Customer Experience News & Trends

Want to take service to the next level in 2018? Answer these 4 questions

Your service is good. But if you’re reading this, you likely want it to be great. Here’s help in taking your service – and the overall customer experience – to the next level in 2018.

Many initiatives to improve service fall short because companies jump right to next-level thinking.

They skip a step that University of Virginia researchers say needs to be the basis for all service improvements. That’s taking a full assessment of where the service situation stands.

Ask yourself or your team these questions before you set out to improve the whole process, a touch point or general plan.

1. What is … ?

What is your process and your goal? If you alone outline your current practices, you’ll only see what you want, and you’ll be less likely to see gaps. That’s why you’ll want to get customers involved. Ask them to outline the process as they see and experience it.

What you consider friction- and hassle-free service may not be what customers actually experience. Try this: Put your process on a white board, then ask your employees and customers to circle areas they consider pain points in working with you. This should help you identify good and bad patterns and what you want to focus on taking to the next level.

2. What if … ?

Now you can look realistically at what needs the most attention and your ability to improve it. Focus on the biggest or most consistent pain points. For instance, maybe employees can’t easily prioritize orders that need quick turnaround, or customers complain it takes too long to get a social media response so they end up calling. So you might throw out:

  • What if we added codes to orders so everyone can see what needs to be fulfilled today, within two days or a week? or
  • What if we added one person to each shift to handle just social media responses?

3. What wows?

Now that you’ve identified the areas that need the most attention and potential ways to improve them, shift your thinking to the customers’ point of view.

Think beyond fixes or improvements. Ask yourself, “What would excite and captivate customers?” Don’t hold back. Throw out things that seem impossible, but exciting. You can ask customers for their opinions, too, but make it clear that you’re looking for insight and may not be able to do everything they suggest.

4. What works?

Now’s the time to come back down to earth. With your big ideas and customers’ big dreams, create a realistic plan for the processes you can change and touches you can add. Focus on what is suitable and sustainable.

If you can find a change or solution that can wow and work, you’ve hit the gold mine!

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