There’s a great line that says “Denial (Da Nile) is not a river in Egypt.”
We all know how impactful the voice of the customer is and how equally important it is to listen to that voice. However, research shows that even though there is a real sensitivity to price among consumers, companies continue to remain in denial.
So why isn’t the customer service/customer experience strategy not being tweaked to meet the needs of the customer?
Some responses I’ve heard include: “Well, we’re making our numbers,” or “It can’t be that bad,” or “Our products and/or services are selling and customers are buying.”
Other companies are making their numbers too—your competition—so one could say you’re all in the same boat. Often companies are making their numbers and/or sales because they are offering discounts or bonuses.
The bottom line here is, don’t be in denial. Don’t focus so much on your product or service, but rather, focus on your customer’s experience.
Making your numbers is a short term goal. Investing in your customer should be your long term goal. And the best way to invest in your customer is to invest in your employees. Give them the tools, the techniques, the support they need to do a great job. The better you take care of your employees, the better they take care of your customers.
To be specific, most organizations provide the software and hardware necessary to stay competitive in business today. What somehow gets low on the list of priorities is customer service skills training.
Just because someone can speak doesn’t mean they can communicate. Communication means a message was sent, received, and understood. By training staff in communication, listening, rapport building, anger diffusion, conflict management and empathetic responsiveness they are better equipped to deal with today’s customer—who is more sophisticated in the past.
Today you can use self service 24/7 and not have to call a company—until and unless there is a problem. Now it’s an accelerated call even before it’s answered. Staff need to have the skills to diffuse the upset before they can move onto a more productive interaction. In fact, customers won’t allow you to move them to closure until they feel heard, respected, and treated with dignity.
Remember, we, the people, are who and what makes the difference, not the software, hardware, statistics, etc. Don’t be in denial!