How to translate a creative customer experience strategy into a practical customer service experience
With the SERVICEBRAND approach, an excellent customer experience is the desired outcome. Research by Bain & Company found that 80% of companies think they deliver a great customer service experience whereas only 8% of customers believe they have received great service.
Good customer experience management can create tangible business value by strengthening brand preference through differentiated, valued experiences which improves customer loyalty and advocacy. This can result in incremental sales from existing customers and new sales from new customers introduced by word of mouth, as well as reduced costs through customer retention and word of mouth introduction of new customers.
Whilst much of the customer experience narrative centres on delighting the customer, there is another school of thought. In 2010, researchers found that reducing the amount of effort for a customer to get their problem solved is a higher indicator of customer loyalty than delight. By acting on this insight and removing obstacles for the customer, they found companies can reduce customer service costs and attrition rates. Indicators of high effort activities include customers switching channels to get their problem resolved, repeating information, generic service, and getting transferred to a different agent. Similarly, other research indicates that “96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become more disloyal compared to just 9% who have a low-effort experience. Disloyal customers are likely to cost the company more – they spread negative word of mouth and cease future purchases.” This factor is even more relevant because the customer experience is increasingly digital and there is evidence that 65 percent of consumers cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer experience.
We work with progressive leaders to co-create a creative yet practical customer experience strategy. We stimulate ideas to improve all stages of the customer experience journey and create customer experience innovation. Our role as a customer experience strategy consultant sometimes ends there and other times we support the implementation with a range of tools including:
- PulsE customer journey mapping tool
- Customer service standards and operating manuals
- Relationship mapping
- Mystery shopping assessments
It is also important for the customer experience activities to be aligned with the brand identity. We have seen so many customer experience programmes where ‘service excellence’ seems to be operating in a vacuum and is not connected to the ‘roots’ of the organisation.
“There is only one boss. The customer.” Sam Walton
Alan’s commitment, willingness to engage and sharp insight characterise the tremendous value he has added as a Non Exec on the Board of BQF.
With the simple and practical 31Practices approach he has created, Alan has found a refreshingly different way to make values as inseparable from the modern mission-based business as the double helices of DNA. Both his speaking style and work style have been a pleasure to experience.
31Practices is an excellent method and has played a big part in LifeSearch’s whole company, long term focus on our culture and values. The bespoke nature means the LifeSearch practices we carefully created remind all ‘Searchers every day of what we are about and why, and the behaviours we need to display to protect more families than anyone ever thought possible.
I describe Alan as the most HR savvy operator I have ever met! What’s more he is great fun to work with.
Alan's support has been instrumental in improving levels of engagement and overall performance, personally and with my team. He is a very good listener, gaining a deep understanding before cocreating an improvement plan. He is also very engaging and easy to work with.
Vision, challenge and strategy allowing individuals to stretch their potential. An inspirational leader.
Truly progressive thinking. The pragmatic approach to providing a customer experience achieves measurable return on investment.
An absolute pleasure to work with. Focussed on ambitious results but does what is right and leads in a truly inspiring way.
Rarely do I come across a book which is as complete as this one. Alan and Alison have left me nothing to say. They have put together an encyclopaedia of understanding about what it takes to build the neural pathways of an organisation.
The best thing about the 31Practices approach is how it energises front line employees and gives them confidence to bring the organisational values to life every day. One of the team in New York said "Our 31Practices is like my bible at work. I read it every day and it makes me a better person". Priceless!
The blend of emotional intelligence and commercial acumen is rare! The dedication to customer service is an example to follow.
Alan used the Servicebrand approach and his almost uncanny ability to engage programme stakeholders to provide Dell EMC with accelerated business impact and sustainable performance - at scale.
In the employee engagement survey, we dramatically outperformed the High Performance Norm.
Our Investors in People accreditation review hit our highest score to date and our bottom line profit rose by 25% over two years as well.
Alan spoke about the Values Economy at the 2nd Global Conference on Creating Value . His brilliant talk was convincing and energised the audience.