There is so much talk these days about improving the customer experience and it is probably warranted. Think about it, how is your typical experience? I find it pretty average and lacking in what makes me want to advocate for a business. Only once in a while do I come across an experience that makes me want to put out an ad and announce to the world how great a company is and how they’re different and better.
With all of the channels now available for customers to yell from the rooftops, companies are waking up to find a new landscape where how they treat customers and what hoops they’ve got in their systems have become a big focus for improvement. It seems today that everyone is clambering to find the magic bullet to bettering the customer experience. While all of this is surely needed and a welcome sight to customers, most companies are missing a critical part of the prescription for making things better.
You see, most businesses are doing a lot of mapping of customer journeys, finding pain points, changing processes to take away obstacles, training employees to shake hands and smile, etc., and while all of this is beneficial, it is missing the most crucial fix that needs to be made. Training, mapping, workshops, designing new experiences and the like are all just band aids unless the key elements of employee engagement and experience are addressed.
I believe businesses are kidding themselves if they believe employees will deliver a better customer experience because they get some training or a new SOP. Ultimately, unless employees are part of an organization where they are valued, listened to and included as part of a collaborative effort that starts in the C suite and progresses all the way to the front line, the training and SOP efforts will be short lived and produce inconsistent results. The only way to really make the customer experience better is to first make the employee experience better.
A key to this is creating a culture where everyone knows what it is the organization does to help customers and then commits to having everyone help each other to do that. No silos, no self-interest, only team members finding ways to help each other to help the organization reach its goal of helping customers.
Making the employee experience better is the real key to better customer experiences and no amount of training, mapping or other band aids will improve the lot of customers until that is addressed. What will you do to lead and move that agenda forward in your organization?