In this customer-centric world, we all would like to think that we put customers first.
But is that really the case?
Are our current strategies working?
How do we go about putting customers-first?
With these questions in mind, we sat down with Jeanne Bliss, founder of CustomerBliss & a world-renowned speaker in customer experience, at Customer Contact Week (CCW) in Vegas to talk about customer experience today.
Rashmi (Summatti): What does customer experience mean in today’s world?
Jeanne: Today customer experience really means thinking about the customer first.
If we look at an organization today, there are many departments & each one has their own metrics. Like sales has revenue target, product has implementation goals etc., but who is measuring customer experience?
Customers don’t know (or care) about the silos; they want to get their problem resolved. This can only happen when the different departments break their silos & come together.
Rashmi: How do you actually go about making your organization customer-centric?
Jeanne: I work with a lot of leaders where one of our first-steps in being customer-centric is knowing exactly how we are doing at each stage of the customer journey. I hold workshops where we put the entire customer journey on the whiteboard & then put customer quotes & pain points at each stage of that journey.
That is just a start for the organizations to see how they are doing from a customer’s stand-point. And then we need to see if we are consistent across all stages from a customer’s eye.
Rashmi: So how are we doing from a customer’s point-of-view?
Jeanne: Companies use various ways to measure customer experience & then they scorecard it as red, yellow & green. Many companies think that they are green, but in reality they are not. Their department silos lead to inconsistent customer experiences, being green in one department doesn’t mean you are green across the board.
Most of the companies are in the red & yellow because of their silos which is their underbelly!
Rashmi: Where do we start then?
Jeanne: It’s really about breaking the silos & bringing everyone together first internally. It’s all about the underbelly!
Departments need to be united not only on their vision, but also how they define success & how far they are from it. One team saying that they met their goals, and others far from it isn’t being united.
Rashmi: You recently released your book “Would you do that to your mother”, can you share some insights from that book?
Jeanne: I have been in customer service for over 35 years & I wrote this book because I think we have over-complicated customer service. This book talks about four dimensions we need to focus on for a better customer experience, and they are:
· Enabling employees – Are we doing everything we can to enable employees or are we binding them by policies and rules?
· Making it easy to do business – Are we making it harder for customers to get in touch with us or hear back from us?
· Customer goals – Do we really put customer’s needs & goals & think of ways that they can achieve it before ours?
· Rise above & beyond – What are we doing to go above-&-beyond for our customer’s to make them feel that they are valued by the organization.
Rashmi: This conference has sparked some good ideas & discussions on customer support & experience. What was your main takeaway from here?
Jeanne: At CCW, I have had some really good discussions on how customer support department can rise above being a complain department. The agents really do add value to the business by increasing the customer lifetime value & are a strategic part of any organization.
The customer support department really is a customer rescue or growth department, because they are there for the customers when they really need help from that organization.
What do you think about changing the title from Customer Support Agent to Customer Rescue Department?
About Jeanne Bliss
Jeanne Bliss is the Founder and President of CustomerBliss, and the Co-Founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association.
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