Do you have a solid Customer Experience strategy for 2017? The experts of The DiJulius Group share some of their insights for what they believe will be key for this coming year.
The following is by Dave Murray, Senior Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group.
How To Prepare Millennials To Be Our Next Generation Of Leaders
So much has been made of the Millennial generation. There have been countless articles and even books published on how to manage and lead this generation in the work force. This is nothing new. Every new generation brings change and new technology with them as they take their first positions. The primary difference now is that technology changes so much faster then ever before, with smart phones leading the way. The technology that Millennials were raised on is now making its way in to offices and storefronts. Change can be difficult, but change can also be very good.
|For me, the next challenge with the Millennial generation is not how to manage and lead them, but rather to ask how do we begin to train them to be the managers and leaders of the future? So often, promotions are granted to an employee based on the work they have done in their role, and does not take into consideration one’s desire or ability to manage others. I think the great opportunity with the Millennial generation is not only to keep them engaged, but also to be the leaders of the future.
What Are Your Service Standards?
The first few weeks of the year are a time to focus on what is important. Prioritize and create goals for the coming year. Is the experience you are delivering part of those goals? If your answer was no, here are some things you can easily do with your team to re-focus on your experience and improve it at the same time.
First, what are your current service standards? How quickly do you ask your team to respond to voicemail and e-mail messages? Is this fast enough? You may have to look outside of your industry for the answer. Companies using social media and other tools are having real-time conversations with their customers. How does that stack up with your current standard? Remember, a consumer compares experience-to-experience, and not just within that industry. Being the best in your industry with today’s tech savvy consumer may not get you very far.
The following is by Katie Mares, Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group.
Create Your Followers
It takes progressive leadership for the vision of World Class Customer Service to come to life and make it stick with team members. However, it takes the first follower to make this vision translate to customers.
"A leader without followers is a person taking a walk…"
2017 will bring a new focus to how we lead our people through the Customer Service Revolution. It will no longer be about systems and processes that are mandated. Our core group of employees are Millennials, who need to be a part of a bigger purpose, who want to believe in what they are told to do and who want to have the confidence in those they follow.
Leaders who are brave enough to take on the challenge of creating a World Class Experience for their customers will need to create a World Class Experience for their teams…they will need to dedicate time and resources to create followers and brand evangelists in order for the customer to realize the shift in the experience and for the leaders of organizations to realize the upside.
World Class Service starts at the top with a strong belief, commitment, and strategic plan, but most importantly it takes leaders who are willing to commit to serving their people and in turn cultivate a culture that lives and breathes by the customer.
Leaders in Customer Experience understand that every customer is unique. They also realize that in order to keep their customers coming back for more, the experience they provide needs to be tailored to suit the unique needs of each customer. This seems like an impossible task…creating a personalized experience for each customer we come in contact with.
2017 will be focused on using the information that is at our fingertips and creating ways to translate the information into a personal experience for customers. According to Accenture, 73% of consumers prefer to do business with retailers that use their personal information to make the shopping experience more relevant. It is no longer about what we think the customers’ needs are, it is about the actual needs of the customer, and they expect just that!
With customers’ expectations of a personalized experience on the rise, it is vital to focus on gathering the unique information about each of your customers and using it to create a personalized experience that connects them to you emotionally. Technology allows employees to create a personal database on each of your customers. Role-play with your employees to teach them how to collect these nuggets of gold; then create processes they can follow to effectively use the information you have on your customers. This will allow your employees to create an emotional connection with your customers. This will have the customer wanting to interact with you over the competitors.
The following segment is by Lisa Duran, Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group.
It Is Not About You
In business we strive for 100% customer satisfaction for two reasons. One, it’s the right thing to do. Two, there is a direct correlation to increased revenue when customers are satisfied. We invest time and resources on developing customer experience standards, training soft skills and creating measurement tools. We focus on team and individual performance as it relates to how they are treating their customers. When we don’t see the increases in revenue we are hoping for, we often times scratch our heads and wonder where we have failed. The answer lies in something we are taught at a very young age and grew up never questioning.
We were taught the Golden Rule, "Treat others as you want to be treated." We applied this concept to customer service and always assumed it was the right thing to do. Here lies the problem. How Jane Smith wants to be treated might be different from how I want to be treated. Although we all want to be treated with respect and listened to, we all have different ideas of how an experience should be. So the truth is:
SATISFACTION = PERFORMANCE – EXPECTATION
We need to be focusing on what our customers EXPECT at each stage of the customer experience cycle. It’s only then that we can really deliver satisfaction using the customer experience tools and training we have put into place. Don’t be discouraged that your customer service initiatives have not performed well in the past. Change your focus and find out what your customers really expect and deliver on their expectations rather than our assumptions.
Take It Personal
Today, people have more interactions than ever before. We interact via the phone, email, texts, online messaging, social media, and chatbots. The list is endless. With all of these countless interactions, how do you make yours memorable? We receive on average 122 emails a day. If you are an Account Executive, how do you make your email stand out? Do you use fancier job titles? Differentiate the font you use?
Don’t just communicate – connect! What does stand out is human connection. Human connection almost always wins out. Personalize your messages; take the extra ten seconds to incorporate something personal about the person you are communicating with. Ask them how the weather is in Chicago. Are they excited their team made the playoffs? Or how their son is doing at American University?
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