2 Things Every Employee Should Know View Report Campaign Preview HTML Source Plain-Text Email Details

Customer experience” is a term we use when we’re trying to capture each individual customer’s perspective on what it’s like to deal with a business. When we say “customer experience” the implication is that we’re looking at the business from an outside-in point of view, because this is how the customer experiences the business. But the company’s own point of view is inside-out, it often crosses different, departments, products, and personalities within the company.

At many companies it’s easy to point fingers at the service people, or the sales people, or the account handlers. Customer experience is their job, it’s not my job. But I think delivering a better customer experience should be considered everyone’s job, and everyone needs to know something about what that means.
A colleague of mine used to do consulting work for restaurant chains. He said in evaluating any sit-down restaurant he visited, there were two things he absolutely insisted that every single employee should know, from maitre d’ to the kitchen clean-up crew:

  1. What was on the menu,
  2. How to seat a guest.
This is a great analogy for the way most businesses should train their people. Everyone, no matter what their function – HR, accounting, sales, service, engineering – everyone should know what the business offers customers, and how to serve these customers, as well.

The thing is, customers don’t know who does what at a company they deal with, and for the most part they don’t really care. If a customer happens to be talking with an accountant at the company they’re buying from, they’re not really interested in that person’s department or job function. They’re focused on the problem they have. But if the accountant – or the administrative assistant, or the product engineer – doesn’t know anything about how the firm wants to serve customers, then it’s likely to generate a bad experience. And the customer won’t ascribe this bad experience to having dealt with the wrong person at the company, either. They’ll ascribe it to having dealt with the wrong company.
A significant side benefit of this whole idea is that when everyone at a company knows not just what’s on offer but also the right way to treat customers, the culture at the firm will cohere around building the business. Workers who are united by a common vision of what the company’s mission is are more likely to make the right decision in difficult or problematic circumstances. And they’re more likely to enjoy working for you, as well.
So ask yourself whether everyone at your business knows what’s on your company’s menu, and how to seat a guest.

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