’s journey. Their goal was to knock down barriers that exist and look for ways to provide better communication and support between departments as the customer’s order travels through the sales and fulfillment process. Some solutions included taking time to add a team debrief meeting at critical points of the process as opposed to relying solely on email. An “experience checklist” was created that helped ensure each department knew the standards that were to be followed throughout the sales and fulfillment process. And a post-order debrief and review were added once large orders were set to deliver.
Today, the customer’s journey is a primary focus of all team members at Mid-States, as they strive to deliver a consistently excellent experience along with their consistently excellent products.
Jack Mackey Keynoting 2021 Customer Service Revolution
We are so thrilled to announce that Jack Mackey will be speaking at this year’s Customer Service Revolution. Jack is a CX pioneer since 2003 and a top-performing sales executive for decades before founding the Buyer Experience Academy. His service leadership courses are translated into 14 languages and presented in 30 countries.
Previously, as Chief Evangelist and VP of Sales at Service Management Group, Jack helped build SMG into one of the world’s premier customer experience firms. His new business development team grew client relationships 1000% over 10 years, achieving 95% client retention. Jack will show you how to deliver a loyalty-inspiring buyer experience to win and keep more new business.
Quote of the Week
“It is better to lose the sale than lose the reputation”
Register for the 2021 Customer Service Revolution October 5-6 in Cleveland Ohio
We are offering both in-person and virtual options for the two-day 2021 Customer Service Revolution. For the ultimate experience and peace of mind of our in-person attendees, we will take every safety precaution. As a result, we will be limiting the number of in-person tickets that we can sell. Our virtual tickets will also provide access to every speaker that the in-person event will.
Your future success will be around the customer experience strategy and the percent of customers you create that cannot live without your company.