Elite athletes and other game changers leave us in awe, don’t they? The tennis icons, the football geniuses and the musical maestros. Somehow, they seem to have cracked the code for breaking barriers, leaving their counterparts to look on wistfully at their accomplishments.
But was there some elusive code to be cracked in the first place? Or was there some existing formula that was available to anyone who was willing to embrace its prescriptions, specifications and rituals that required the right cognitive demeanour, disciplined effort and an unyielding determination to win?
I believe in the latter option. The formulas for succeeding at life and in business are all around us, the question is how badly we want to be game changers. To me, this is the most challenging part of the journey to success…..getting the mind to set itself in an unwavering posture that summons the physical resolve to cooperate.
The formulas for succeeding at life and in business are all around us, the question is how badly we want to be game changers.
A similar tension exists in the customer experience universe. In the same way that there is a gap between service improvement and service excellence, there’s a commensurate chasm between customer satisfaction and customer happiness. Businesses make their choice through action or inaction, game changing or inertia.
Service maturity runs along a continuum. At the lower end, there’s service apathy, whilst at the upper end there’s service maturity. Businesses land anywhere in between, based on their approach to both service delivery and customer experience. As I’ve mentioned before, every business delivers service, which in turn, produces a customer experience.
The businesses that reside on the lower end of the service maturity scale are those that are happy with keeping their customers “satisfied.” The businesses on the higher end, understand the alchemy that drives customer happiness. They focus on having the right products at the right price, creating efficient buying channels, attracting ideal customers, being operationally efficient, solving customers’ problems and, the icing on the cake, delivering a memorable customer experience.
An elite level of service excellence is the opposite of service inertia or service apathy and getting to this level does not necessitate a one-shot herculean effort, it requires small bites of resolve that are sustained over time.
The businesses at the inert or apathetic end of the service maturity scale, are those that need an awakening to the new elite way of keeping customers happy.
An elite level of service excellence is the opposite of service inertia or service apathy and getting to this level does not necessitate a one-shot herculean effort, it requires small bites of resolve that are sustained over time. ……Two key moves can help with the shift to a new level of customer experience. The first move is a question of education.
How much does the leadership arm of the business know about service excellence and customer experience? A little, a lot, or deep-level knowledge about the science of how service strategies and customer experience drive revenue growth?
The first move is a question of education.
The answer to this question will establish a baseline of internal knowledge and determine whether the pursuit of customer happiness will be one that is superficial, or one that is perceived as mission critical. It’s important to note that there’s a tax associated with shooting in the dark when it comes to knowledge deficiency.
Businesses that are high on the service maturity scale routinely invest in creating leaders who possess a decent level of baseline knowledge of customer centricity. Topics that include customer journeys, measuring the return on customer experience investment (CX ROI), the metrics associated with service delivery impact and service excellence branding, are discussed with ease in the boardroom. After all, discussions involving the data set of service strategies that contribute to driving revenue should have a place on the business meeting agenda.
The second move is the willingness to disrupt the existing operational infrastructure that governs the ways in which the moving parts of the business connect. The intention behind this disruption is to remove every point of friction along the customer journey, so that customers have zero complaints about their experience.
The second move is the willingness to disrupt the existing operational infrastructure that governs the ways in which the moving parts of the business connect.
This is one of the most challenging parts of the process involved in achieving service excellence. Why? Because habits are hard to break and when a business has established a rhythm in its way of operating, one is fighting a firmly rooted bias towards style rigidity and leadership blindness to their comfort with obsolescent practices.
Breaking free of inertia in the service and customer experience comfort zone does not require a business to become entangled in an existential crisis. A simple strategy that tackles leadership education on the topic of service excellence and the courage to disrupt obsolete models will suffice.
Let’s just keep in mind that service inertia is a luxury that no business can afford.