Business leaders are concerned about keeping up with future demands from customers, and rightfully so. In a recent survey conducted by The Conference Board, CEOs globally expressed concern over the idea that customer experience will be more important than products.
“Worldwide, CEOs agree they need to address the shifting customer landscape. The customer of the future will place more value on the experience of using a product or service rather than the actual product or service.”
So now the question for you as a leader: are you prepared to deliver exceptional experiences in your organization? Not just through responsive customer service or great front-line support, but at each and every touchpoint on your customer’s journey? Do you have a plan for training the right content in the right way to truly become experience-driven?
If not, it’s time to take a hard look at how you incorporate customer experience (CX) training into your overall culture.
Customer Experience Requires Everyone IN
Just like a customer journey, your employee’s journey should be designed to encourage a focus on customers and the experience you are seeking to deliver. A critical part of your employee’s journey is training, not just when they are hired, but as an ongoing part of their experience.
The best customer experiences are delivered by engaged employees who have the training, reinforcement and culture to support their efforts. There are key moments in your employees journey to connect them with the overall customer experience strategy and design.
Job Descriptions and Interviews
Experience-driven organizations don’t hide their customer experience strategy and mission. They make it a key part of aligning values with candidates by creating job descriptions that explicitly identify how the role will help fulfill this mission. Interviews become one more way to verify if the candidate has what it takes to live up to this mission for customers.
New hire training and onboarding often includes some portion of customer experience training. It’s common to include materials around what type of experience we want to deliver, but often the training on customer experience ends there.
Recently hired employees need reinforcement around not just the customer experience mission, but how their behaviors are connected to living that mission. If training is mostly focused on processes, it’s easy to lose the connection between why those processes are important to the customer experience.
Nearly half of workers have left a job because it didn’t meet their expectations, according to a survey by ThriveMap.
This means if you paint a glowing picture of the customer experience you are aiming to deliver during those first few days of new hire training, you need to live up to supporting those employees in the processes and actions required to truly deliver.
When conducting in-person training on customer experience, I often hear a refrain from those employees who don’t consider themselves “customer-facing.”
Why do I need to bother with this? I’m in a logistics (or accounting or admin) role and don’t deal with customers directly!
But we all do. Every single person working in your organization has an impact on customer experience, whether they know they do or not.
It can feel disconnected to only answer to fellow employees – our internal customers – instead of delivering service or products to customers directly. But this is where continuous reinforcement of customer experience training is needed the most.
Every person needs to understand how their engagement matters. Providing ongoing customer experience training is required for an engaged culture.
Close the Gap
Gallup reports the percentage of employees quitting is at an all-time high. This means you could be losing your human customer relationship managers, those employees who really know and understand your customers, at a rapid clip. These employees are the ones who are aware of where the gaps are in the customer journey, and they are the ones who sound the alarm if something isn’t going well for customers. Losing these valuable team members means creating a challenge in your customer’s journey that may be overlooked until it’s a crisis.
Ongoing, meaningful training around connecting the dots between the work your employee does and the experience your customers have helps employees feel engaged, valued and connected to your customers.
Do you have a culture that values customer experience training and engagement? If not, it’s time to look at your employee journey and make some space for it. You can’t afford NOT to. Your employees AND your customers are expecting more.