I recently had an exhausting ordeal with a healthcare call center. What seemed like a simple request to resolve an erroneous charge ended up involving six phone transfers to multiple departments and over an hour of my time. While everyone I spoke to was friendly, no single agent had the power to do anything but be emotionally supportive and transfer the call to someone else. As a result, my issue was never resolved to satisfaction.
Most company leaders will periodically review metrics such as average wait times, survey results, defects, and time to resolve issues, but they are only getting a fraction of the customer experience. By focusing on a specific data point–in my case, the empathy level of the call agents–leaders would miss a lot. It is critical to analyze all business processes and outcomes and then elicit customer responses for each area, such as loyalty, credibility, fair value and superior service.
Taking an honest look at each step involved in resolving customer issues is a must for companies who want to “wow” their clients with excellent service.
Here are a few tips for creatively redesigning your customer processes to create a differentiated experience:
- Select a project team and assign each worker to represent a diverse aspect of the user experience. Establish goals and objective criteria, including descriptors that customers will use when rating their new experience (i.e. efficient, confident, listened to, two clicks and I am there, etc.).
- Have the team list assumptions about the current process, both positive and negative.
- Go through the entire process with a customer’s mindset. Then do it again with a critical eye for identifying gaps. Document your findings.
- Compare your original assumptions list with the current experience. Examine survey metrics and other data gathered. Develop a list of changes that need to occur and prioritize them.
- Set timelines and execute the plan.
- Pilot the new process with some clients representing key segments of your business. This input can be used to tweak things, and to train the staff on new practices and improvements.
I challenge you to reflect on the details of your company’s customer experience. What causes angst? Which areas need improvement? Do you have a keen understanding of how steps flow in the overall experience? It requires humility and courage to search for these answers but the rewards are worth the risk.
The whole and the parts of an organization must flow well to meet customer and business goals. Engage your team to bolster outcomes, create synergies and start “wowing” your customers.