The stress and negative impact of COVID-19 during 2020 will not quickly be forgotten. Closed businesses. Stay-at-home mandates. Masks. Not to mention, essential businesses and essential workers not only had to learn how to simply keep working but also provide an exceptional customer experience during a pandemic.
“How Can I Help?”
It all started with these four words: “How can I help?” I had entered a local essential business and asked to speak to the manager. I wanted to tell the manager about an exceptional job one of the employees had done while assisting me. As the manager approached, he made eye contact, introduced himself, and calmly asked, “How can I help?”
As far as the manager knew, he could have been walking into a hornet’s nest. I could be just another stressed-out customer wanting to complain that there was no toilet paper or fresh produce. I could tell by his eyes he was smiling behind his mask. I realized that he was genuine. At that very moment, I felt as if I was the only person who mattered and was confident that he was empowered to solve my problem. But wait! I wasn’t there to complain. I didn’t have a problem. I just wanted to compliment the outstanding work of one of his employees.
Being a Certified Customer Experience Professional Consultant, it was evident to me that this company had a strong grasp on the customer experience. Not only that, but the company had also empowered its employees to be an example of what customer experience is all about … providing a lasting positive experience that keeps the customer coming back.
The customer experience should …
- Prompt an emotional response – by showing empathy, validating feelings, and working together to bring about a resolution.
- Be easy – providing low effort for the customer. Make it easy for customers to make contact, seek help, and resolve any issues. Regardless of the channel they are using, customers want things to be convenient.
- Be efficient at solving problems – with easy experiences making it simple for customers to seek help, make contact, and resolve issues. They want things to be fast and convenient.
I have found that companies that deliver exceptional customer experiences have also implemented a strong employee experience strategy. It is so important to remember that your customer’s experience is as only as good as your employee’s experience.
Employees need …
- To feel productive – they need to be in an environment of productivity.
- To have a purpose – there is purpose in everything you do. Whether you work at a supermarket or in banking, we are meeting needs.
- To be empowered to do the right thing. It’s frustrating for an employee to know what’s right but feel powerless to do anything. Employees can make small decisions that end up increasing repeat business and developing loyal customers. This makes employees feel like a part of the business and enhances job satisfaction.
At Jack Henry, we hire individuals who mirror our core values and are encouraged to live out our company’s philosophy: "Do the right thing, do whatever it takes, and have fun.” This is important because at a company level, we try to do right by our employees and make sure they’re fulfilled and having fun. This, in turn, helps them serve our customers better.
From my encounter with the supermarket employee who happily assisted me (and did a superb job of it), I quickly realized that she was doing her job out of sheer fulfillment. In business, our goal is not to make the employee happy, but to help them feel fulfilled. Happiness is simply a byproduct. By keeping your employees fulfilled, you will, in turn, see that your customers are happy and feel taken care of.