Whatever business you are in, you will find that there is only one cause of your success: How your customers experience your business.
While many organizations have mechanisms for assessing how they fare when delivering goods and services to their customers, these results are often formulated to achieve scores that will look good, rather than really achieve the true benefit; an ongoing improvement in the relationship between the organization and their customer.
The key to creating an excellent customer relationship is the interface between the customer and their point of contact within the organization. Too often processes which suit the business are not customer-friendly, however much they suit the internal needs.
Far too few businesses ask the question, ‘Do the processes which we use, work always to the advantage of our customer first?’ Processes are a means to level out the average performance within a business; have a tendency to lower the very best performances and also, often take priority for employees, instead of the very customers who are their most valuable asset.
One way to avoid this issue is to ask your employees what gets in the way of making the very best of relationships with their customers. What do they need more of (as well as less of) to deliver exemplary customer service?
Another valuable way to approach this is to ask your people what they find works well for them when they themselves are customers, as we all are, elsewhere. What was good about it and what did they think could have been done better.
Finally, experiencing the customer journey through their experience is probably one of the most value-creating actions that can be taken.
For employees to watch, listen and even act out the experience of one of the customers they would normally be serving, is a very enlightening role they can play.
This can be achieved by taking them out of their usual working role, for a while, and getting them to watch or listen to what happens when their customer start the interaction. They then really share the experience and start to notice how things could be different.
If that can then be brought into a discussion forum where several share their experiences and propose changes, there are the ingredients for continuing progress and change.
Most employees want to do a great job. They want the satisfaction of getting it right and experiencing job satisfaction. They want their customers to leave satisfied, thrilled even, wanting to do business again in the future.
Enabling your people to spend time getting all the pieces in place for their customer, really understanding how to meet their needs fully and even exceptionally is a way to get them motivated and excited to be part of your team. It builds team spirit and morale.
Using the capabilities of your own people, to give better service through sharing their thoughts and ideas, is a valuable exercise – and one which creates untold value in your business for the future.