Is it possible that just one of your employee’s could turn a customer’s experience from excellent to disastrous? It turns out that it can happen; just one employee can single-handedly destroy a customer’s experience. Most organizations would find this hard to believe and may think that the customer experience is as simple as the interaction at the cash register or during an appointment, but there are many more factors that go into the experience.
From the way your business is presented in cleanliness and ease of experience to the way your employees greet, assist, and show gratitude to your guests, there are many factors to consider. Are your customers receiving a uniform experience from each employee when it comes to treatment, greetings, and information received?
Knowing the importance behind customer service is the first step, while learning consistency is what comes next. Take a look at why forgetting these things could destroy a customer’s experience with your brand.
The importance of establishing great customer service
From the get-go, you understand that delivering great customer service is a must, but do you understand how far that spreads? It’s more than just a smile while purchasing a product from you or a polite voice on the phone when a customer calls in with a request. It’s the entire experience–from how information is delivered online and through your staff to how your employees are treating guests on social media or in person.
Unifying the team
Once you’ve established that customer service needs to be a priority, you need to find ways to make sure you have consistency with your brand and customer experience. This starts with putting out the same messages and mission to the world online, in your store, and in all customer interactions.
Then you need to get your employees on the same page about what needs to happen when they interact with your guests, and what information needs to be relayed to customers in each scenario. If you feel your team is lacking cohesiveness between online presence and the real world, find ways to make service more uniform across these platforms. If a customer works with eight different employees, the knowledge and answers provided to customers should be the same among each of them.
How to build consistency
If you are struggling to find the method that will bring consistency to the team, it may be time to ask yourself where differences are arising. You want to build your business like you are building a house–you would develop a solid foundation with time and attention put into each level of the home.
Build your customer experience in this way with a solid foundation, consistency, and a plan of action. Understand that more customized experiences and flexibility will come with time, but developing a strong service infrastructure will give you a great starting point.
Customers want correct and quick information more than anything else. First, people want their inquiries or complaints to be answered immediately. They don’t want to waste time on formalities and providing you with excessive information. They just want you to answer their questions. In close second to speedy service, however, they want a personalized experience, a chance to build a relationship, and offers based on preferences.
On the other hand, the worst customer experiences are those that involve a slow response to a customer inquiry, followed by inaccurate or misleading information about a product. You can take this information and improve your systems with techniques such as having an easy system to access information quickly, having an organized system, and having regular team meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Test the team
Lastly, you may want to test your team to see if things are running smoothly. Bring a fake customer into the store to ask different team members for help on the same question to see if the answers come out the same. Have your fake customer call in, email, or use social media to see how the experience is similar or varies.
Ask your “assistant” if the customer experience was pretty consistent, had some variations, or was completely different depending on who helped him or her. You may learn that certain team members will take shortcuts, some don’t understand portions of the business, or that everyone is truly on the same page and doesn’t struggle to maintain consistency with each customer.
Don’t get frustrated if inconsistencies arise, as many times delivering the same customer experience is like playing a game of telephone in which your employees may have their own interpretations of how it’s supposed to happen.
It only takes one employee to mislead a customer, fail at offering a helpful experience, or to choose to treat the customer different from the expected consistent experience. For this reason, it’s important that you are on top of your employees when it comes to performance, expectations, and what the consistent experience should look like.