Mark Mahoney suggests 10 top tips to improve customer experience process improvement

Mindpearl | May 27, 2014 12:05 am

Mark Mahoney suggests 10 top tips to improve customer experience process improvement

Great customer experience doesn’t just happen: it is designed. There is no ‘one size’ fits all customer experience design that you can adopt. What is right for one brand might not be right for another. That is why we believe in offering our clients completely customised solutions. Once you have the perfect fit, it doesn’t end there. What works today, might not work tomorrow.

I believe the Achilles heel of customer experience is a broken process. Broken processes happen every day, because of change. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is not just customer service, but customer service is part of the customer’s experience. Imagine you just bought a new tablet. You saw the advertisement in a magazine. You went online to do research. You placed your order at your local branch. You were assisted by a charming sales person in store, who answered all your questions. You received a personal email thanking you for your purchase. You received a sms reminder to download free apps. Then your first payment comes off.

Somewhere, someone captured your banking details and surname incorrectly. You call the contact centre to get the problem resolved, because your statement shows you have defaulted on your payment. You are assisted by a friendly, articulate call centre agent who assures you she will send your request to the finance department to rectify. Next month, your payment defaults again.

One link in the customer journey can railroad the customer experience

What was your customer experience like with this brand, despite the charming salesman, despite the friendly call centre agent and despite you loving the product? One broken link in your journey has railroaded your entire customer experience.

So what went wrong?

I bet you it was a process. Somewhere between the friendly call centre agent and the finance department, a process isn’t working. You can design the most amazing customer experience, but if a process doesn’t work it can destroy all the goodwill created by functioning links in the customer journey. Processes are ‘living’ documents, which need continuous improvement. Change is constant, so processes need to be monitored and improved to accommodate this change.

My top 10 tips for customer experience process improvement

Our motto is ‘small changes for the better’. Small change begins with listening to your customer, your staff and actively looking to improve. Here are my top tips for process improvement:

  1. Listen to your customer, whether it’s complaints, compliments or suggestions – this can be your most valuable resource for innovation and improvement
  2. Actively identify areas that need improvement (this needs to be part of your company’s culture)
  3. Monitor changes brought in – change is a constant
  4. Encourage staff to contribute to improvement ideas (you’ll be surprised the phenomenal ideas they come up with)
  5. Involve staff in the process – to ensure early adoption and buy-in
  6. There must be an unrelenting focus on the customer (companies with an internal process focus, usually get it wrong)
  7. Senior Leaders must support the process (There is nothing worse than negativity from the top down)
  8. Have a crystal clear vision in place (no ambiguity)
  9. Always ensure plain spoken, extensive communication around a new process – no jargon
  10. Assign the best people to the improvement team – with the right resources in place you ensure success

Let me leave you with one final thought. Improvement should be more than words; it needs to be part of your company’s DNA. You can make the small changes needed to ensure an exceptional customer experience if you live and breathe a culture of improvement. Just imagine the possibilities.

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Author: | May 27, 2014 12:05 am