Amazing Customer Service
Shep Hyken talks about the “customer journey” the way most of us talk about a meal at our favorite restaurant. I don’t know about you, but that’s not usually how those conversations go. Most people approach customer experience planning as if they’re discussing a root canal or, at best, a complicated home improvement project. They look at it as a painful task that needs to be prepared and endured.
Not Shep. For him, the customer journey is something to embrace with joy and anticipation. And that feeling comes through during our Aim Higher talk.
“What happens on the inside is felt on the outside by the customer.” – Shep Hyken
We got to chat about his book, The Cult of the Customer, and how a cult isn’t necessarily a scary thing. It’s just a group of people who are passionate about a common goal. In this case, it’s a passion for taking care of customers. As he talks about what’s necessary to do that, it seems so simple: you train, you communicate, you hold people accountable and you celebrate success. Not so hard. But the trick is to do it all the time. Consistently. You can’t ever fall down on the job of customer satisfaction, or you don’t get to “amazement.” Just be a little better, every single time. That’s what makes for amazing customer service.
“Think of the relationship before you start reciting the rule book.” -Shep Hyken
There’s a lot to learn from Shep, and he provides a number of quick-hit, practical tips in our short talk. But one that stuck with me was a pointer for hiring people who have a “customer amazement mindset.” When you interview someone, ask a question that gets to the heart of what they bring to the customer service equation. For example, a CEO of a hairstyle chain asks what kind of shears potential stylists have. You see, most professionals in that field own their own tools. And if they own a cheap set? That speaks to their customer focus. Or, rather, a lack thereof. What kinds of questions can you ask that reveal whether someone thinks of creating amazing customer service as a wonderful part of a fulfilling career… or as a chore? Figure that out before sitting down to conduct your next interview.
Leadership Tip: Hire people who have a customer amazement mindset. -Shep Hyken
Shep has a real passion for helping organizations create a culture of customer service. It’s something I always love to hear, and I think you’ll get a boost in your day from listening in.
“If you think you don’t need to hear constructive criticism, you’re the person who needs it the most.” -Shep Hyken
“Every time a customer shares feedback with you, consider it an opportunity to create a disruptive market advantage over your competition.” -Shep Hyken
“Friction kills the customer experience-and those who do the best job of reducing or removing it are most likely to win in the marketplace.” -Shep Hyken
“Training isn’t something you did, it’s something you do, and it’s ongoing.” – Shep Hyken
“The way to a customer’s heart is much more than a loyalty program. Making customer evangelists is about creating experiences worth talking about.” – Valeria Maltoni
“Make sure the voice of the customer is the loudest voice at the strategic table.” – Skip Prichard
For more information, see The Cult of the Customer.