“First, do the customer no harm.”
The Hero-ClassTM Oath
One of the interesting things about writing a book are the things you leave out. I am wrapping up the final edits on my upcoming customer service book with the publisher this week, and one of the few areas I made last minute changes to were on the topic of delight, amazement, and Hero-ClassTM customer service.
It will be of no shock to readers of the Customers That Stick blogTM and The Customer Conversation that my approach to delight and amazement is steeped in a focus on service basics, with an emphasis on reducing hassle and executing consistently. WOW moments are great, but they should be layered on a solid base of meeting or exceeding expectations consistently.
I wanted to include the checklist below in the book; however, the book is focused on frontline customer service and this checklist is truly designed for organizational leaders who have the ability to influence process and systems decisions.
The 3-point checklist below will help customer experience leaders analyze the hassle factor their customers are experiencing:
- Does the process require more effort or steps than it should? The shortest distance between two touch points is often a straight line. Is it really necessary to send the customer to a different department just to do X? Can that step be eliminated or, at least, mitigated?
- Does a specific portion of the process often create frustration for customers? Even if the number of steps is sound, the burden of an individual touch point can be a huge source of frustration. For instance, perhaps your customer only has to fill out a form once to be done with the process. The challenge: it’s a 20 page form.
- Do the people delivering the experience add hassle even when the process does not? You can have the best systems and processes in the world, if they are executed by untrained, uncaring, or unconscious team members, you will often find the customer experiencing road blocks and headaches that could have been avoided.
When working through the checklist above, remember that we often view the hassle factor differently than our customers. Make sure most customers would agree with your assessment of what is a hassle and what is not.
Finding ways to reduce customer effort and minimize the hassle-factor for customers comes from focusing on processes and people. Refine you processes as far as you can, then make sure your team understands how to help customers have the easiest and most pleasant journey possible.
When it comes to customer experience, first, do the customer no harm. Add no frustration and create no hassles. It won’t always be possible, but it is an excellent place to start when creating any customer journey.