Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
I am not a cricket fan, but I do watch when India is playing. With the T20 Cricket World Cup going on currently, it is hard to miss the excitement. And only recently India won the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. You’d agree that there are so many games – club, league, world cup – that we watch every year. But I am certain there are only a few that manage to stand out in our minds. For me it was the World Cup 2011 finals when India won the world cup after 1983! 2011 was also the year when Novak Djokovic, one of my favourite tennis players, won his first Wimbledon.
Sports teach us a lot about hard work, winning, and losing. I think it also teaches us a lot about setting goals and working towards them. Today I will use this backdrop to share my thoughts on how businesses can champion their Customer Experience goals for 2016. Here are the 5 steps that will help you win the CEx game in 2016!
1. Set the goal
We have all heard the age-old saying – start with the goal in mind. If you cannot see your goal, you would end up with a bunch of players chasing a ball. If you don’t have a customer experience goal for 2016 yet, I’d urge you to do that first. Although we are nearing the end of the first quarter of the year, it is still not too late to pick one of the 16 Customer Centric Commitments for 2016 to help setup your CEx goal 2016.
At the beginning of the year, it is crucial to identity the kind of customer experience you want to put forth. For instance, what is your brand strategy – how do you want your customers to relate to your brand? What is your customer service strategy? How do you plan to personalise the experience?
Answering these questions can also help you setup your customer experience goals.
2. Ensure your team is upbeat and well prepared for the game
Do you remember the pep talk your coach gave you before each game? Your heart was in the game, and the energy given by your coach made you do your best. Above all, you could win the game because everyone in the team played their best. Everyone was best prepared to perform and was upbeat about the game.
This relates a lot with your employees who ultimately have to play their best game everyday to win the CEx game. If your employees are satisfied with their jobs, relate to the company’s ideologies and treat your customers as their customers, they would definitely go the extra mile to give the best of their services. Consider coaching your employees on customer experience best practices and regularly align them with your customer experience goals.
3. Set customer centric metrics
Metrics are pretty much like the field – setting a boundary, finding check posts and ensuring you stick to your goals. Every time you veer off track, metrics will direct you back.
Clearly, it is important to set metrics which direct you towards improving customer experience. Use measurable metrics like NPS to understand how you are performing in the CEx game. What is your feedback mechanism? How often do you review and act upon them? How do your customers reach you, and how can they see you striving for change? Most importantly, these metrics should be driven from the top. Customer centric leaders walks the talk and keep the organisation pumped up about improving customer experience each day, everyday!
4. Think big
Every team steps on the ground with an aim to bag the world cup!
If you set high goals of delivering exceptional customer experience, and continuously strive to achieve them, you will constantly one-up your own performance. The best example would be that of Amazon, which strived to be ‘the most customer-centric company on earth”, and we all know that both the founders and the consumers love the results of that!
5. Practice before the big day!
Merely strategising never helps you perform. What truly keeps you going and helps you win the game are three golden rules – practice, practice and practice!
Train your employees and help them perform better using customer service checkpoints, mock customer experience situations, and role playing. Time invested in training is the most valuable investment you would make in your business.
In conclusion, we would like to reinforce the idea that if you are only “closing the sale”, and not “opening a relationship”, you are not developing a sustainable model for your business. Prepare well, and get down on the field and let the games begin!