Human Behaviour & the Customer Experience
Achieving consistency in human behaviour is no mean feat. Cut away all the complexity and what one finds is that customer service is very much a reflection of the state in which the person attending to the customer is in at any given moment. A negative state from the staff results in the customer receiving the bare minimum if they are lucky. A positive state creates a very different perspective where the possibilities to exceed customer expectation become endless.
If we do not have mechanisms in place to manage the states of our employees, inconsistency becomes the only certainty. The mistake that many organisations make is to tackle this challenge in a reactionary manner. In other words, if a staff member exhibits untoward behaviour during a customer interaction, they attempt to solve the issue after the fact. There is no harm in learning from previous experiences but this cannot be the only approach to eventually getting to a behaviour-set consistent with the values of the organisation.
One of our fundamental needs as human beings is the need for certainty. When fulfilled, we feel a sense of security and confidence in the knowledge of what is to come or what is expected of us. As a result of the fast-paced nature of business today, managers seem to have less and less time to clearly define their expectations to staff and consequently, achieve the degree of certainty before the fact that instils the sense of security and confidence associated with the fulfilment of this fundamental need. The bi-product of forgoing this step, in the managerial process, is a collection of customer-facing representatives that do what they think to be the right thing without actually knowing what is expected of them.
The leaders within the customer experience space are constantly working to cultivate an organisational culture which creates a clear and upfront expectation of the behaviours they wish their customers to experience from any individual representing the company. These organisations have learnt that it all begins with certainty of what the behaviours are at a fundamental level but also within the context of the respective job roles which their staff are required to fulfil. The basis for accountability also becomes a lot clearer with a clear set of expectations established before the fact.
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