Admit it. It’s difficult to deliver a consistent customer experience at every touchpoint.
Whether the majority of your customer interactions happen in person across widespread storefronts or over the phone with contact center agents, a customer could have a very different experience with each interaction depending on the person they speak with or the store location they visit.
That’s not a good thing.
One of our clients actually had a customer submit a comment through our Voice of the Customer platform that said this:
You really have great restaurants, and we especially like your [downtown] store. Here’s the thing, though—we drive past two of your other stores to get to that one, because the employees are so much better at that location.
Location variation is happening. So how do you minimize it?
The best solution for inconsistent performance is to build and implement a consistent training program. However, to build that training program effectively, you first need to understand what your employees need training on.
- How do you find out what to train on?
- How do you know if your training is having an effect?
The answer: your customers.
Use your VoC program to measure performance and to identify where you can improve the consistency of your customer experience. Here’s how:
MEASURING AND IMPROVING
CONSISTENCY THROUGH VOC
1. Design surveys to measure Key Performance Indicators (KPI) across each customer interaction point
KPIs should include important service, delivery, and product metrics. Examples include Knowledge, Friendliness, and Promptness.
2. Perform a gap analysis at regular intervals to track the distance between top performers and bottom performers
Within the gap analysis, identify the key drivers and soft skills of top performers, so you can use them to train the bottom performers. Uncover and quantify the impact that top performers’ skills have on loyalty and share of wallet.
While key drivers provide an important benchmark, soft skills and best practices are equally critical for effective training. These behaviors need to be identified and mirrored throughout the company.
Finally, drill down into each low-performing unit for root-cause analysis on identified problems.
3. Report relevant customer feedback to managers for immediate resolution
Configure real-time incident management alerts for each management layer. This will ensure that every decision-maker within your organization’s hierarchy is informed and accountable.
4. Enlist your Mindshare client advisors to help in a periodic gap analysis
Client advisors are experienced in gathering and deciphering customer intelligence to show you what’s going on inside the performance gap.
5. Supplement your companywide training program with location-specific customer information
Mindshare’s Local Dashboard (Coach™) arms managers with simple procedural steps (your standard operating procedures) and useful training tips to solve your specific service, product, and satisfaction concerns before they become problems.
Remember, variation within your organization should be a bigger concern than what your competitors are doing outside of it. In one of the best articles on operational consistency, “Manage Your Human Sigma,” the authors, John H. Fleming, Curt Coffman, and James K. Harter, conclude that “the variations within a company easily dwarf the differences between competitors.”
With a consistent training experience based on real customer feedback, and the ability to fix local issues on the fly, your employees will be empowered to consistently satisfy customers at every touchpoint. When your customers are consistently satisfied, they can revisit your business and recommend your company with confidence.