Last week, I met with an executive about customer service issues at his business. After discussing his concerns, he then described the experience that he would like every customer to receive. He talked about how to greet, listen, the smile, the attentiveness, the sense of urgency in helping, and the questions to guide the discussion. He mentioned several different characteristics of customer engagement, and he painted a positive picture of building rapport and relationships with each encounter.
He then asked me how to get every employee to start serving the customer in the same consistent manner. While I could have gone on for 20 minutes on how to change a culture, I instead reminded him of what he had just stated, and shared this key:
Brand that experience.
Come up with a simple, yet creative way of sharing with staff (and having staff remember) how they're expected to communicate with customers.
What the executive had described in his explanation of the desired customer experience was essentially his thoughts on what should be the organization's customer service standards - the definition of success in those customer interactions. By branding those standards in something memorable, you can then more easily share, remind staff, and promote them with employees and - if necessary - customers alike.
Remember that expectations are best understood if they're communicated in a simple, concrete, documented, and repetitive way. What's easier to understand than a catchy phrase that's simple, concrete, documented, and repetitive?
Pete Winemiller with the then Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) coined the "CLICK with your guests" Fan Relations service philosophy. We helped the Orlando Magic coin the "Create MAGIC" technique for engaging fans.
Whatever your customer service standards or expectations, they're more easily and effectively communicated if they're branded.
Think about the core of what you want in a customer interaction; then brand your way to consistency and success!