Let’s put customers at the heart of everything we do

This admirable sentiment is being adopted as a guiding principle by many organisations who are striving for excellence in their interaction with customers. However, such declarations of ‘customer centricity’ usually come with a major flaw; they are open to interpretation. Those responsible for the delivery of customer experience generally agree wholeheartedly with the purpose of these ‘customer-first values’, but sometimes don’t understand what they mean in practice.

This could be considered a good thing, as it means your workforce is empowered to make decisions to benefit the customer. The likely outcome though, is an inconsistent customer experience. Each individual employee will provide a service based on their unique preferences of how they wish to be treated themselves. The resulting interactions are therefore not aligned to your brand’s own vision. In turn, you miss the opportunity to build a competitive advantage through delivering a branded customer experience.

Organisations tackle this challenge in a number of ways. Some focus on skills-based service training, others use internal communications to share the desired look and feel of the brand. Employee engagement initiatives are also widely used, based on the principle that happy staff equals happy customers. The list goes on, but there are two common and fundamental failings with these standard approaches.

Firstly, they only show and tell what good is supposed to look like. They do not address what customer-centric behaviours look and feel like in the context of your brand. They do not engage, empower and equip staff in the delivery of those behaviours.

Secondly, reality is not taken into account. The reality of people’s actual jobs and actual customer and colleague interactions. Critically, they do not address what stands in the way of delivering a consistent, authentic and differentiated on-brand customer experience on a daily basis.

What’s needed is a Total Reality® check.

Total Reality® is about equipping people with the skills, the mindset and the behavioural blueprint to be able to deliver a consistent on-brand experience in the face of the challenges they encounter every day at work.

So, what happens if you overlook the opportunity for a reality check and your organisation continues to provide an unpredictable and incoherent service offering? Let’s consider the potential alternatives.

Internally, you could be burdened with disengaged employees, lacking connection to the brand purpose and therefore less likely to contribute any discretionary effort to your business. Externally, you risk disgruntled customers, let down by broken promises and a sense of misplaced trust in your organisation.

The impact of both scenarios on your reputation, your top and your bottom line, cannot be underestimated.

What’s your Total Reality® like?

Want to find out more? Visit www.brandbiology.com or call us on +44 (0) 117 922 1500

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