Corona seems to strengthen our (unjust) belief that urgent, daily issues are disconnected from improving customer- and employee experience.
Looking back to all the conversations I’ve had about experience and Corona in the last few months, there is one central topic that seems to pop up.
A central topic exposing a misconception when it comes to experience.
The misconception being, that urgent, important issues (focus on sales, cost reduction), are separate from not urgent important issues (a good customer and employee experience).
To use Covey’s model: we are super busy with Type I, while many people believe that enhancing experience is a Type 2 activity.
Nobody is debating the importance of a good experience.
Yet every organisation is struggling with implementing it (“we need to focus on sales now, after that we’ll get back to experience.”).
While the connection not only is super easy to make, connecting the daily issues to experience is also the differentiator in our current challenging context!
Change your perspective from either-or to and-and.
From grand and compelling (setting up a CX program which first needs support and budget from the board), to small and pragmatic (check together with the employees their daily routines and see where you can easily integrate experience).
As you already know from previous blogs, I will always be an advocate of integrating experience in the daily work of employees.
As long as experience stays a Marketing or CX staff party, you will never get to the transformation side of it.
Reading several books* on behavioral science (like Tiny Habits from BJ Fogg) has only strengthened this conviction to integrate experience in the daily routines.
Improving the experience is not rocket science.
After finding the right drivers, you can make the transformation super simple.
Make it small, concrete and most of all, integrate it in existing routines.
A personal example.
I was one of many people who reclaimed their ticket when Corona hit.
In total, getting my refund took 5 months. During those 5 months I’ve contacted the customer service around 4 times to ask about the status.
As soon as the call was answered, I immediately felt and heard the exhaustion on the other side of the line.
Completely understandable of course, having to deal with so many negative calls in the period, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.
They are not able to change the situation. They also cannot influence the refund department.
But… wouldn’t it be possible to enhance both the customer and employee experience with just a few very small tweaks…?
A few suggestions (don’t shoot me right away, it’s the idea that counts).
- Put a photo from a client in a critical financial situation on your monitor. This can help you, despite the overload in negative calls, to more easily place yourself in the shoes of the customer who calls;
- Always take about WE (as a company) instead of me versus the other department that I am not part of (making the customer feel as if the responsibility is not yours, while to the customer, all departments are one and the same company).
- Whenever you feel like your getting tired of the gazillionth customer you can not help, take 30 second before the next call and focus on what you cán influence: the way you treat the customer.
If you spend a little time with your employees, within a few minutes you will have a list of tiny tweaks that make their lives and those of the customers a lot more joyful.
Small effort, high impact.
And the same goes for all daily routines of the employees and integrating experience.
The accountmanagers and their sales conversation.
The call center agents who answer questions from customers.
The online marketeer adapting the web texts.
The finance employee who sends out the overdue payments.
The productowner who develops the app.
Sit down together and see based on the drivers of your customers, how you can enhance the experience with very small tweaks in existing routines, conversations, etc.
Prioritize, let each employee choose 1 tweak and only add new tweaks when this one has become a new routine.
This is a guaranteed win-win for both the customer and the employee.
One final thought to finish with…
Now we have Corona as a concrete instigator of this challenge to integrate experience in daily routines.
But, except for a few sectors that have been heavily impacted, also before Corona this was the case.
Experience is felt as something extra instead of an organic part of the daily routines.
Each organisation tells me, without exception: “we start off enthusiastic but then always the daily craziness returns.”
Make this daily craziness, these daily routines the center of your transformation toward a better experience.
View experience from the small, pragmatic, routine perspective and your transformation will accelerate exponentially…
* I’m reading / combining 10 books to create the ultimate, fun, energizing, pragmatic and super easy experience transformation program… (yes, just a small aspiration 😉