Would you call your customer an a**hole to their face?
We have all had to deal with difficult customers. And, at some point in our lives, most of us have been tempted to let them know just how big of an a**hole we think they are. But few of us actually do it.
It tends to be bad for business.
Would you put it in writing? This company did.
The UK paper The Daily Mail (admittedly, reading it is a guilty pleasure) recently ran a story that shows where one lucky customer learned that his dry cleaner did in fact view him as an a**hole.
The customer, Alex, didn’t notice at first, but when he later read over his receipt, he saw that the clerk had kindly assigned him the last name of “a**hole”.
Now I must ask one of my favorite questions:
“At what point did this become a good idea”?
You *hope* your technology will deliver a great customer experience
This example illustrates a critical point that most organizations overlook – and they do so at their own peril. That is, your technology can work perfectly, but your CRM program can still be an epic failure.
In this case, the system processed the transaction exactly as designed. The weak link was the employee who used the system.
In *reality*, how your employees use your system determines the customer experience
Many organizations spend piles of money designing and building a system that will “deliver a great customer experience” only to have it all fall apart at the most critical point – employee delivery. If your employees don’t deliver on the vision – or in this case, actively go against it – then having the best technology is completely worthless. And all the time, money and effort you invested in your CRM system is money down the drain.
You need an ongoing effort to influence desired user behavior
Let’s be honest, there will always be a**holes in this world. They will be your customers. And some of them will be your employees. Since you can’t get rid of all the a**holes in this world, you need to develop a plan to deal with them in the best way possible. And you need to make sure everyone in your organization follows it.
The world keeps moving, and so does your business. And so must your efforts to make sure employees use your CRM system appropriately and in a way that delivers the desired customer experience.
Create an environment that delivers the results you want
We have found that most organizations that encounter failed CRM initiatives fell into the common trap of delivering “go-live centered change management”, when what they needed was an ongoing user adoption program. You need to take a holistic view of what drives employee use of a system and then take action to address all of the factors that affect employee performance. You need to make sure that all employees – new hires and existing staff – are all clear on what is expected. And then you need to hold them accountable for doing so.
In our “social” world, you can’t afford mistakes!
This business learned the hard way that in our “social” world, isolated incidents (well, let’s hope it was an isolated incident) can have a huge impact on your business. The fact that one bad customer experience - from a local dry cleaner - has received multiple headlines and thousands of people reading about it, demonstrates just how much influence each customer experience has on your business reputation. Let me ask you:
• What would be the impact to your business if people across the globe learned how your company mistreated its customers?
• How much time and money would it cost you to try to do “damage control” if all the bad headlines were about your company?
• What would it cost you in terms of lost sales, reduced market share, or customer churn if your customers didn’t want to be associated with your company?
It is by far cheaper, easier, and more effective to proactively drive desired user behaviors then it is to try to correct problems that occur when you skip this critical step.
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