While many organizations recognize the important role of front-line employees in delivering exceptional customer service, the question still remains: does every staff member play a role in the customer experience? The answer is yes. From the security personnel stationed at the gate to the diligent cleaners working around the premises and even the welcoming receptionist at the entrance, every staff member, regardless of their role, has the potential to interact with customers directly or indirectly.
To achieve an exceptional customer experience, the first step for any brand is to put themselves in the shoes of the customer, envisioning what they would expect when engaging with the brand. By understanding these expectations, brands can take the necessary steps to meet and exceed customer experience goals.
Does your team reflect the principles and values of your brand?
Every organization has a vision, a mission, and a set of strategic goals. It is the duty of the executives to sell the vision to every member of the company. This is because every step, action, and decision made by each staff member contributes to the realization of these collective objectives.
When every member of the team embraces and lives by the brand’s core beliefs, it creates a cohesive and authentic experience for customers. Customers today seek more than just a product or service; they crave a meaningful connection and a sense of authenticity. Your team acts as the face and voice of your brand, serving as the primary point of contact for customers. Their behaviors, attitudes, and interactions shape how customers perceive your brand even before purchasing your product or service.
On the other hand, a misalignment between your team and the brand’s principles can have detrimental effects on the customer experience. Inconsistencies in behaviour, a lack of understanding, or indifference towards the brand’s values can lead to confusion, frustration, and ultimately, the erosion of trust.
So by choosing to manage the customer experience, we must inspire and excite our staff to deliver the brand at each and every touchpoint; whether this is via the design of digital interfaces or through human contact.
Delivering unforgettable customer experience
Growing up, many of us had a go-to store where we consistently purchased products during our errands. Have you ever pondered the reason behind your loyalty to that particular store? Surprisingly, it might not even be due to the store owner, but rather to the cleaner working diligently within its premises. It could be the genuine smile that lights up her face as she meticulously mops the wet floor or the pleasing organization of the products on display.
I vividly recall a time when I visited a store to purchase some items, only to be kept waiting for over 20 minutes by a salesgirl who struggled to locate the desired product. The outcome? I never returned to that store!
This proves that every action and decision you make as a business owner or employee contributes to the branding of the company. From the moment you open your doors until closing time, from the meticulous arrangement of your products to the way your salespeople engage with customers, every tiny detail matters.
Consider this: if you were to approach a store and the salesperson treated you rudely, would you willingly choose to revisit that establishment again, even if they had quality products? I bet you would look for an alternative. For the business owner, the salesperson’s behavior becomes an integral part of their brand. It reflects a great deal about their brand and leaves a lasting impression on customers. Consequently, such actions can significantly impact customer loyalty.
The perception customers have of a brand is shaped by the sum of these experiences. This, in turn, influences their level of loyalty towards the brand. It is crucial for business owners to understand that every interaction is an opportunity to strengthen their brand and foster customer loyalty.
Not defined by your products/services alone
Contrary to what people think, the customer experience is not limited to the quality of the products and services your organization offers. While the quality, features, and value of your products/services certainly impact the customer’s perception, the customer experience extends far beyond the transactional elements. It encompasses the entire customer journey, from pre-purchase research to post-purchase support.
It takes into account the ease of navigation on a website, the efficiency and friendliness of customer service representatives, the quality and reliability of the products or services, and even the ambiance of physical locations.
How can you cultivate staff loyalty to improve customer experience?
1. Build a Strong Company Culture:
Develop a positive company culture in your organization that values and recognizes employees. Foster a sense of purpose and belonging and try to align their individual goals with the organization’s mission. Encourage teamwork, open communication, and a shared commitment to delivering outstanding customer experiences.
2. Empower and Trust Your Employees:
Trust your employees to make decisions and empower them to resolve customer issues independently. Encourage autonomy and ownership in their roles, allowing them to provide personalized and memorable experiences based on the unique needs of each customer. This makes them go above and beyond to exceed customer expectations.
3. Provide Comprehensive Training and Development:
Invest in training programs to equip your staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Offer ongoing learning and development opportunities to keep them engaged and enhance their expertise. Focus not only on job-specific training but also on soft skills such as communication, empathy, and problem-solving.
4. Recognize and Reward Exceptional Performance:
Implement recognition programs to acknowledge and reward employees who consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. Celebrate their achievements and provide incentives that align with your company’s values and culture.
5. Lead by Example:
Leadership plays a crucial role in shaping organizational culture. Lead by example and demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you expect from your staff. Show genuine care for both customers and employees, and consistently reinforce the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences.
So, embark on the journey of making every staff member, regardless of their role, an ambassador for exceptional customer experience in the organization. Doing this is essential to providing the kind of customer experience that keeps customers satisfied and loyal to your brand.