Getting Past the “Buzz” of Customer Experience Buzzwords
The term “buzzword” tends to have a negative connotation because these terms are often overused and lose their original impact as a result. However, certain customer experience buzzwords maintain their integrity and continue to provide an important function for many businesses. By recognizing the value of customer experience terms from their own unique perspective, some companies have based entire customer engagement programs on customer service buzzwords that would otherwise be meaningless.
Customer Contact Week (CCW) recently interviewed its advisory board members (representing a diversity of industries) and asked them to each select three commonly used customer experience buzzwords and how their businesses effectively apply each one. While there were a variety of answers, there were a few words that kept coming up. Here’s a list of those words, and how they can truly impact the customer experience, and the success of the company:
Every business needs to have a clear understanding of its culture in order to take who they are as a company and apply it to customer interactions. As the Player Experience Operations at Electronic Arts put it, “Investing in tech, employee development and the work environment are all areas that enable a strong and happy workforce. In turn, the workforce enjoys where they work and with whom, enabling high quality interactions/experiences with our players. Once employees have a clear understanding of their business’s culture, they are better able to reflect those values in their dealings with customers.”
While employee satisfaction is imperative to maintaining a positive culture, employee engagement is the glue that keeps the workforce together. Without positive, personal interactions among employees, companies risk losing talented employees and raising attrition costs. But strong engagement programs in the workplace can help employees feel valued and part of a team effort to achieve company goals.
When agents feel empowered and confident, customers pick up on this. Therefore a company’s employee engagement efforts directly impact the quality of customer service they provide. In a word, satisfied employees result in satisfied customers.
Voice of the Customer
It should go without saying that keeping customers happy is another key factor in the success of a company. And the best way to achieve this goal is by truly listening to the Voice of the Customer (VoC). Customers have a lot to say about what they expect from a business, and it’s important for businesses to truly hear it. However, most businesses fail to meaningfully use VoC, opting instead to simply tell customers what they want. But when a company truly listens to their customers’ voices – both the loud and the quiet ones – it can consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Once a business begins making and implementing the above changes, it needs to be sure those changes are producing the desired effects. Establishing well-defined metrics and knowing how to evaluate and measure them can provide businesses with clear results of their efforts. Businesses that have a strong system in place to gauge metrics are able to better see what is working and what isn’t, and make the necessary adjustments. For example, using a speech analytics system can give businesses the metrics and tools they need to ensure customer satisfaction.
All of these terms can contribute to a better customer experience when applied in a ways that are unique to the companies applying them. It’s time for companies to take the “buzz” out of customer experience buzzwords, and start using them in ways that add value to their employees and their customers.