How to Turn Service Failures into Growth & Coach for Success with Stacy Armijo, Amplify Credit Union.
If used to your advantage, service failures or customer complaints can be the biggest opportunities for growth. In this Frontline Magic webinar, CXO of Amplify Credit Union, Stacy Armijo shares some refreshing insights on how to successfully approach service failure, stay ahead of trends, and the importance of coaching and supporting frontline associates to make every customer experience awesome.
When asked how she turns service failure into growth and coach for success, Stacy believes that how you respond to failure is what dictates the outcome.
“The way that organizations respond to failure dictates whether or not they get more opportunities to improve”.
Turning service failures into successes is all about taking control of the situation and using it as a springboard for growth.
Stacey recommends a "question-first" approach to service failures. She always asks herself three key questions:
- What is the full story?
- What went wrong?
- How can we resolve it?
Instead of answering these questions herself, she encourages her team to. By assuming the best intentions and actively seeking solutions, Stacy creates a positive environment where people feel comfortable bringing up issues and working together to find a resolution. The question-first approach is all about motivating positive change and building opportunity, instead of turning to blame and punishment.
Think Beyond SOPs
Stacy Armijo challenges the overreliance on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as the ultimate solution for addressing every hiccup in the customer experience. While SOPs serve a valuable purpose in providing guidelines and ensuring consistency, Armijo highlights the need for a more dynamic and agile approach to customer interactions.
It's not about blindly following a flowchart that dictates specific actions for every scenario. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of fostering a customer-centric mindset among associates, encouraging them to actively listen, empathize, and consider what would be best for the customer in each unique situation.
By empowering frontline teams with the freedom to deviate from rigid procedures when necessary, organizations can foster a culture of autonomy, innovation, and problem-solving.
But How To Motivate Frontline Teams?
A guest at the webinar asks Stacy, “What are some ways you can empower your frontline agents to solve customer issues without things escalating to leaders or managers?”
“Celebrate success!” Stacy says eagerly.
“When somebody takes a risk, and they help to solve a problem (something beyond what an SOP can guide), celebrating that is really important”.
When you celebrate success, it communicates to other team members that they can find solutions beyond policy and procedure. Even if the risk-taking doesn't work out, Stacy still believes in recognizing what was done well, as well as what could have been done better.
“If we don't investigate success with as much energy and rigor as we investigate failure, we are missing huge opportunities”.
Building a Culture of Positivity
When you create an environment where people are constantly trying to avoid mistakes, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone becomes so focused on not messing up that it becomes difficult to thrive.
“There’s a real difference between trying to succeed, and trying not to make a mistake”.
At Amplify, recognition is a key part of building a positive culture. The annual team member awards ceremony is a highly anticipated event, where employees are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the company. And it's not just about rewarding individuals for their achievements - the focus is on celebrating specific actions and behaviors that align with the company's core values and service standards. Stacy says how the annual team members reward ceremony is an opportunity to say “Hey here’s this good thing about this person that is exactly what we want to celebrate because that’s what we want to replicate”.
A huge thank you to Stacy for sharing her customer experience wisdom with our community.