Is Poor Customer Experience Person-Related or Policy-Related?

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

Is Poor Customer Experience Person-Related or Policy-Related?

In a customer-centric organization, the customer experience is not left to chance. It is deliberately designed by examining the entire customer journey and removing all points of friction along the way. To accomplish this, organizations need to examine both people and company policies in order to generate alignment between them.

When Poor Customer Experience Is Policy-Related

Outdated policies can put an organization at risk of falling behind or becoming irrelevant in the eyes of the customer. From cumbersome sales processes and overly complex return policies to a lack of authority at the front line, these are all policy-related problems that negatively impact the customer experience. Consider the last time you had a poor experience with a company as a customer but clearly knew it was no fault of the person trying to help you. That experience may have been so poor that you never returned.

As a company, policies like this might still be in place because they are comfortable to employees, historical or just difficult to change. Regardless of the rationale, the bottom line is that outdated policies are actively impacting customer satisfaction, customer retention, financial growth and even employee engagement.

However, with the help of great leadership and management best practices, you can begin making real change quickly. As you set out to solve your policy-related customer-experience challenges, remember the policies that work in the best interests of your customers and are supported by customer-centric processes. These will drive a positive, seamless journey throughout the various departments in your organization.

To achieve this, you must map the customer journey and use cross-functional teams to create improved processes. Consider:

  • The transition points to different departments throughout the journey.
  • Reducing possible friction points in the customer journey and experience.
  • Knowledge management and a “central point of truth” regarding the customer where all information is tracked.
  • Understanding communication channels to ensure that every touchpoint with the customer is aligned across the organization.

When Poor Customer Experience Is People-Related

The reality for some organizations is that their poor customer experience is a result of people-related problems. While there are countless reasons for this, some of the most prevalent include employees’s lack of knowledge, conviction and support. Here’s what each means:

Lack of Knowledge.

If the phrase, “But we’ve always done it this way” is used often by your employees, it means they are lacking knowledge that there may be a better way to act, behave and make decisions. To overcome this and begin improving the customer experience, provide training and development opportunities that educate employees of the part they play, whether they realized it or not.

Lack of Conviction.

It is hard to care about something you do not understand. And yet, employees are often ushered into a new initiative with little to no explanation of why it is happening. If you want your employees to care about providing a great customer experience, you must provide them with the rationale and roadmap forward. Equipped with that, along with training and support from leaders, employees will have the conviction to do things differently going forward.

Lack of Support.

Employees look to their leaders for direction and validation of what is important and expected of them. As such, your leaders must be committed to the charted course forward and show that commitment through their actions, behaviors and decisions. In other words, they need to walk the walk. It will be the organizations whose leaders provide in-the-moment coaching, empathy and understanding that will see their people-related customer-experience challenges dissipate.

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