Plans are funny things. You can’t expect to achieve aggressive goals without one. But honestly, you can’t expect to achieve them even when you do have one. Not even a great one. Yet too often, we human beings fall into the same old trap. We set lofty goals, we “commit” to them, we voice them clearly, loudly, and repeatedly to everyone within earshot – only to admit defeat some time later.
Why? Because while the plan is necessary, it doesn’t actually do the work. It’s only the second step. (The first one is naming the vision, or the mission, or the goal.)
Micah Solomon writes about four major executional pitfalls that can – and often do – doom even the most intelligently crafted CX plans. In his article, he emphasizes how every single aspect of customer contact center management impacts the success of a CX strategy. The way your customer care agents are hired, onboarded, coached, recognized, and set up to succeed determines whether your CX plans will come to life.
You can read his article for Forbes, below. At Skybridge Americas, we have set the industry standard for leading teams of talented, enthusiastic, customer-centric and service-driven customer care agents. If you would like to know more about Skybridge Americas can help you achieve and exceed your customer experience goals, please reach out. We would love to talk!
How To Sustain (Or Sabotage) A Customer Service/Experience Initiative
By Micah Solomon
Congrats on getting your customer experience (CX) or customer service improvement initiative off the ground. Nothing could be more essential in today’s world, a world where customer experience is giving traditional marketing a run for the money as the most effective way to win and retain customers.
But starting off on the right footing isn’t enough. To preserve your precious new nugget of change, let’s go over what it takes to sustain customer experience improvement, and the missteps that can prevent you from making it stick.
Let’s assume that you initially got everything right in your customer experience or customer service initiative:
- You built a clear statement of purpose (like Mayo Clinic’s “The needs of the patient come first” or Safelite AutoGlass’s “We exist to make a difference and bring unexpected happiness to people’s everyday lives).
- You spelled out your CX and customer service standards (including overarching principles like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s “Strive to serve even theunexpressedneeds and wishes of our guests” and nuts and bolts service standards like “never let an unanswered phone get to the fourth ring”).
- You put in place a comprehensive customer service training program (whether it’s a homegrown training program or one developed for you by my customer service consulting firm or one of our worthy competitors).
Kudos on the solid start. Now let’s look at why this overhaul might fail to take root.
- You neglect to celebrate great customer service moments when they happen.I’m not talking about direct financial rewards (I’d rather assume instead that you pay everyone fairly to begin with); I’m talking about human celebrations of service well provided.
Yes, these can be as simple as the posting of thank-you letters on the office bulletin board. But I’d suggest you systematize the celebration, along the lines of what has worked for years—decades—at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company: Every Monday and Friday every Ritz-Carlton hotel and resort shares a “wow story” from one of its 100+ properties “so that every other property around the world hears something amazing that a hotel did for a guest,” as then-VP Lisa Holliday told me. “This inspires other Ladies and Gentlemen [Ritz-Carlton employees] to find ways to do something similarly memorable for their guests, to say to themselves, ‘You know what? That wasn’t that difficult. I could do that too.’”
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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