Strategic Sense, in addition to providing Leadership Training, has made a commitment to highlight some of the remarkable authors, leadership professionals and business people we’ve had the great fortune of meeting and working with over the last 3 years. On Wednesdays you will see guest-posts from some of these folks. All are leaders in their field and have solutions to some of our biggest workplace issues. Such as Dr. Ellen Weber, Director at Mita International Brain Center who wrote about brain based approaches to innovation.
Today’s Guest Post is by Jeffrey Summers, the President and Founder of RestaurantWorx™ whose full-service, national and international, Hospitality Coaching and Consulting firm in Dallas, Texas guides clients to bring their customer experiences to new heights.
And now, here’s Jeffrey…
The customer experience is your product. It is the sum total of every interaction a customer has with your brand at every touchpoint. Equally critical is the employee experience. Both should be given equal validity, weight and attention when discussing, analyzing or creating the ultimate customer experience.
Most business owners/managers will tell you that most of this is out of their control or direct influence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 5 critical tools you can use to design and deliver a superior customer and employee experience.
As one writer summed up it up recently, “Culture trumps strategy, every time.” Culture is critical in understanding, defining and executing the desired actions and behaviors by employees in order to ensure a superior customer experience. Culture is what happens in the absence of direct supervision or company policy. It’s what an employee does when confronted with a customer situation that wasn’t covered in their training or ongoing coaching by their supervisor. It’s also a critical decision-point which can make or break the customer experience and ultimately determine the success or failure of the business.
Culture is also the area in which you must align all of your businesses goals, values and processes with those of your employees and customers in order to achieve the necessary level of customer-centrism, cooperation, trust and execution.
Buyer & Employee Persona’s
The ‘Buyer Persona’ is critical to knowing and understanding who your target market is and what issues and behaviors you need to influence in order to increase the desired purchase or loyalty behaviors you want to see from them. It answers the two critical questions about your customers, ‘How can we influence this person to buy from us’ and ‘What issues or attitudes prevent them from buying from us.’ Essentially it defines what is important to them and what is not.
Without knowing the answers to these and similar questions, all of your marketing efforts will be in vain at most or just shots in the dark at the least.
Likewise, it is equally important to understand and create a similar ‘Employee Persona’ that matches and aligns with the company’s goals, values and processes in order to successfully execute your customer experience.
Voice-of-the-Customer & Voice-of-the-Employee
Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) and Voice-of-the-Employee (VoE) programs are extremely important to your experience building success because it gives you the much needed measurement of your experience and ongoing experience building efforts. The value of gathering customer feedback, information analysis, the resulting process and experience changes and performance monitoring is immeasurable. This is where you can better understand and influence the loyalty drivers of your employees and customers by engaging them in the very process of experience design.
This is the overt process of mapping out your customer experience by analyzing each and every customer or employee touch-point. Then utilizing your VoC & VoE information to determine the what, where and how to add meaningfully differentiated value to each one in order to create the best experiences possible. This ongoing process of measuring, analyzing then refining not only applies to the customer experience, but the employee experience also as you cannot disconnect front-line employees from the process.
Coaching employees and staff is absolutely critical to ensuring that you have not only their input and buy-in into the customer experience building process but also their understanding and participation in the necessary culture and ongoing process refinement that ensures future success as well.
Let’s also not forget that the process of building the ultimate employee experience is similar and just as important and critical to your success as it is in building the ultimate customer experience. Employees are your ‘Brand Ambassadors’ and are directly responsible for executing all levels of the customer experience. Not embracing this part of the program will render the rest of it worthless.
Jeffrey Summers is a 29 year veteran of creating, operating, Coaching and consulting with successful food service & hospitality concepts that include national and international chains, franchises and independent operators. He is an award winning business Coach, consultant, speaker, writer and blogger.
Jeffrey is also the president and founder of RestaurantWorx™, a full-service, national and international, Hospitality Coaching and consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Besides helping clients achieve success by working with them one-on-one, he frequently speaks at and attend numerous industry events as well as at local, state and national small business groups in order to share his passion for the business of food and hospitality.
Patti Blackstaffe, President of Strategic Sense Inc, is a Speaker, Strategic Advisor and Trainer in Leadership, Customer Service and Cultural integration through Mergers and Acquisition.You can book her to speak at her personal page.
Need Strategic Sense for your business? – hire us for Leadership Development of individuals, teams, group training and company strategy. Read what folks have to say about her eBook Leadership XXL: 11 Practical Steps to Living Leadership Extra, Extra Large.
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