The late Steve Jobs once said, “ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”
Last week, we focused on executing fixes in response to customer complaints. This week let’s talk about driving operational excellence, so customers don’t need to complain – especially in areas that bother them most.
So what are those areas? Here are the big five and some ideas for addressing them:
1. Rude or Disrespectful Team Members – To fix this issue:
- Select for service talent – Just because someone applies for a customer-facing job doesn’t mean they should be placed in one. Screen for service talent by assessing competencies like emotional intelligence.
- Develop that talent – Potential without effective coaching is squandered. Use real-world scenarios to help team members strengthen their response to the nuanced challenges of direct customer care.
- Manage reciprocal respect – Leaders are responsible for ensuring that customers and team members are treated with dignity. Set limits and be willing to fire team members and customers who fail to treat others with respect.
2. Deficient Communication – When customers don’t feel heard, they look for others who will listen. When they don’t receive timely communication or proactive updates, they become anxious about your follow-through. Listen like your livelihood depends upon it and reach out to customers before they worry that they’re about to crash into an iceberg.
3. Unfulfilled Promises – Warren Buffet reminds us, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Need I say more than customer trust requires action to support your words.
4. Inaccessibility – If I can’t reach you when and how I want, someone else will be available on my terms. Meet your customers on their desired platforms, maximize availability, and make it easy to meet their needs.
5. Sluggish Service – While the prolific Leonard Da Vinci wasn’t talking about customer experience, his wisdom is relevant. Leonard noted, “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do.” Customers are impressed with “the urgency of doing,” and your reasons for slow service aren’t enough.
These topics are probably already on your mind. However,
acting with urgency, being more accessible, fulfilling promises, improving communication, and ensuring reciprocal respect will deliver success, in the words of Steve Jobs, that is “worth millions.”