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An Empowered Frontline: The game changer for your business!
CloudCherry | Featured | August 10, 2016
Companies are focused on creating great customer experiences, but are they really going about it in the right way? Are they leveraging their resources intelligently? Are they innovating at all? Or are they trying to do the same things over and over again, following the status quo, but expecting different results?
The fact remains that many companies are quite hesitant to take an innovative approach to improve CX and are so mired in their old ways that they only see tiny improvements. While improving the same things you are doing is definitely something you want to strive for, you should definitely consider taking a few risks too along the way.
For more than a decade and a half, we’ve been playing in what’s been dubbed as the “Experience Economy” – i.e. an economy where the experience is just as, if not more, important than the product or service being provided. The experience we’re talking about refers to the summation of all the interactions the customer has with your company and doesn’t indicate any particular engagement along the customer journey.
The problem, however, is that most companies try to improve customer experience by doing the same things better. Efforts are focused on doing what companies have always done, but doing those things a little better, a little faster and maybe somewhat cheaper. It’s certainly creating slightly better results, but it’s usually in areas customers don’t really notice. Be honest, would you really notice that you can place your order five seconds faster on a website? No? Don’t worry, everyone else is in the same boat as you.
Companies need to move beyond customer satisfaction and master the art of customer delight
So, what are we saying? We’re saying that to really create a delightful experience, you need to innovate and create a unique experience based on this innovation. And at the same time, you still need to focus on bettering all that you already are doing!
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Achieving customer delight is a matter of creating meaningful and memorable experiences, but also differentiated ones. If a customer can get the same quality of product/service and the accompanying experience from ten other competitors of yours, then you haven’t set yourself apart. You haven’t created a unique experience. You’ve just given your customers something that is run of the mill.
But how do you create these meaningful and memorable experiences? How do you differentiate yourself in this highly competitive marketspace? You listen to your customers, but don’t stop and take their words at face value.
Henry Ford said, “If I asked customers what they wanted, we’d just have ended up with faster horses.” Don’t just listen to your customers, listen to your frontline as well and always dig deeper.
What your customers are saying doesn’t always align with their subconscious aspirations and the underlying goals that drive their behavior. This means that you need to go deeper than just scan through their feedback.
And no one knows your customers better than your frontline employees. They interact with them every day. And with all the experience of having these constant customer interactions, your frontline staff can understand customers and their deeper aspirations better. Customer think that they know what they want but there’s a chance that a fully empowered, experienced, and knowledgeable frontline staff will know better.
So, the first thing you need to do is listen to your frontline. Sadly, most companies don’t consider frontline staff as an indispensable resource. They focus solely on the customer and never take the time to talk to and learn from their frontline staff, who are better able than anyone in the company to interpret feedback and give you powerful insight into your customers.
Listen to your frontline because these are the employees interacting with your customers every day. They’re like your crystal ball into the minds of your customers
The next step is giving your frontline the power to act. Empower them. Let them know that you trust their judgement. Be flexible and let them go the extra mile for your customers. Consult them when you are designing your customer experience improvement plan. Not only will they help you with determining which areas require improvement, but they can also provide innovative ideas that will differentiate you from competition.
Listening isn’t enough. Give your frontline the power to act. Include them in the planning process. Listen to their ideas. Implement them. Let them help you innovate and differentiate your business
An empowered frontline is the key to bettering things you already are doing and also a vital repository of innovative ideas. Achieving true customer delight is a matter of creating an experience that is different from what everyone else is doing. Otherwise, you are only meeting customer expectations, which is certainly not enough in today’s economy. You don’t want satisfied customers; you want delighted ones. So, give your frontline the power to create those delightful experiences and your bottom line will thank you for it.