Evolving customer expectations present an enormous opportunity for organizations to differentiate service, but at what cost? Economic unpredictability and raising customer demands have put a strain on contact centers everywhere. But are you part of the problem? Are you raising customer expectations too high? Are you the cause for the bar being raised higher?
How are you raising customer expectations too high? Click to Tweet
This is exactly what author and keynote speaker Chip Bell made me think when I met up with him at the Contact Center Expo. It happened when he introduced me to the concept/practice of value-unique. Don’t look it up, Chip made it up. He’s good for inventing new words that cause you to pause.
Raising Customer Expectations – Again
Chip makes an excellent point about trying to differentiate your service by focusing on value-added. Value-added means taking what the customer expects and adding more. While it’s great to be generous, you’re continually raising customer expectations.
And as you continue to raise customer expectations, they continue to expect you to add more. So, what happens is that you run out of room…quickly.
As you continue to raise customer expectations, they expect more. Click to Tweet
The solution: innovative service (value-unique)!
When you create an experience that is surprising and unexpected, it gets people talking. What can you do that will trigger a story? How can you get customers to become advocates that tell people, “Guess what happened to me?”
Value-unique service engages people to become advocates for your business. Value-unique service comes from your core and it evokes an experience of genuineness, a sense that its source is deep, not superficial.
Value-unique service engages people to become advocates for your business. Click to Tweet
Make a deeper connection
Make an emotional connection. This is critical. Emotion is the most important thing in customer experience. There’s been a lot of research that has been around proving the importance of emotional connection in customer experience. It’s a vital step on your success path.
Value-unique is about more than service put together with over-the-top imagination; it’s about creating the kind of experience that profoundly touches the emotions of customers, leaving them forever changed by the encounter.
Why organizations lose
When you review organizations that don’t make an emotional connection with customers they tend to stop growing. They lose market share. They become commoditized and are measured merely by price.
Companies will lose money that try to compete on value-add. Emotional connection is an absolutely critical part for you to gain value.
Companies will lose money that try to compete on value-add. Click to Tweet
Gain Emotional Awareness
For organizations to best create a value-unique service, they first need to gain awareness about emotion. They need to improve their emotional intelligence. Many contact centers talk about raising the level of empathy towards customers, but there’s more to it.
Learning about the competencies of emotional intelligence (54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List) is a vital learning step in becoming a better leader in customer experience and designing an experience that results in financial gains. An experience that is value-unique.
Stop raising customer expectation
To continue to raise customer expectations is a negative sum game. It’s a lose-lose for the entire contact center industry. Stop focusing on adding value and instead create value! The kind that’s unique.
Stop focusing on adding value and instead create value! Click to Tweet
Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles
Value-unique and ideas about what is needed to bring innovative service to life is in Chips’ latest book, Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles which is the third book in a series on innovative service. The first is The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and second is Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service.
Get access to more of Chip’s wisdom at: http://www.chipbell.com/blog/
Join me on the Fast Leader Show Podcast
Listen to Chip’s absolutely remarkable story about escaping certain death during the Vietnam War on the Fast Leader Show now. The Fast Leader Show is an energizing docuedutainment (don’t look it up I made it up) podcast released each Wednesday and hosted by Jim Rembach. Each week, Jim introduces you to real folks (from the call center industry and beyond) with real stories of how they were able to get over the hump and lead themselves or others better…faster. You’ll learn how to become a better leader (faster) through their stories by improving your employee and customer engagement through the power of improving your emotional intelligence. Get more human-centric and move onward and upward…faster.
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.