In today’s marketplace, the customer has gained control of the customer experience. Consumers collect online data to learn about an organization’s services, products, and pricing. They interact with a business wherever and whenever they want. They give out their information and their money on their terms.
Successful businesses have adjusted to this reality. They have established an online presence that meets customers where they are while continuing to develop comprehensive customer experience training programs for their employees. Before we go over why it’s crucial to include customer experience training for your teams, let’s define ‘customer experience.’
What is Customer Experience?
One of our favorite definitions of customer experience is from Harvard Business Review:
Customer experience encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering—the quality of customer care, of course, but also advertising, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, and reliability.
HubSpot also offers a great definition:
Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom line, including revenue.
As shared in a previous blog, the customer experience refers to the entire customer journey, from discovering a business to purchasing a product or service. Any customer interaction is known as a “touchpoint.” Not every buyer’s journey will look the same, but all will involve multiple touchpoints. To quote Peter Schwartz, Salesforce Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning:
“Customer experience and service have converged. It’s more than call centers and successful responses to problems; it is service opportunities in sales, support, and marketing. Delivering great customer experiences now means providing amazing, almost magical service at every opportunity.”
Why You Need Customer Experience Training for Your Teams
Now that we have a clear definition of customer experience let’s go over why customer experience training needs to be a vital part of the onboarding and training of all employees. In the past, this type of training was typically only offered to customer-facing employees. Now many companies offer it to all new hires – regardless of their role or department. This is due to the fact that the internal customer experience – i.e., how employees treat and serve each other – affects the overall customer experience. Not only that, a business can only provide a consistent experience if all employees embrace its core customer service philosophy. Here are just a few reasons why customer experience training is essential:
- Emphasis on the Customer Journey and Perspective – Understanding the customer journey across all touchpoints is an important component of any customer experience training program. It gives employees a more holistic understanding as well as insight into the role they play in the customer experience. In addition, customer-focused companies prepare their employees for any product or service challenges or questions that may arise so they can provide the highest level of support.
- Customer-focused Culture – As iterated earlier, a consistently positive customer experience is the responsibility of each employee. Providing customer experience training to all makes the entire business customer-centric. Since customers interact with employees in different departments of the company, from marketing to sales to finance to product support, this training will ensure that each employee has the same approach, voice, and tone.
- Multi-Channel Communication – Whether by phone, text, email, chat, or social media, a company should consistently and promptly respond to customers on their preferred channels. Therefore it is vital to train employees on communication protocols for all of these channels so they can provide the best service and product support possible.
- Conflict and Crisis Management – Conflict in business is sometimes inevitable. But if a customer complaint is mismanaged or ignored in its early stage, it could do a lot of harm to the reputation of the company. Customer experience strategy training provides employees with both guidance and autonomy when it comes to how to tackle a problem and prevent it from escalating.
- Focus on Customer Loyalty – An exceptional customer experience leads to customer loyalty and retention. A company’s positive reputation is fueled by customer advocacy and customer marketing campaigns – all of which have a loyalty-driven revenue potential!
- Enhanced Employee Morale – Customer experience training helps teams understand the direct correlation between customer experience and revenue. Employees enjoy receiving recognition for their contributions to company profitability. Not only does this sense of collective success boost employee morale, but it also increases productivity in the workplace.
In summary, a positive customer experience requires the combined efforts of all departments and teams. Providing customer experience training across all departments ensures an exceptional customer journey, creates customer delight, and enhances customer loyalty – all of which contribute to a level of profitability that makes it possible for a business to say, “We’re here to stay.”