As it appeared in the Daily Nation on September 12th, 2017
Customers’ expectations keep rising. Customers continue to be choosier, more demanding and less loyal. Organizations hoping to survive in the marketplace have no choice but to also raise their standards. Every year for the last two and a half decades, organizations from across the globe have come together in one accord to commemorate the customer service week. The week marked every first week of October falls on October 2nd to 6th this year. In the past, many organizations have used this week to create awareness internally about the need to focus more on customers. Others have held celebrations in honour of staff and customers. Once again, many organizations have put in place customer service week plans for this year.
The vibrant Customer Experience Community in Kenya has been instrumental in raising customer experience standards. Their enthusiasm has been greatly felt during past customer service week celebrations. With the impending presidential election, will organizations embrace the CS week as usual? The election should not cloud the need for businesses to focus more on their customers. The Institute of Customer Experience that brings together the Customer Experience Community continues to rally organizations to participate this year. In particular, the institute is urging organizations to take advantage of the week to raise their Customer Experience Standards.
Though every day is an opportunity for smart companies to raise their Customer Experience standards a notch higher, the Customer Service Week is a great launching pad for such an initiative. Today, I share with you three insights that could help your organization take their customer experience to the next level.
Focus on the Staff
Organizations should not lose sight of the key role that staff play in ensuring that the customers go through a delightful experience. The staff get the job done, they run the systems that run the organization, and they interact with customers. Their behaviour and attitudes is the most significant driver of overall customer satisfaction. Therefore, all forward-looking organization must focus on the quality of their staff. Do they have the right attitude, knowledge and skills? Are their behaviours acceptable? Are they engaging in the right activities to ensure a delightful customer experience?
Focus on Customer Value Creation
Secondly, it is important for organizations to create value for their customers. According to Alex Osterwalder known for the Business Model Canvas and the proponent of the Value Proposition canvas, organizations must be explicit about how they create value for their customers. Alex highlights the need for companies to design products and services that their customers want and create a fit between the value the products and services deliver and the expectations customers have. The motivation behind raising customer experience standards should be to create more value for the customer. According to Alex, products and services can create value either by relieving customer pains or by creating customer gains.
Strive for Excellence
Finally, Smart Companies should always strive for excellence. This means striving to provide better services, better products and having better interactions with customers. By always striving for excellence, business raise their standard to a higher level. Businesses need to put their customer experience best foot forward. It is well known in the business world that if you keep raising your customer experience standards and creating more value, customers will be willing to pay slightly more!
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy