Is it fair to say that all organizations need to be customer focused to be optimally successful? Is it also fair to claim that being customer focused is only going to become more important for business success? According to recent research by Kustomer, a CRM Platform organization, next to price, the quality of service is the most important factor when choosing with whom to do business, “85% of consumers will avoid doing business with an organization due to bad customer service.” (Kustomer, 2020)
In a recent visit to my dentist, I became motivated to look for a new dental professional. I had a poor service interaction. I was scheduled for minor surgery and I was nervous for several reasons. How long will the surgery last? Will I be on time for my next appointment? As a professional speaker, will the oral surgery prevent me from speaking clearly or at all during that next appointment? I posed these questions to the surgeon when I arrived that morning.
As a customer, I thought these questions to be reasonable. Isn’t it reasonable to be a bit nervous before surgery? Afterall, who likes to have surgery? The reaction by the oral surgeon was disappointing. With a bit of a harsh tone, she asked, “Why didn’t you ask these questions earlier? You should have called us, and you should have let us know if you wanted to reschedule. Our office is all backed up with work and we have emergencies all the time. I could have planned better if you had called.”
I could see her point. Yet, as a customer, I had every right to ask questions and receive reasonable answers. I also deserve a respectful and non-accusatory tone. As a customer, we need the service providers to focus on our issues and not on their own issues. Is making your customer wrong a good strategy to create loyalty?
A customer-focused response would include empathy to calm my nervousness. It would also include specific logical and calm answers to my challenging questions. An exceptional customer experience culture is revealed especially under difficult circumstances such as customer complaints and/or challenging questions.
How can organizations create an exceptional customer experience culture which enables everyone to respond elegantly in the face of emotional situations? Norma Diaz of Community Health Group can help us. The following video explains how her commitment to amazing customer service was spread like a virus throughout her organization. Take a few moments and watch what she did. It will help you build your own exceptional customer experience culture.
Kustomer. (2020). What Consumers Expect From the Customer Experience….and How You Can Deliver. New York NY: Kustomer.
Dr. Wally Hauck is a senior vice president and co-owner of Communico. He is the author of Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement, Stop the Leadership Malpractice: How to Replace the Typical Performance Appraisal, Unleash Employee Engagement: 7 Initial Conditions for Outstanding Results