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22 / Feb / 16
By Damian Miller
Author

When is variety not the ‘spice of life’?

What’s worse, trying for something and failing to reach it or not trying at all? Okay so most people will probably say “trying but failing”, but how does that translate wen you think about the customer experience world? If I try to offer the best in class service and I fail I will probably get criticised for it, followed by a series of bad reviews. What about in the employee engagement arena? engagement spice of life

If I strive to be the best company to work for and I fail I probably won’t get much kudos  trying. We know that in both these worlds variance and inconsistency of experience can kill brands.

Expectations are a constant challenge for businesses, one that will probably only increase in difficulty over time. We are all now in the expectations game, setting them, managing them and meeting or bettering them. Customers now realize their power in he market and they are continuing to raise their own expectations rather than waiting for organisations to catch up.

engagement expectations

Employees now go to work with far more expectations of what a great company looks and feels like and just offering a pay check is no longer enough of a draw. Similarly, employers are expecting higher performance standards each year, constantly raising the bar.

Consistently inconsistent

So how do you navigate this minefield if you want to improve what you do but not alienate your workforce or customers whilst you do it? Consistency: sounds simple doesn’t it. But if it is so simple why are there so many examples of where it is going wrong? Raising the bar is good, in fact it can be crucial to business and personal growth, but it should be married with consistency. Failing to offer a consistent service, product or experience can be a real problem for brands. If people don’t know what to expect from one experience to the next then it is always going to be hard to gain their trust, their loyalty and ultimately their advocacy.

Scaling the mountain

employee engagement mountainTrying to reach the top of the employee engagement or customer experience ladder is a lot like scaling a mountain. From the bottom it can look a very long way to the top and if you try to achieve it all in one go then you are likely to fail, spectacularly. The roadmap to success is through manageable and sustainable steps, each time raising the bar to a level that stretches and improves your business but is sustainable, leading to a new level of operating. Planning out a series of milestones including ‘acclimatization’ periods can help to manage expectations, demonstrate momentum and most importantly allow time for everyone to ‘normalize’ their approach and achieve consistency.

Off the production line

Of course when we are talking about experience and engagement we are talking about people and behaviours, which adds complexity to achieving consistency. It isn’t an experience factory, there is no production line that can guarantee each model off the line is perfect. So how do you ensure that consistency lives at the heart of what you want your teams to deliver? You can set the tone from the top with a clear vision and sustained communication of what is needed and expected. reaching for ideal engagementBy creating a culture of engagement and values that are clearly embedded in your teams and through them experienced by your customers you will have created the foundation for your journey to success. Careful planning and execution of how you will get there to ensure continuous improvement toward your goal is essential to bringing everybody on that journey with you.

At Survey Solutions we help our clients to listen to and to understand their employees and customers. We help diagnose challenges and celebrate success. We have the tools to help businesses take action from the insights we deliver and we help leaders execute their engagement vision. Click here to contact us

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