Take Out Your Customers’ Trash

Organize a “service garbage patrol” to identify and report places where the experience is a hassle for customers. Start with customer entrances—the website and the parking lot. Are the parking lot’s users (customers) favored over the parking lot’s owners (your people, especially senior leaders)? If the customer’s parking-lot experience was a microcosm of your whole service process, what would that tell them about what you value, how you felt about customers, and your true priorities? How would customers with limited computer skills assess your website?

Most customer experiences have a certain amount of garbage. It looks like excess wait time, mind-numbing paperwork, delay, indifference, and missed deadlines. And in today’s competitive world, where customers demand more value for their ever-diminishing dollar, if you don’t “take out the papers and the trash,” as the lyrics of the song go, “You don’t get no spending cash!”

TD Bank started a program called “Kill a Stupid Rule.” It worked like this: Any employee who spotted a rule that kept employees from delighting customers got a $50 reward. Put everyone on notice to spot and find purposeless processes and illogical boundaries. Hold gatherings for people to report their findings. Monitor incoming calls to learn about hassles the front line might be taking for granted. Be your organization’s customer. Do regular after-action analysis of repeated complaints to discover patterns that need addressing. Make busting bureaucracy more valued than protecting those sacred cows long in need of slaughtering.

Today’s customers have higher expectations and shorter patience, not to mention a greater propensity to take their cash elsewhere if hassled in any way. To quote one customer in the middle of a bureaucratic, service-halting conflict, “Hey, I’m trying to give you money here!” That should be a wake-up call to pay closer attention to service garbage—whatever agitates your customers. It means user-friendly websites, customer-centric processes, time-sensitive expedience, and customer-facing employees who care about the experience, not just delivering the outcome. No matter whether the contact center is staffed in Mumbai, India, or McRae, Georgia, operators should be graded on how well they made the call comfortable—not more rushed or robotic. Here are three ways to “take out customer trash.”

Start a service garbage patrol 

Be the organization that takes out the trash, and your customers will reward you with their spending cash.

Published May 21, 2024, on Chip Bell’s blog.

منبع: https://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/customer-care-article/take-out-your-customers-trash-060524.html

Walk into the Whitley Hotel lobby in Atlanta, and near the entrance you’ll find a stack of plastic cups and large glass dispensers filled with lemon-flavored ice water (with large slices of lemon). Could that concept work for your business? What could a fountain do for your entrance? What music could you play that could help lower customers’ anxiety? What fragrance should your customers smell? You can manage the sensory experience of customers. Why not make their experience focus on calm and comfort? What did your realtor tell you about getting your house ready for a showing—fresh flowers and the smell of apple pie? Your customers deserve the same idea.

Customers today have a very low tolerance for aggravation. Although they don’t expect perfection all the time, they return to those organizations that consistently demonstrate a commitment to taking the garbage out of their customers’ experiences. Customer comfort requires watchfulness as well as attentive caretaking. It calls for employees who are willing to raise their hand when they notice customer discord. It requires associates who consider endless process improvement as vital as continuous revenue improvement. It takes people who make preventive maintenance an integral part of their stewardship of their organization’s resources and reputation.

‘T ake out the papers and the trash.” That was the opening line of the song “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters. It spent weeks as the No. 1 hit in 1958. Teenagers everywhere wore out their shoes dancing to the hot song. The lyrics hold a strong message about delivering a superior customer experience.

It’s not unusual for physicians to fall behind on scheduled appointments due to an emergency that ran longer than planned. A medical center in an urban area found a novel solution with a Starbucks less than a block away. Patients were given a $5 gift card and one of those flashing pagers you get at some restaurants to alert you that your table is ready. Patients raved about the solution and were so appreciative of the consideration that they rushed back to make certain they were available when the doctor was. Likewise, if you trust your customers, they will trust you back.

Make it a calm day

Review your entire call center process. Can customers quickly and easily get to a live person who can help them if they desire? Do phone encounters seemed rushed to customers, as if you’re trying to meet an imposed time standard? Is first-call resolution a priority goal, or just a nice-to-have if it works out? If customers must be transferred, how will it feel and sound on their end of the line? What do they experience when put on hold: silence, elevator music, or long waits? Have you asked them what they prefer if required to wait? What is the garbage you need to take out?

Kill a stupid rule

Are procedures and people customer-friendly? Is it easy for customers to figure out where to go and what to do at your facility or on your website? If the customer prefers to “speak to a human,” are they forced to endure long delays, dictatorial chatbots, and hassles to reach someone? Examine all objects, forms, or systems required for all service transactions. Are they clearly written, easily navigated, and absolutely essential? Time is your customers’ most precious commodity, and if you waste it, they will go elsewhere, along with the “spending cash.” Measure your response time like you’re competing with Amazon.

Customer experience should always be the epitome of calm, security, and easy access. Stop thinking in terms of “store hours!” When does Amazon close? Find ways to give your customer around-the-clock access, even if it’s with limited service. Could a chatbot or some form of artificial intelligence make 24/7 access work? Customers of Oconee Cleaners near Lake Oconee, Georgia, know comfort starts with owner Scott Joris. If you need to get your clothes on Sunday when Scott is normally closed, regulars know a call to Scott at home will get him there in a heartbeat. You may not be able to be as agile or personalized as a small business, but you can gain valuable insight by thinking like Scott.