09 Oct Don’t Leave Customer Service to Chance
5 steps to providing a consistent customer experience
9 out of 10 of the CEOs I work with name customer experience as their greatest organisational challenge. Unhappy with the inconsistency of their employees’ attitudes, these executives wish they could standardise employee behaviour when interacting with customers. But is it possible to standardise the customer relationship? Can organisations make their customer experience deliberate, moving away from the current accidental approach? The answer is a resounding YES!
The Apple Approach
A great example can be found in the way that Apple trains its new employees. Before a new Apple staff member is allowed to serve customers, they must go through a behavioural modelling programme that details exactly how to approach new customers, what to say, and how to say it. In fact, Apple has taken time to document how employees are expected to behave towards customers along all touch points. The resulting document, a behavioural description manual called the Genius Training Student Workbook; guides employees on the do’s and don’ts of all customer interactions.
Clearly, customer-centric organisations are not leaving their customer experience to chance. They are committed to finding ways to eliminate discretion at the operational level of their business, guaranteeing a minimum level of quality and consistency in customer experience.
Introducing Behavioural Modelling
Customer-centric organisations understand that:
- Employees’ performances are the result of their behaviours.
- There is a specific set of behaviours that will consistently produce optimal performance in every job.
- Behaviour is observable and therefore, measurable.
- Any behaviour that is observable and measurable can be trained and enforced.
This process of measuring, training, and reinforcing certain behaviours is known as behavioural modelling.
There are three reasons why behavioural modelling is so critical to organisational success:
- The act of articulating behaviours helps people know what is expected of them—in specific terms.
- Describing required behaviours puts the emphasis where it should be ie what people are required to do to perform effectively.
- A clear list of approved behaviours provides a starting point for all sorts of sensible actions that would either not otherwise happen or might happen in a haphazard fashion.
Oftentimes, people don’t behave as we wish them to, not because they don’t want to, but because they are not sure of what is expected of them. Established behavioural descriptions help guide people’s behaviour, providing clearly defined expectations in pre-determined situations and assuring consistency. It also helps during the recruiting process, allowing the hiring team to deliberately select candidates who already demonstrate the organisation’s pre-determined behaviours.
5 Steps to Providing a Consistent Customer Experience
So what are the steps your company can take to change your employees’ attitude to your customers and ensure your customer experience is what you have designed it to be? Below is our tried and tested five-step framework to help organisations improve their employees’ customer relationship skills
At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to identify customer-centric behaviours for your organisation, communicate them to your people, offer training sessions, and manage their performance. This is where the true competitive advantage lies. Now the question is: Is your organisation ready to do what’s required?
GR5 Concept Group’s periodic Customer Service Training for organisations and individuals has been instrumental in ensuring customers have remarkable experiences in many organisations.