Guest Blog By Cassie McInnes
That is a very good question! The answer is yes, and no. I’ll explain why.
Why the meaning of customer service and experience hasn’t changed
The description of ‘customer’, ‘service’ and ‘experience’ remains the same in the dictionary:
Customer: Someone who buys goods or services from a business or a person who has a particular quality.
Service: The action of helping or doing work for someone.
Experience: Direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge.
I like to keep service simple, because it is. (Except it is so simple, it often gets missed).
Service = kindness.
So in these simple terms, service has not changed one bit. The language of the heart is love and we know and understand love. No, I do not mean a certain kind of love, for example the way you love your mum or the way you love your partner. I’m just talking about the pure energy or effort that’s put into any interaction because it is ‘the right thing to do for someone else’. To me, this part stays the same, always.
So, then, what has changed and continues to change?
Our awareness has changed. We’ve woken up. Gone are the days where you’ll hear a company say they don’t have a Customer Service Training module in their on-boarding programs. And if you are reading this and you don’t have induction training that focuses on CS/CX, then you really need to wake up. It is predicted that in a few years, the main reason for losing or gaining customers will be how they are treated. Historically, it has been price and convenience (due to the increasing population of mega corporations competing against each other). Yes, we all agree value for money is important and we all want to save our hard earned dollars. However, value does not just mean low cost, we all know the saying ‘you get what you pay for’. So, the meaning of value is changing.
Our customer satisfaction tools are smarter
No matter how much a business ‘thinks’ they know what a customer wants – the best way to know for sure and keep up with them by always listening to them. This is usually done by methods including:
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Email/ post/ text surveys
- Real time feedback during any interaction
- Response on social media
- Word of mouth/ Branding
Many jobs are created for all those listed above, and businesses are not shying away from putting in to get more out.
If you are a smart business owner, your CX investments will be going into all of your departments, as happy and engaged staff will ensure your chance of happier customers.
When it comes to specific CS/CX budgets, the investment focus of your business should not just be in customer service. The focus needs to be in every division in your business. If you do this and cooperate accordingly, it will result in a positive, healthy and safe culture. Some examples of divisional teams you would want working together are: your managers working on positive leadership initiatives, reward and recognition, social activities, physical and mental health initiatives and development of staff. All of these divisions should be constantly reminded of your organisational service goal or model and the behaviours demonstrated should mirror this in every interaction.
The training for CX and CS coaching and training is evolving at a rapid rate. There is increased research and awareness abroad in marketing, behavioural science and communication skills. In general, people are struggling mentally everywhere, life is tough. One in five Australians will experience mental health issues in any given year and up to fifty four percent to do not seek help. So, people are not feeling okay generally and are craving to be treated better just to get through their day. Because of this, businesses are learning that they not only have customers to win over for business but they have responsibility humankind to help customers through service or as I like to say, kindness. For any caring and sensible manager, it makes sense to be a star in service and experience.
Cassie is an expert in the field of customer service and coaching and loves to develop people. As a certified trainer and facilitator, Cassie is also passionate about designing and teaching Service Training and linking it to behavioural science. In 2014, she received the award for ’emerging manager of the year’ along with 29 other National winners for The Australian Institute of Management’s “30 under 30″ program. She was also awarded the state award for Collaboration at The ARCBS in 2014 which Cassie attributes to her passion for teamwork. One of Cassie’s favourite quotes is: ‘We are all in this together’.