There are three ways to distinguish oneself from other organizations:
Most companies find themselves in the third scenario. This category, too, has its winners, as companies receive their awards by offering consumers an amazing experience, making them shout the company’s name from the rooftops or getting it tattooed on their body.
We are all familiar with these super fans, willingly advertising a company to anyone that wants to listen. It should be every company’s goal to turn satisfied customers into passionate promoters. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ manual, containing tips and tricks to create an amazing CX, for every company and every industry.
There are, however, four simple guidelines to which every organization can give its own interpretation, illustrated below with a couple of examples.
Recently, I came into contact with an organisation supporting job seekers. In the waiting room, there was a big screen, containing information messages meant to facilitate the service. The screen said, “Notify the appropriate employee of your presence using our digital kiosk”, and “Keep your ID ready.”
I also read,
“If you decide that assistance from an interpreter is required, please report this to the reception prior to your appointment.”
I consider it a positive evolution that authorities proactively offer this option to foreign language job-seekers. It would be an improvement, however, if the message were to be communicated in a more universal language than Dutch. Hence, I suggested to one of the employees to translate the message into English. She smiled, agreed and advised me to send an e-mail message to the Brussels headquarters.
Clearly, within the organization there is still room for improvement in terms of customer service...
Do you try to put yourself often enough in the customer’s shoes? How do you experience the customer journey offered by the company you work for? Is there room for improvement?
The KBC bank struggled selling retirement accounts to over-45s. Listening to their customers, they discovered that this age group failed to see the relevance of retirement savings. The bank therefore set up “the oldest call centre” so as to address the age group as experts by experience. People over 45 could ask questions about retiring. Do pensions provide sufficient income? What impact does retirement have on one’s social life and one’s health?
Do you know what is on your customers’ minds? What are their dreams? Do you ask yourself for every message your company sends out whether it matches the customers’ expectations? What are your customers’ expectations at each touchpoint in the customer journey? Do you take their expectations sufficiently into account?
On the Internet, there are ample examples of stories about empathetic customer service. I can still recall a story of a phone call from an employee at the Zappos store chain with a woman who ordered a dress despite not being ready for it emotionally.
Not all moments of interaction between an organization and its customers have to be the exceptional. Some moments, however, provide an excellent opportunity to touch the customers’ hearts and turn them into promoters. It is therefore paramount to determine the most suitable course of action.
Do you listen enough to your customers to know how to make or break a customer experience?
Humour can be very effective if used appropriately. A nice example is Google UK and the bakery chain Greggs. A quite inappropriate Greggs logo appeared in Google My Business.
This is how Google UK replied to Greggs on Twitter, when correcting its mistake.
Do you occasionally make a joke? During these moments, a company can show its human side. Humour is not for everybody, but a company that can make me smile is one that gets my sympathy, as well as my €€€.
Before being able to correctly apply these four principles as an organization, it is crucial to first obtain a clear view of the customer’s perception.