To Create A Great Customer Experience, Sweat The Small Stuff

There’s a famous book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff that teaches people how focusing on the little things in life is a recipe for unhappiness. But for companies seeking to create the best customer experiences in their industry, sweating the small stuff and focusing on details can help them create a better customer experience.

I recently spoke with Jason Bradshaw, director of customer experience for Volkswagen Group Australia, who was hired to improve the automotive giant’s customer experience. Volkswagen Group Australia had been underperforming by its own rigorous standards, and Bradshaw has made significant improvements during his brief tenure.

Did Bradshaw implement some massive restructuring of the customer service department? Did he roll out an elaborate new training and development program? Did he fire everyone responsible for the existing customer experience and start over from scratch? Nope. Bradshaw didn’t focus on the big, structural issues that some executives might see as the source of their customer service woes. Instead, to give customers more “Wow” moments, he started small. “‘Wow’ is not about champagne, caviar and fireworks,” Bradshaw explained. “‘Wow’ is about connecting with your customer and delivering a little bit above their expectation, and doing it all the time.” It’s a modest proposal, but one that many companies overlook in favor of flashy promotions and loyalty card gimmicks that sound great in theory. However, in practice, these big-picture approaches aren’t what keep customers coming back time and time again. Bradshaw advocates thinking small. There are big differences in the details. And, small really is small – just 1%. Make the experience just 1 percent better than average – 1% better than expected. Look for that 1% in all of your customer interactions and processes, and you may be on your way to greatness. All customers want and expect from you is a reliable, predictable experience that’s just slightly better than the competition – even just 1% better. Because, if you think about it, the best companies in the world aren’t always “over-the-top” and twice as good as their competition. No, most of the time they’re just a little bit better – but they are consistently better. That’s it. Of course, just because it sounds like a rather modest goal doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. The larger your company, the more you must depend on your mission and vision to permeate every aspect of your company, and that means everyemployee, from the janitor to the CEO. And although you can certainly learn a thing or two by observing the best practices of companies with great reputations for stellar customer service, taking a page from their playbook won’t necessarily lead to success. “It’s not a world where copycatting will get you long-term success,” Bradshaw explains. “You have to find what your customers need and want.” To learn what your customers need and want, you have to take notice of everything. “If you don’t pay laser-focus attention to the smallest detail, then everything unravels,” he warns. Bradshaw doesn’t preach perfection, but humanity. When you make a mistake, if you own up to it and fix it, then your customers are most likely to forgive you. Trust builds trust, Bradshaw explains. If the tone from the top emphasizes trust, your employees will reward you with their trust. They will trust you with their time, their energy, their enthusiasm and their commitment to your values. Ultimately, your customers will take notice, and if they like what they see, they will trust you with their business for the small stuff … and the big things. View original article on Forbes.com https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2019/07/31/a-new-mindset-viewing-cyber-as-an-enabler-of-business-growth-and-innovation-driver/#103d740770a3
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