Great Customer Experience Starts with Your Culture

Filed in Customer Experience on May 20, 2016 by

Customer_Success_HEADER_05182016It is a buyer’s world. Prospects tune out in-your-face messages. Digital ads are ignored. Clicks are down and your message is just sitting there.

Customers want a great experience and if they get one, they will keep talking about how much they love it. They turn into advocates. They leave great reviews, they tell everyone they know.

A bad customer experience compels even more people to talk about you, even if you wish they would hush up.

How do you build a corporate culture of success? How do you bake it into your DNA? Here’s a look at how we built a culture of customer advocacy.

Know Your “Why”

First establish the “why,” for your business. Why do you do what you do for your customers? Think that is so easy to answer? Sometimes a product obfuscates passion, sometimes solutions tangle success. Step back from your day to day pressures and your quarterly goals and look at what you’re really doing. Once you’ve locked on to your north star, don’t forget to keep it in sight.

People want to be energized by what they do, they want work to be meaningful. Knowing why you are in business will make it easy to motivate your team, to inspire  and align the organization.

Be Honest About Your Customer Experience

You have WTR reports, customer reviews, ratings and comments. But do you really know what your customers want?

Ask yourself what customer experience means for you. Maybe it is high touch marketing efforts, maybe it is low or even no touch. Maybe you need to improve your customer service, or maybe your sales process is struggling to really give prospects value. Adding value isn’t just sales’ responsibility, is your marketing useful too?

You have to dig deep into your customers’ personas to answer these questions. This requires alignment across the organization, from marketing and sales to customer service and engineering. Everyone has a different piece of the customer’s story to share and you’ll need the whole story to build a great customer experience.

At PFL we have a structured customer success program that reconnects with our users at 30, 60, and 90 day check-ins to make sure they’re getting the most out of our solutions. We get plenty of enthusiastic thumbs up but sometimes we find areas where we can help a customer change course or use our technology in a different way.

Find out where your gaps are and start building a better experience.

Find Customers You Can Make Successful

You can’t make everyone a success. If a prospect falls out of your sphere of influence, you might help them the most by saying no to their business. What does this look like? Maybe it is something simple like they lack the technology to use your products or services or they aren’t the right firmographic for you. But usually it is something more vague. Do they have the right culture to really use you to the best of your ability? Do they have the resources, the experience and the talent to let you help them? Maybe you can help them out with some of these problems, but if you have to say no then say it. Don’t chase quick revenue to build a portfolio of customers that you can’t make successful.

Empower Your Employees

A great customer experience is one that grows from every part of your organization. Whether it’s marketing, sales, or customer support, set your employees up with the power to do whatever it takes to help customers. This means equipping employees with the knowledge they need to make every interaction a success. Most importantly, that knowledge needs to be backed by a feeling of trust in the employee from the company. Trust your CSRs with the ability to give deep discounts to correct for poor service. Trust sales teams to follow their instincts. But trust requires training and development.

Put professional development first by offering access to online training courses, sending key personnel to conferences and seminars, and making training a priority.

Hire the Right People

A customer successful-centric culture doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get company buy-in and investment in the mission. That being said, nothing will jumpstart this kind of cultural shift like hiring people who believe what you believe. When you hire people who are genuinely excited about building the best customer experience you are going to inevitably run into some friction. People that advocate for customers are eventually going to find the snares and pitfalls in your old processes. Blowing the dust off those outdated methods and building a better experience can be painful. Don’t lose these advocates – but you may have to lose someone else.

Fire the Right People

If you want to create a cultural shift, sometimes you’ll be required to pull some weeds. Don’t suffer employees that can’t put themselves into your customers’ shoes. They are putting their success first, not the customers. Don’t let their attitude poison your culture. Weed them out and start building customer advocates.

We create tools that help sales teams and marketers put customer experience first. To find out more about how you can build incredible customer experiences, and do it at scale, check out our solutions.

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