Thomas Hawk

Inspiring Your Team To Deliver Great CX

The business media and customer service journals focus a great deal of attention on customer experience (CX). It’s understandable because the strategic focus has moved on from just managing a great customer service team to managing the entire customer journey, which can involve many interactions between the brand and the customer.

The really important difference in this approach is that it requires joined-up thinking inside brands. You need to get everyone in a customer-facing role working together in a coordinated way. This often means quite a substantial change to internal procedures and systems because teams such as marketing, sales, and the customer service contact centre used to be very distinct and different departments. Now they simply must work together.

But this exploration of the customer journey and how managing a customer experience strategy is so much bigger and more complex than just managing customer service just emphasizes how important these customer touch points are. You can’t have a great sales team that consistently delights the customer, but a poor marketing team that consistently makes promises and then lets the customer down.

The customer only sees the brand. They don’t care how your organize teams of people internally and a customer that is reaching out for information doesn’t know if they are interacting with someone in sales, marketing, or in the regular customer support centre. The industry analyst Gartner has suggested that 89% of brands are now relying on CX to differentiate themselves from the competition. If this really is the case then how come more brands are not thinking seriously about employee experience in addition to CX?

I’ve just outlined how many more touch points there are between brands and customers. Engagement is no longer restricted to a customer service contact centre during specific hours and on a specific channel – usually the phone. Employees from across your business are interacting with customers across many different channels and at all times of the day and night – those employees need to be at the top of their game.

Imagine calling a brand for help and receiving a voice on the phone that sounds like they are counting the minutes until they can get out of that office. How would that make you feel about the brand? That one interaction could shape your interactions with that company for the rest of your life. So what do you need to be thinking of to ensure that a great employee experience can be translated into a great customer experience?

  1. Hire for the brand; get people on the team who genuinely love to help others. You want people who get a buzz from fixing problems and really love the feeling they get as they help a customer.
  2. Explain your mission; every brand has values. Make sure your team knows exactly what your company is about and how they are expected to behave. A bank might operate in a different way to a software company, but at the end of the day it’s just about making sure that the team understand the culture of the company.
  3. Train them; don’t throw new team members out there on live support until you know they are ready to confidently handle what customers throw at them.
  4. Give them the tools; in addition to great training and preparation, make sure they have the tools they need to get the job done. Explore new ideas and technologies that can turn them from agents into super-agents.
  5. Empower them; give your people some freedom to take decisions. Make a rule that says they have freedom to do anything that will help the customer, so you are not confining them inside scripts and rigid boundaries. Let your people make decisions on how the customer can be best helped.

Creating a robust employee experience strategy is exactly the kind of challenge that Praxidia enjoys helping our clients to address and we have created solutions to address this need – with many demonstrable case studies. To learn more please leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn profile.

Photo by Thomas Hawk licensed under Creative Commons.