"I believe that if you do what's right, then things like customer service and marketing and sales have a way of looking after themselves. If you don't, they become very difficult," writes Shep Hyken in The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience. "The Amazement Revolution is all about doing what's right by the important people in your life. I think we all know what doing the right thing for customers feels like when we experience it in our own lives as customers."
In The Amazement Revolution, Hyken offers seven strategies for delivering an amazing customer experience:
1. Provide membership
"Shift your mind-set to treat the people you service more like members rather than customers. What would you do differently?" Hyken asks.
- Think of customers as "insiders" or members of an exclusive group
- Provide unique amenities that take the customer experience up a level
- Invest in creating a membership-like experience
2. Have serious FUN
Fun is at work is determined by "the level of fulfillment in generates, the uniqueness it respects in each employee, and the sense of anticipation it creates for the next challenge," Hyken writes.
- Provide the training and autonomy employees need to solve customer problems
- Accept and nurture the unique skills and attributes of each employee
- Ask and act on employees' opinion
- Inspire team members in ways that encourage them to look forward to the next challenge
3. Cultivate partnership
Deliver a service experience that is not only proactive, but is so superior to the competition that it builds trust and increases retention.
- Solve current problems quickly and empathetically; proactively resolve potential issues
- Turn crises into opportunities to strengthen relationships
- Identify and communicate shared core values
4. Hire right
Hire and retain employees who mesh well with your corporate vision.
- Don't get tunnel vision; expand your search for the right staff outside your industry
- Ensure that customer-facing employees have the interpersonal skills required to excel in that role
- Tie compensation to customer experience, customer satisfaction, and the like
5. Create a memorable after-experience
Delivering an amazing customer experience the first time is just the start. Empower your staff to deliver ongoing experiences that continue to wow customers.
- Turn transactions into what Hyken calls Moments of Magic
- Focus on building relationships and sales will follow
- Encourage and reward employees for superior follow up and follow through
6. Build community
"Support and inspire both the internal and external community of evangelists," Hyken writes.
- Give employees objectives that will inspire and engage them
- Offer members of your customer community special rewards, value-added services, or other amenities.
7. Walk the walk
Don't talk about customer-focused values, take action on an ongoing basis.
- Communication your customer-centric values throughout the organization
- Have management act as role models
- Reward customer centricity at every level
- Use customer feedback, including such measures as likelihood to repurchase or recommend, as a benchmark