It’s a refrain I hear and live every day. Executives tell me: There is usually so much we COULD do with customer experience. We want to provide more, better, faster…but in order to do that for our customers we have to change entire legacy systems, hire totally new teams, and shift budget dollars from one place to another. This leads to paralysis. We can’t move the mountain so we are stuck staring at it, not realizing the mountain is made up of boulders big and small, and even a few pebbles which could bring the altitude down a notch.
If you can find an hour, you can do the following to help improve your customer experience:
1. Stop by your call center and listen in.
I once made it a point to listen to just 10 incoming service calls for a client. Out of those 10 calls, 3 customers were searching for the same solution. The calls were handled very well, but according to the service rep statistics, they’re simply marked “resolved.” Listening to 10 calls allowed me to see a pattern otherwise not recognized by metrics. It was a simple fix – move things around so the customers could find things easier.
2. Grab a cup of coffee with a front-line employee.
Ask pointed questions about specific incidents. When was the last time a customer left still upset about something? What was the best way you helped a customer? What do you think about the compensation strategy here? Once the gates are open, be prepared to listen. There are gems there about ways to delight your employees and customers. Take notes!
3. Turn the weekly metrics report into definable action steps.
Many of my clients are proficient at data-ese. They speak the language of data as if it were their mother tongue. Meetings are scheduled, discussions are had, and reports are delivered every month, week or day. Yet so much of this information is reviewed as a gauge and nothing more. Look at the data with a critical eye and decide: what can we do this week to improve this? Then create real action around it. A recent example: A client was diligently tracking customer discussions via social media. By the time the reports came in, it was almost too late to reply. Now, there is a real-time strategy to respond to customers online.
Yes, customer experience is a big topic. But taking action doesn’t have to be so big. You have your supplies. It’s time to start climbing the mountain one step at a time.