Employees in organisations have a great impact on the experience that a customer has with an organisation. Managers often mistakenly assume that employees will do the right thing, or know what the right behaviour is. The question is what is the right thing? Generally speaking, without expressing to your employees how you want them to act, they will act according to their own impression of how they think they should act.
Customer experience is a company-wide competence, not a function so never skimp on training. Before you start building the customer-centric culture and measuring the experience, you need to make sure all your employees understand how you (as the manager or business owner) want them to act. Companies need to help employee’s better serve customers with investments in training and enabling tools.
Organisations should be careful of giving a single department the responsibility for customer experience. Yes, there should be an executive that “owns” the experience and can direct other departments to change their operations. However, EVERY department has a responsibility to positively impact the customer experience.
According to Smith and Wheeler, a Gallup customer survey confirmed that the ‘people’ factor is by far the most important determinant of customer loyalty. The question is how do you electrify and energize people in your organisation? How do you align them with your customer-focused strategy? The answer lies in four key factors that are critical to successful employee alignment of which one is “Train them right”.
Develop training that teaches people not just, what the core behaviours are but how to live them and express them toward customers. Focus on training that really enables people to turn company and brand values into a competitive advantage. However, make sure that you differentiate your training. You cannot achieve breakthrough results with uninspiring training. Branded experiences require branded training.
Why Customer Experience training? * Training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees
A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge
Providing the necessary training creates an overall knowledge base which enables employees to take over from one another as needed
An employee who receives the necessary training is better able to perform their job
Training also builds the employee's confidence because he/she has a stronger understanding of the industry and the job responsibilities
Employees with effective customer service skills will feel a greater sense of engagement and commitment to their job. These skills make a positive impression in the minds of current and future customers
Training keeps your employees on the cutting edge of industry developments
The company’s investment in training shows the employees they are valued. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs
Employees need to be trained to deliver the intended experience
**Extracted from 'Managing the Customer Experience', Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler. Chapter 6: 'People First'. (Published by FT Prentice Hall)