Maybe it’s an attentional bias on my part, but I've noticed a trend of insulting restaurant workers in the news. I’m talking about this type of report from The Washington Post, in which servers leave grammatically inept insults like “im a plad a------” on receipts.
Sometimes customer experience strategy can be simple. Sometimes it’s as easy as being nice.
Customer Experience Best Practice: Foster Relationships
From the perspective of a myopic business leader, business transactions flow like this:
The Company hiresemployees, who servecustomers, who purchase products and services.
With this perspective, customers are a means to an end. And employees and consultants who operate under such leaders take this point of view (i.e., that of the company, and paycheck) to heart—to the detriment of customers.
Those interested in customer experience improvement know a more powerful flow happens in the opposite direction:
Customers who form relationships withemployees tend to do repeat business withtheir company.
You see, the best customer experience companies understand the power of the relationships between customers and employees. So they focus on hiring and training great employees, they focus on employee experience, and they empower those employees to act in the best interest of customers.
In short, they foster strong relationships with their people, who foster strong relationships with customers.
If I were to write the Golden Rule for leaders looking to improve customer experience, it’d be something like this: “Find and train employees who treat customers like you want to be treated.” Or this: “Treat customers so they want to come back (with friends).”
Customer Experience Best Practice: Clarity of Purpose
This brings up one more point. What do you suppose was the motivation of those receipt-ripping restaurant workers? Do you think it was customer experience?
That’s important to consider. The best customer experience companies place customers at the center of everything they do. They make improving customer experience a core part of their business by closing the loop on customer feedback, identifying key outcome metrics, and helping employees take action to drive those metrics.
So their employees have more on their mind than calling their customers “plad a------s.”
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