How does a company turn the bright ideas and business decisions at the top of the chain of commands into a functionally effective experience for customers? That is the question that many businesses today are asking. Too many leaders out there are beginning to realize that their mission to service customers has diverged from the reality of everyday frontline work. Fortunately, with the right kind of guidance, getting back on the path to a top-notch customer experience is possible. Let us introduce the 5 I’s of Customer Experience.
Every leader in the world of business—and particularly those in customer service oriented industries—need to ask themselves is the following: who do we plan to be? Likewise: what kind of workplace culture do we intend to create.
Without a strong eye on intention, as well as the willingness to act upon and follow through with that intention, workplaces are straying out of the realm of maximum productivity from the get-go. Once you start to think about it, this fact is intuitive. Unless everything in the workplace is being done with intention and purpose, inevitably some resources are being wasted focusing on projects that don’t further the final goals of the organization. Which brings us to our next I…
One of the most universal facts of life is scarcity. There will always be a limited amount of resources—time, money energy—to put into any given activity or solution. Nowhere is this more true than in the dog-eat-dog world of business. Every business strives for efficiency, but it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what efficiency means for your business.
In industries such as customer service, it isn’t as if there are physical inputs and outputs to quantify productivity. Because call center agents and other customer service industry agents deal with people, it is important to keep in mind that quality is just as important—if not more—than quantity. For example, a long but thoughtful encounter with a customer can potentially spawn a lifelong customer, while a short, careless encounter could drive potential customers away forever.
Ultimately, this means that decisions about investment are especially complex for leaders in the contact center industry. Careful investment can make all the difference.
In a rapidly changing and evolving world, many of the companies that do the best do it through acquisition. The companies that we know as dynamic forces in the world of business are those that are constantly reinventing themselves, building new paths and redefining what it means to be a leader in their industry (or industries).
This is why the best leaders know that yesterday’s common sense should always be balanced by a healthy dose of daring innovation. In fact, because the paradigms of business are changing so rapidly, many would say that no company will survive for long without understanding the value of innovation and implementing policies and technologies that encourage innovation at every level.
This point is one of the hardest for most people to fully internalize. It is because it goes against what many of us were taught about success in the business world. Inspection is, first and foremost, all about taking a good hard look at yourself. If you are able to analyze yourself and your decisions objectively. This offers you a path towards recalibrating each and every time you make a decision that is successful or unsuccessful.
One of the more critical parts of Inspection is the about the metrics and goals we set. In review of intention, investment and invention. Often times what we inspect does not align. In the contact center, one of the common errors in this is having an agent metric on speed while your intention states the most important intent is to deliver the best customer experience.Things like this happen all the time. So part of the internal reflection is about asking yourself, If you had a handle time metrics on my scorecard, how much would you really be focused on delivering the best customer experience
When talking about iteration, what we really mean is the ability to adapt or pivot. As already mentioned, when times are tough, the ability to find a new iteration of an old idea can be the difference between life and death for a struggling company. In good times, it is what sets the wheat apart from the chaff. As we learn from evolutionary science, for example, survival isn’t about strength, speed, or even smarts—it is about adaptability.
Survival is about having a knack for becoming whatever you need to be in whatever environment you find yourself in. This is the final I for a good reason. It connects back to all of the other points we have made, particularly invention and inspection. Iteration is all about taking stock of what is working and what’s not, and paring down inefficiencies in order to let the core of your business’s customer service strategy flourish.
- What are the 5 I’s of Customer Experience? -Click to Tweet.
- How do the 5 I’s impact the customer experience? -Click to Tweet.
- Methods to follow which improve the customer experience. -Click to Tweet.
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.