- January 30, 2015
According to people-focused research firm Maritz, there are 3 dimensions to Customer Experience – customers, insight teams, and managers and employees taking action. Measurement and success is derived from understanding the value of each customer experience by leveraging linkage and analysis, improved engagement with front-line staff, effective communications driven by customer feedback and the provision of constructive training and support materials.
Today’s news, internet and social media are littered with stories and recommendations around Customer Experience Measurement (CEM). This is a recurring theme in retail, with consumer behaviour and buying patterns, particularly over the festive season! Many of these stories link bad customer experience to contributing to the demise of an organisation, with a lack of understanding of their market presence, and no people-driven strategy or defined process in place for CEM. Clearly, CEM is important to business for survival, market status and growth strategies, but how do you strike the balance between what you are measuring and translate this to the actual experience each customer receives?
Highly Productive People = Happy Customers
Contrary to popular belief, driving increased productivity of your workforce will result in a happier customer. Traditionally increasing productivity is associated with simply pushing people to do more. If more output is required, the perception is that less time will be spent on each visit, which means customers aren’t being engaged properly, work is rushed and quality declines. The opposite is, in fact, true.
Customers want their issue dealt with quickly at the first attempt and productivity directly factors both of these elements in its translation and calculation. Therefore it can be said that productivity is indicative of how happy your customers are. If productivity is low, it means issues have occurred which will almost certainly relate to an unhappy customer. Management’s job is to understand the issues, resolve them and improve productivity, which by default results in happier customers.
A simple yet effective approach – CARE
Consider that each customer is unique, both as an organisation or individual person. Their experience is based on trust and honesty in tune with their behaviour and needs.
Appreciate that every customer assumes that your employees knows the end-to-end delivery process of your business. Being able to resolve issues on time, first time, enables customer expectation to be met.
Recognise that one size does not fit all. Customers have their own ideas/recommendations and need to feel comfortable in voicing them, and be confident that they are taken seriously. This is key to gain a customer’s respect and loyalty.
Ensure that CEM is a simple, yet effective, documented solution. It should detail the measurement process but be flexible to update and amend, driven by listening to and understanding customer behaviour and feedback. The business should ensure front-line staff have the correct ‘customer-facing’ skills and understand the CEM through training and support mechanisms.
This simple CARE approach is how we, as human beings, tend to react to everyday life experiences, both personally and in business. It’s driven by the ‘what, where, when, how and why’ concept, with the added value of understanding that it is better to work together and understand what is needed.
With this CARE principle in mind, a business can build a CEM solution that is people and performance driven, as the basics and core drivers are in place. In understanding what the customer wants, (what, where, when, how and why) staff and management can work accordingly and collaborate to make sure this is delivered. Ultimately it is about striking the balance between measuring customer experience alongside productivity which will result in happy customers.