Today's lead article in 1to1 Magazine is an interview with Deeanne King, vice president of customer care at Sprint. In it, she discusses how the company used a laser focus on customer experience to generate revenues, improve customer service, and grow its subscriber base. Customer experience has been noted as one of three goals for the entire company to work to improve (along with strengthening the brand and generating cash).
King's message emphasizes how important the customer experience is to the health of the overall business, across the entire organization. This sentiment was echoed by Jerry Adriano, Sprint's vice president of Customer Experience, who spoke at the recent Call Center Week conference. In addition to showing how far the company has come, he also laid out a roadmap of where the company is headed. And he used customer engagement and advocacy as tools to get there.From 2008 to 2010, the company was in crisis mode. It focused on customer satisfaction as the key to getting back on track. Adriano says the company dug in to stabilize the customer care organization by meeting expectations, addressing discrete pain points, improving first call resolution and satisfaction within channels, and encouraging employees to consider the importance of the customer experience.
The company wants to go even further for 2011-2013. "For us it's about a shift," Adriano told the audience. "It was about satisfaction and now we want to drive loyalty and advocacy. We want interactions to be one of the reasons you stay with us and recommend us. We want to exceed expectations."
To do that, Sprint plans to consistently meet and exceed key expectations, differentiate interactions with target segments, be consistent across channels, and create a culture where every employee feels personally responsible for the customer experience. How the company will actually achieve that will be the challenge. It will require multiple initiatives and commitment from all employees, but Adriano is confident the company will see improvement in its customers' engagement. The emotional and intangible parts of the customer relationship are the most difficult to understand, but also the most valuable to connect with.
"We want to maintain momentum," he said. "It's not just about being the most improved. We want to win."