Take a moment to envision your company as a moving vehicle; a car traveling rapidly down a dark and unfamiliar road. How difficult would it be to make even a short journey without relying on your headlights? They provide illumination right where you need it, revealing the dangers of the world around you. Now imagine making this trip with nothing except your interior dome light. You wouldn’t be able to see anything past your own dashboard! It’s alarming to think how many of us try to guide our business with nothing but the dome light.
What should serve as the headlights for your organization? The voice of the customer. It is our customers that give us the intelligence to move forward. We must be actively engaging our customer base, not just soliciting information, but acting on the trends that surface and demonstrating a partnership. When we retreat into our office buildings and make assumptions, poor decisions are likely to follow.
As a support leader, there are several ways to turn on the high beams for your organization:
Stand in the void – have the courage to become the voice of the customer. Don’t just pass along user feedback…make it compelling and actionable. You can expect limited results from simply throwing feedback over the fence. You have to be the hero for your customer and have the tough conversations. If you do not fight for them, no one will. Do not let your business take the road of convenience and mediocrity.
Place a premium on metrics that paint a picture of customer success and engagement, vs. control over agent behavior. Let your dashboards tell the rest of the organization how you are helping the customer to win – not just who took the most calls or came back late from their lunch break.
Know thy customer – A support interaction is like a marriage ceremony. In order to create a blissful union, the analyst must be an expert in two areas. 1) The products of services you offer 2) The needs of the customer, both expressed and implied. Most of us work tirelessly to train analysts on internal offerings, and never once help them think like a customer! This makes a meaningful exchange of information difficult. Insist on “customer centric” training not just for the support team, but for anyone involved in the strategic design of products and services.
These actions will help you navigate the precarious roads ahead with full visibility. How refreshing it will be for your customers to work with people who care about them and consistently demonstrate how valuable they are! Talk about a win-win situation… you get the knowledge you need to drive your business, and earn steadfast customer loyalty in the process. First things first – turn off that dome light and look into the eyes of your customers!