We live in a society now where customers are constantly being bombarded with products in services at every touch point. On their mobile phone, internet browser, social media, television, print, at work, email marketing, billboards and much much more. So, as an organization it is important to remember that your experiences are not created inside a vacuum. What I mean by that is that your customers experience is effected by many aspects and layers of their service interactions.
If you want to excel at being an organization that creates exceptional experiences for their customers at every touch point, be sure that your service is impeccable through every channel. Read more about how to Improve Your Omni-Channel Experience here.
“Service is produced, consumed and evaluated simultaneously.” – Peter Psichogios
Your service is produced, consumed and evaluated simultaneously, which means that your employees much be enabled to provide the best service imaginable. They must be able to provide service that is fast, friendly, and hassle free.
Invest in your Employees for Better Service
So how do you enable your employees to provide this kind of exceptional service? A large part of it is investing in their growth and development from the get go. Many people are worried about spending the time and money on developing their employees, but if you’re not investing in your employees’ future then they’re going to find someone who will.
Learning is one of the key drivers of employee engagement, so it is no surprise that your talent want opportunities to learn and grow in your organization. When you provide your employees with learning they feel acknowledged and they feel connected to your company’s growth and vision. When you invest in your employees, they will want to invest their motivation and energy back in to your organization.
Plus, when you invest in your employees’ skills and competencies, they will be able to provide better service internally with their colleagues and externally with your customers, both of which improve your bottom line with increased productivity, loyalty, and sales. That investment will drive them to provide experiences that make your customers stay longer, buy more and positively refer others.
What development initiatives do you have in your organization that help to create better customer experiences?
Have you personally seen a connection with increased employee engagement and improved customer service?
What organizations come to mind when you think of exceptional service? What ways do you see that their employees are enabled to provide you with quality service?
We love to hear your personal stories and suggestions! Please share in the comments below.
If you’re a leader and you want to improve your employee and customer experience drastically, you should you experience your experience. What I mean by this is, you should experience working on the front lines with your employees. When you do this you not only talk the talk, but you walk the walk. When you lead from the front lines and are on the ground walking around with your employees you will be able to see first-hand what the experience is like for your front-line employees. This will allow you to then address problems and obstacles in the way of your internal service cooperation, which will in turn improve your external experience for your customers! This is a great example of what it is to be a servant leader (Read more about how to be a Servant Leader here).
Lead from the Front Lines
If you experience working on the front lines with your employees, you will build rapport, earn their trust, and receive their discretionary energy and engagement. Being a servant leader and getting in the trenches with them shows that you are dedicated to making their workplace the best environment possible, which will make them want to stay longer, work harder, and have positive things to say about your organization.
What Would Elon Do?
You may have recently read the statement issued by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, whereby he addresses safety concerns for the Tesla front line after reports came out that injuries were about 30% higher than the industry average.
“No words can express how much I care about your safety and wellbeing. It breaks my heart when someone is injured building cars and trying their best to make Tesla successful.
Going forward, I’ve asked that every injury be reported directly to me, without exception. I’m meeting with the safety team every week and would like to meet every injured person as soon as they are well, so that I can understand from them exactly what we need to do to make it better. I will then go down to the production line and perform the same task that they perform.
This is what all managers at Tesla should do as a matter of course. At Tesla, we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower. Managers must always put their team’s safety above their own.” (Electrek June 2 2017)
This email is a great example of a servant leader who is dedicated to making the workplace a safe and positive environment for his employees. It is not enough for your product to be exceptional, your experience needs to be exceptional as well. The customer experience starts from the inside out with your employees.
What do you think about Elon’s email above?
Do you have any examples of problems you have solved by experiencing your experience and working the front lines?
Share your experiences of servant leadership in the comments below!
As an organization if you want to create the best experiences for your customers (and employees) the devil is in the details! If you want to create experiences that make your customers stay longer, buy more, and positively refer others, you must focus on the little things that will differentiate your experience from your competitors and this all starts with aligning your internal service cooperation.
Create Personalized Interactions and Focus on the Little Things
“In creating service experiences, each one of us has the ability to make the little things the important things.” – Peter Psichogios
This means you must pay attention to every detail. It is important to manage the details, both for your employees and your customers, so that you can create personalized, authentic and friendly interactions each and every time. In the personalization economy, the little things are the big things. And it’s important to personalize the experience for both your employees and customers. What I mean by that is, get to know your employees and customers more intimately, and treat them uniquely how they want to be treated. This might be recognizing and rewarding an employee in a personalized way that motivates and engages them. With a customer, this might mean asking them “how would you like us to serve you,” or listening to their queries and personally addressing their feedback.
A major blunder we see executive teams and companies make is that they do well on what they deem the important or hard things, and lose focus, do not pay attention, and have inconsistent interactions on what they perceive as trivia, detail or “the little things.”
Exceptional Customer Service Starts with Internal Service Cooperation
One of the hallmarks of every legendary customer service organization is that they first have awesome internal service cooperation. When you have exceptional internal service, your employees feel enabled and competent to serve their customers and focus on the little details.
Here are 7 Ways to Create Internal Service Cooperation:
- Stay Positive – have the same upbeat attitude with your internal partners as you could with your external customers
- Honor Commitments – when you make a commitment with a coworker, keep it!
- Communicate Often – The best customer service is create from high-touch, high-tech communication environments. This is one area where it is extremely important to focus on the small details and listen.
- Negotiate Expectations – share how another internal service provider can better assist you in serving an external customer
- Step Out of Your Silo – Network with co-workers from other areas of the organization to understand the internal service workflow. This is another area where the small details of understanding how your work effects others (and vice versa) will be extremely influential.
- Be Polite – treat co-workers with the same courtesy as you would customers, and help them be responsive and efficient to your external customers.
- Be Helpful – look for ways to directly or indirectly support a customer or co-worker.
We’d love to hear your feedback on how you implement exceptional internal service in your organization.
Have you seen changes your internal service make a difference for your external customers?
How do you focus on the little things (while also making sure the big things are taken care of)?
What actions do you have in place to make your internal service exceptional so that your external customer service can shine?
Reply in the comments below and share your best practices so we can learn from one another!
You spend 2000+ hours at work every year, that’s 23% of your time, 3 full months or ¼ of a year! Whichever way you look at it, you spend a lot of your life ‘working’, so you might as well enjoy your experience! Most people would rather be great than ordinary. It is your job as a leader to develop your employees and engage them so that they will give you their discretionary energy and create exceptional experiences for their internal colleagues and your external customers.
Here are some of our top featured blogs to help you develop and engage your employees. Click below to read more!
A Guide to Being a Servant Leader
Don’t Be A Bosshole
Get Your People Geeked About Learning
Is Your Learning Program Like Drinking Through A Firehose?
Take Your Engagement Program from Meh to Hell Yah!
How To Get Your Customers To Love You
I hope these blogs are helpful for you to develop and engage your employees and yourself so that you will be energized, enabled and motivated to create exceptional experiences that make your customers stay longer, buy more, and positively refer others!
Follow these links to learn more about how to implement at Engagement or Learning program in your organization.
If you’re in the learning and development department, I bet a big part of your role is figuring out how to best disseminate information to your employees so that they can effectively use that information in real life scenarios and better serve your internal and external customers.
A huge part of creating this sort of effective learning that will make your employees feel connected to your organization’s goals and objectives, is finding the sweet spot of intersection between learning and engagement. Learning is one of the key drivers of employee engagement so it is important to capitalize on this with your employees and discuss where they are, where they want to be in the future and how learning bridges that gap.
Here are some ways you can get your employees engaged and geeked about learning:
1. Incent them to learn by recognizing them with rewards. It’s important to show your employees you are committed to learning by rolling their development into your engagement and recognition program. You can give employees an allotment of points for every lesson they complete or a larger sum upon completion. Or if monetary recognition isn’t your thing, you can use gamification and badging to set up leaderboards and start some friendly competition. Let’s face it, this gold star method has been working to encourage positive behavior since back in preschool.
2. Don’t give them too much information too fast. One of the top reasons why employees feel bored or overwhelmed with learning is that they get too much information, too fast. If you give them information in short, digestible doses, repeated and reinforced over time, they will be more likely to effectively process the information and feel encouraged to continue to pursue learning in the future.
3. Incent them to learn by providing opportunities for growth. Most people would rather be awesome than ordinary. Your employees want skills and competencies that will make them more marketable now while they are with you, and for where they want to go in the future. Not many employees want to stay stagnant in their careers. If you provide your employees with learning opportunities it shows that you care about their future at your organization. It is also important to create a culture where they can progress and grow into new and more senior roles. Have your employees shadow roles above them, and find opportunities for them to practice their leadership skills.
4. Have an action plan and accountability so they feel connected to the success. It is important that your employees are accountable for what they have learned and are clear on their learning objectives. Give them an opportunity to practice, drill and rehearse their learning in a safe environment, so that they know exactly how they can apply it with a customer. Then, senior leaders should have one on one conversations with employees about how they will apply the learning in real life scenarios.