Our previous post shared some interesting (though possibly disappointing) data about the Customer Experience (CX), and posed some straightforward questions about how we might rate our organizations.
If you are committed to continuously improving your organization’s CX effort, here are 7 simple but proven best practices you might consider:
Honesty: Always do what you say you’ll do. “Operate with integrity, openness, and focus on customer needs,” says Nancy Stephens, from Customer-Focused Selling
Empathy: Begin by being customer focused – ask, listen, and learn. Learn about your customers. Respect how each customer prefers to communicate, and try to articulate from the customer’s point of view
Learn to be VALUE-ADDED: Become a student of the world and of your customers’ businesses. Self-evaluate; what value do you bring to the table? How do they benefit from our business relationship? Keep abreast of what’s important to them and share knowledge with them.
Plan every customer interaction in writing: One of the top reasons sales calls or customer service interactions fail is because people fail to plan. If we anticipate and plan our approach we will most likely make a more positive impact on our customers. In addition, a well-planned interaction is most often a more efficient one, so we’re likely to do more in less time. Most important, however, is the fact that not only will we notice an improvement in our sales calls or customer service conversations, but our customers will also notice the difference!
Make it EASY for customers to do business with us – rule people in versus ruling them “out” and take initiative. Before making any major decisions always consider the impact on customers. While some changes in policies or procedures might make it easier for our team, it’s important NOT to make it harder or unpleasant for our customers. Accommodate whenever possible.
Avoid being “dead right” with customers and employees. Strive to let others maintain their dignity. Consider two well-known perspectives:
- “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” —Dr. John Dewey
- ”I’ve never seen a company that was able to satisfy its customers which did not also satisfy its employees. Your employees will treat your customers no better than you treat your employees.” —Larry Bossidy, CEO Allied Signal, Inc.
Be polite – it’s surprising how a simple “please” or “thank you” can impact a situation. If you’re not sure, just ask Chick-fil-A!