Often one of the biggest struggles for organizations is how to convert passive clients (or worse, completely disengaged clients) into raving fans. I think fondly of an organization I’ve worked with that wrestled with the idea of converting customers into advocates.
Despite their decades of experience, they had never formally asked customers, “How are we doing? Would you recommend us?” Naturally, they teamed up with ath Power to start asking questions and getting answers. While the company has a stunning reputation, we found our fair share of detractors. The President of the company knew in his gut that things weren’t “perfect” but had been unable to put his finger on why.
Thanks to the power of survey work, we were able to discover troubles with their billing system (that thankfully was already in the process of being replaced) as well as one issue no one saw coming. While people loved working with this company, they didn’t find it was always easy to work with them. Orders had to be processed multiple times occasionally, deliveries were sometimes incomplete, or extra time had to be taken because delivery instructions weren’t clear. These inefficiencies resulted in lost time, productivity, and profits, and not only for our client but for their customers as well!
After some root-cause analysis, the problem was clear. They had never trained their front-line employees on Customer Experience. With most Customers ordering by phone, they never considered the employees at their branches as being more like a “Call Center.” Empathy, open-ended questions, genuine thanks…it was generally missing, especially with customers who were less familiar to the employee. Without diving deeper into customer needs, orders were incomplete, important delivery questions weren’t asked, and customer needs ran the risk of being unmet. Their employees were good, but they weren’t great. They excelled at Problem Resolution but struggled with Problem Prevention.
That is now their secret sauce: Great Employees who know how to look ahead, predict issues, and work to prevent them before they even happen! A classic story of Assess, Align, Achieve! We couldn’t be prouder!