3 Ways Service Brands Get Customer Experience Wrong
As an organization dedicated to helping service brands win on customer experience, we see the whole nine yards when it comes to CX strategies, or lack thereof. While every company is striving to provide the best experience to customers, there are times when even the most well-informed brands miss the mark. Whether it’s due to a lack of foundational planning, inconsistent measurements of the customer experience or a failure to see the link between employee and customer experience, certain common pitfalls continue to trip brands up.
1. Failure to Lay the Groundwork
If you build customer experience on shaky foundations, at some point it’ll all come tumbling down. To make sure your strategy is built on bricks and not sticks, clarify service standards, invest in personalized coaching and give frontline employees the tools they need to succeed.
Setting Service Standards: In the State of Frontline Work Survey, only 17.7% of respondents have consistent services that are published for staff and customers. Not to be confused with a brand promise, a Service Promise or Service Standards are a set of tangible guidelines that help to define a) what a customer can expect from interactions with your business, and b) how that experience should be delivered by the frontline. It’s a repeatable series of small actions that get everyone in your organization on the same page. Without them, frontline employees are left in the dark and reaching consistency across your customer experience is near impossible.
Providing the Right Tools: In the words of AskNicely CEO Aaron Ward, “The software industry has done a pretty good job building software for salespeople, marketers, developers, accountants but have all but ignored the service person on the frontline who deals with the actual customer”. To do their best work, frontline teams need to be equipped with the right tools and technology, such as feedback platforms, communication apps and CRM platforms.
A Mechanism for Ongoing & Personalized Frontline Coaching: The State of Frontline Work Survey also revealed that just 24% of companies were providing personalized coaching for each frontline worker. This leaves a large swathe of companies who are leaving their employees without support and direction when it comes to improving the customer experience.
2. Inconsistent Measurements of CX
If different branches of your business are using different systems to measure success, you might as well be comparing apples to oranges.
When various branches within a service brand adopt different CX measurement methods, it becomes challenging to obtain a unified view of customer satisfaction and identify areas of improvement. Standardizing the measurement of CX ensures that all branches are evaluated on the same criteria, allowing for accurate benchmarking and performance comparison. It facilitates effective communication and knowledge sharing between branches, enabling them to learn from each other's successes and address common pain points. Moreover, a consistent measurement framework (such as NPS) promotes a cohesive brand image, as customers receive a uniform experience regardless of the branch they interact with. By implementing a shared CX measurement system, service brands can align their efforts, spot trends, drive continuous improvement, and ultimately deliver a superior and consistent customer experience across all locations.
3. Viewing EX and CX in Separate Silos
Money makes the world go round but it is people who can make a brand get off the ground. Without customers, a business can’t exist and without employees, a business can’t function. In service businesses, customer experience and employee experience are closely linked. If an employee is having a bad time, it’s almost impossible for that vibe not to ripple out to customers. On the other hand, if an employee feels confident, valued and recognized for their work, they’re much more likely to go above and beyond for customers.
Instead of thinking about EX and CX as two different spheres, think of EX and a catalyst for CX. One drives the other. EX acts as the fuel that propels CX forward, reinforcing the idea that employee engagement and satisfaction are essential ingredients in delivering outstanding customer experiences.
In the fast-paced world of service brands, delivering exceptional customer experiences is no easy feat. However, by acknowledging and rectifying the common pitfalls that hinder success, brands can forge a path towards customer-centricity. By embracing these insights and taking proactive steps to address the areas above, service brands can turn their weaknesses into strengths, ultimately delighting customers and getting ahead of their competitors.