A Customer Experience Guide for Managers
With this customer experience guide any manager can improve their service or quality. Nearly all executives have increasing customer loyalty as a top five priority. Therefore, proactive and effective managers will have a game plan on how to help their company improve in these areas. Wouldn’t you agree? So where do you start?
Customer Experience Guide: 4 Powerful Steps
Assess the Situation
Every day you need to view your team with two perspectives: short-term and long-term. Short term you need to be involved with and available to them. Your role is unlike a football coach who is involved in the game but is on the sidelines. Business is too fast paced and competitive to be off the field. You are more like the quarterback who calls the plays and is engaged in the actual game. You must ask yourself, who is hustling today? Who needs to pick up the pace? What can we do better-now?
Then you need to act on it. At the same time, you need to think strategically. What are our major obstacles? What do we need to improve as a team that will make the biggest difference on results-skills, processes, tools? Never wait for your manager to tell you these things.
Plan for Improvement
You also need a daily game plan, and a longer-term plan (quarterly) for improvement. Each of these should be in writing so you and your team are committed. Most importantly, gain your team’s commitment by involving them in the planning.
Your daily plan involves scheduling, training, meetings, handling customers and keeping your team upbeat and positive. In addition, your longer-term plan will involve projects that selected team members help you with. For example, a sales team this might be gathering customer intelligence. For a service team this could be reorganizing the workflow to better serve the customer.
Every day you must walk the talk relating to taking care of the customer. If you do not your team will not. Coach your team informally and formally as well. Informally this means short employee interactions on the phone or in person. You praise them for improved or excellent behavior, or you counsel them when they need to improve or do better. Yes, you will have some social engagement but your primary priority at work is to reinforce or redirect their customer experience activities and actions. Consequently, learn to coach for high performance.
For example, if you are in retail, get on the show floor with your employees. If you are in IT get out of the office and see what is happening. Furthermore, if you are in sales get in the field and see customers with your reps.
This is what separates the winners and losers. 75% of efforts to change and improve in the workplace fail according to change master John Kotter. You have to follow-through on your plans, commitments, and expectations. This requires a plan as identified and good time management. Your #1 priority must be your employees. Make sure they have the bulk of your time. If they do not do a good job your customers’ experiences will be mediocre or poor. This is a reflection on you. While each step of this customer experience guide is crucial, this one makes or breaks most managers.
Also, schedule time to work on your action’s steps for continuous improvement. Most companies and managers are busy enough that if you do not there will always be something else to do. The tyranny of the urgent will takes over. Finally, communicate upward to your boss about plans, wins, and challenges. Do this regularly, be forthright and ask for input as needed.
Customer Experience Guide Summary
In summary, exemplary service can be achieved one team or department at a time starting with yours. This customer experience guide will help you excel. Remember, the best business strategy of all involves building customer loyalty which is the lifeblood of your organization.
Also, are you committed to your team’s success? If so, see this complimentary Coaching for Results eBook.
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