Every successful company needs a meaningful “why” or higher purpose that motivates and inspires its employees. But the truth is, your customers don’t choose you because of your “why.” They choose you because of your “how.”
Your “how” is the nuts and bolts of how you deliver your product or service and interact with customers. It’s the sum total of their experiences with your brand across every touch point. While a compelling “why” rallies employees, your “how” is what wins customer loyalty.
That’s why smart companies obsess over perfecting their “how.” Here are four ways you can focus on elevating your customer experience and operational excellence:
Listen Deeply to Customer Feedback
The first step in improving your “how” is listening closely to customer feedback. Actively collect detailed feedback through feedback kiosks,in moment short surveys, interviews, and online review sites. Analyze this feedback to identify major pain points and opportunities.
Customers want to feel heard and understood. Simply showing you are listening already enhances loyalty. But more importantly, what you learn from feedback should directly inform improvements to your customer experience.
Suppose reviews reveal customers are frustrated with long wait times. You now have a clear opportunity to improve by adding staff, adding checkout, or better managing customer expectations. Regular and continuous feedback provides an objective view into where your “how” falls short or exceeds expectations. Then you can take targeted action.
Track customer satisfaction metrics over time to measure progress. Are wait times decreasing? Are service ratings improving? Is the percentage of repeat customers and referrals increasing? Use feedback to create a culture obsessed with understanding the customer perspective and making things right.
Empower Frontline Employees
Employees who feel empowered, valued, and satisfied translate into better customer interactions. Foster a supportive and engaging culture where frontline staff have autonomy to resolve issues and are rewarded for creating delightful experiences.
Provide extensive training so employees have the skills and knowledge to handle any customer need. But also hire those with natural service mentality and emotional intelligence. Compensation and incentives should align with customer satisfaction goals.
Give staff insight into direct customer feedback so they feel invested in improving. Have leaders regularly interact with frontline employees to gather ideas and provide mentoring. When you cultivate an employee culture focused on the customer, it naturally enhances your “how.”
Invest in Continuous Improvement
Striving for operational excellence never stops. Set a mindset across the organization that you can always improve processes, technology, and experiences.
Make ongoing staff training on new skills, tools, and innovations a priority. Whether it’s a software update or a new customer service approach, ensure staff constantly evolves. Encourage employees to offer ideas for improvement. Enable them to experiment with enhancing part of the customer journey.
Organize process improvement teams to overhaul workflows or address pain points surfaced in customer feedback. Bring in external experts like customer experience consultants who can lend fresh perspective.
Sometimes small tweaks make a big difference. Other times, you need a major overhaul like digitizing manual processes. But consistent improvement of your systems and touchpoints helps perfect the “how.”
Remove Customer Friction Points
Friction points are anything that makes transactions slower, more confusing, or tedious for customers. Aim to eliminate anything frustrating at each stage of the customer journey.
For example, simplify registration with auto-fill data or fewer form fields. Allow online self-service to accomplish basic tasks. Offer mobile apps or 24/7 live chat so customers can get quick answers. Automate steps that previously required calling support.
Sometimes it takes an outside eye to spot areas of friction you overlook internally. Bring in customer test groups to observe them using your product while you note points of friction. Survey end users on what daily annoyances you could fix or simplify. The goal is smoothing out anything that makes doing business with you complicated.
While an inspiring “why” galvanizes employees, a seamless “how” is what earns customer loyalty. Companies who obsess over perfecting their operational excellence and customer experience will gain the competitive edge. It requires constantly listening to feedback, empowering staff, improving processes, and removing friction points. But the investment pays off with higher lifetime customer value. Focus first on strengthening your “how.” Deliver on your brand promise through excellent service and interactions. Then customers will evangelize your “why” for you when they rave about their experience to others.
To learn more about how we at Press'nXPress can help you improve your customer experience, contact us today. Our team is ready to partner with you to make your “how” stand out in your industry.