Creating a good customer experience is often about doing a thousand little things right.
It's easy to lose sight of that fact when you're trying to think strategically about process improvement and engineering a better customer experience for your organization. Statistics can conceal the fact that behind every data point is a customer, and that customer received either a good experience or a bad one.
So while it's important to make sure the right processes are in place to enable a good customer experience, it's more important to make sure that the people who are part of those processes have the tools they need to make those thousand little decisions in the right way.
Every employee of every company is pulled in different directions by competing priorities. You have to balance things like working faster vs. more carefully; satisfying an upset customer vs. saving money; or solving a problem yourself vs. calling for help.
Even if a company says it cares about customer experience, what really matters is how employees are making those decisions on a day to day basis. To make the right decisions, a company needs to ensure:
- Employees understand what customers expect and how to deliver it (you need good training)
- Employees get regular, specific, and detailed feedback about how customers perceive the experience (you need a well-designed closed-loop survey)
- Employees aren't pressured to make bad decisions (compensation needs to align with customer experience, or at least not pull the wrong way)
- Employees know the leadership cares (customer experience needs to be an ongoing effort, not a one-time project)
This holds true for employees throughout the organization, not just the ones who deal directly with customers. A website designer or billing specialist can be subject to the same negative forces (work faster, save money, ignore the complaints) as a contact center rep or salesperson. If anything, back-office employees may be more susceptible to taking customer experience shortcuts since they don't have to deal with customers directly.
The good news is that most people genuinely want to do a good job, and if given the right tools and training and if shown that the company cares, they will be highly motivated to make the right decisions about customer experience.
If the leadership can just do a few big things right, it's not that hard for everyone else to do a thousand little things right.