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Jason Bradshaw

Customer Care

Focus on the Customer and Employee Experience to Transform Your Business

Build a business that has loyal fans, continues to evolve, stays relevant, and grows

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 11:02

As a busy leader or business owner, you’re faced with a seemingly endless to-do list to keep your business operating, as well as an ever-increasing list of ideas about how to improve it. However, I suggest you throw out those hundred-plus to-do items and ideas and instead focus on the experience you deliver.

Start with these three fundamental steps:
1. Define the promise
2. Measure the gap
3. Share the stories

Before explaining the steps to improve the experience and transform your business, let’s clarify a couple of important elements.

First, the term experience. In this context, it means customer experience, employee experience, the experience that you promise, and ultimately, the experiences that you deliver. You can even make experience promises about your brand and products. But for now, focus on customer and employee experiences. You’ll quickly understand that the singular experience—the transaction—is just as important as the collective experience.

Finally, before we get to the three crucial steps, let’s be clear that customer and employee experience doesn’t mean hugging your haters. Nor does it mean surprising your customers and employees with champagne and caviar.

Each of these steps applies equally to customers and employees. If you don’t know where to begin, then start with your employees’ experiences. Investing in improving your employees’ experience will result in increased productivity and improved customer experiences.

Step 1: Define the promise

Step 1 actually comes in two parts. It starts with defining what you mean by the words “customer and employee experience.” Defining what you mean and ensuring that every team member understands it is crucial. Part 2 of this step is to define what you promise to deliver for your customers and employees.

Every day, people check into two-star hotels and fly low-cost airlines, while at the same time people are checking into five-star hotels and flying first class. In both instances, there are companies that make a profit and those that don’t. The difference is clear: Some companies compete on price, while others, who win, deliver consistently on the experience that their ideal customers are drawn to and are willing to pay for.

So don’t be afraid of defining your promise and sharing it broadly. If you deliver on your promise consistently, there are customers who will choose your company and your promise over your competitors.

But beyond prospects and customers being drawn to your promise, the greatest benefit of defining your promise is that every team member will understand that, above all else, their priority is to deliver on the promise.

Step 2: Measure the gap

You’ve defined what you promise to deliver to your customers. Now is the time to measure the gap between those promises and the reality. To get started, just measure that gap in your main promise.

For example, if you promise to deliver your product within 24 hours, start measuring how often you actually deliver within 24 hours. If it’s 100 percent of the time, then start measuring the gap in the next promise.

However, if you aren’t delivering on your main promise, then your mission is to focus on closing the gap, striving every day to be 1 percent closer to delivering on your promise.

If you’re wondering where to start measuring, it’s as simple as asking your customers and employees, “Did we deliver on (insert your promise)?” Then follow up by asking what was the effect of delivering or not delivering as expected?

Step 3: Share the stories

Companies worldwide send out surveys, and you probably will, too, as you measure the gaps. But don’t be one of those companies that sends out surveys only to keep all the data locked up.

The power of Step 3 is in sharing information with your team and celebrating the fact of delivering on your promise. Celebrating that you delivered on a promise reinforces what “great” looks like and emphasizes the required behaviors for success.

However, it’s also important to share, just as broadly, the stories and the effects on customers when you fail to deliver on your promise. This not only reinforces the value of delivering on the promise but also provides a clear coaching point. It’s an opportunity to identify and fix those processes, systems, or tasks that caused the break in delivering on your promise.

By following these three steps, you’ll build a business that has loyal, raving fans, continues to evolve, stays relevant, and grows.

Discuss

About The Author

Jason Bradshaw’s picture

Jason Bradshaw

Jason started his first business at the age of 14, differentiating himself by the service he provided. For the last three decades, he has worked with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, improving the experience to transform the business. Jason is a best-selling author and is considered a global guru on customer experience and a leading authority on experience management.