The Most Important Factor…….

I have yet to come across an organisation that doesn’t talk about their commitment to the customer and the quality of their customer service.

Many organisations proudly show me their recent customer satisfaction survey results.

Yet despite all the surveys, the countless workshops and seminars, the thousands of books and research that has been done on improving customer service and the quality of the customer experience…

WHY are we still not receiving better customer service and having more high quality customer experiences?

Well, believe me its not due to the vast collection statistical analysis, pie charts and graphs that apparently show what the customer wants.

Most organisations have a clear understanding that they are not living up to their customer’s expectations and yet no improvement has been made following the analysis.

Some recent research in the US has found that the root cause is the disconnect between employee and customer perceptions of what it is the customer is expecting.

The “Experience Gap Analysis (EGA) study of both employees and customers found that employees consistently overestimated their level of service performance, believing they had delivered greater value than their customers on the receiving end were willing to give them credit for.

This is a clear case of employees applying one set of criteria to judge the quality of their service and customers rating the experience based on entirely different standards.

This gap has little to do with employee attitudes or motivation levels and everything to do with a lack of clear definitions and insufficient knowledge of the customer, leaving employees to their own definitions.

Also contributing to the gap is an organisations focus. While paying lip service to the importance of the customer, the focus is clearly more on the organisation resulting in a lack of customer focus including support processes and systems geared to the delivery of high quality experiences.

Another big contributor to the problem is the persistence’s of some organisations to continually advertise their commitment to the customer and proceed to tell them all the wonderful things they are going to do for them.

All this customer focused advertising does not actually create a better experience and today after being let down so many times doesn’t even gain attention anymore. All it does is continue to create higher expectations on the part of the customer.

Great customer experiences require an emotionally engaging performance. Processes and systems can’t do that nor can machines, only people can and in an increasingly web based economy great people contact is becoming a real point of difference.

Let me share with you the single most important factor for business success.

It’s not your products or services

It’s not your management

It’s not your rules & regulations

It’s not your processes & systems

It’s not defined job responsibilities

Its not financial rewards

It’s the choice your people make every day regarding the quality of customer experience they deliver.

Everyday your people make choices that determine the experience your customers have with your organisation.

You can’t make your people smile

You can’t make your people care

You can’t make your people be more helpful

You can’t make your people be more welcoming

You can’t make your people go the extra mile

Only your people can make that choice.

What you can do is provide quality leadership, a people and customer focused culture, and ensure you have the right people onboard……

Then let them deliver the magic!

Chris Bell

Customer Experience Creator