Guest Article | Steve Marshall - General Manager – New Zealand, Feedback ASAP
Steve Marshall is not only "in-residence" in the RX offices (sharespace) but is an ex-client of ours (ex GM Retail 2Degrees Mobile).
We are delighted to learn more from within his role as GM NZ, Feedback ASAP around the challenged with existing CX programs and how retailers today can mobilise lasting behaviour change with their teams to elevate and enhance customer experiences across the entire path to purchase.
Economic headwinds and changing customer expectations post-pandemic have caused many retailers to scratch their heads about how to get maximum value from their ‘customer experience programs’ and achieve more with less. Utilisation of your CX program has never been as critical as it is today.
One of the biggest challenges with CX programs is how to go beyond tracking an NPS score and collecting data, to being able to take action and change behaviours that impact customer experiences. The reason we find is because it requires your teams to understand how their behaviours lead to the result and it requires them to care enough and be motivated to change.
In this article we want to share 6 ways we have found you can enable behavioural change and boost results. We will also ask you some questions to consider about your existing CX program-
1. Target the right opportunities – how do you use your CX program?
From our many years running programs we have found there are a number of key behavioural drivers that will make or break the customer experience. When we know what they are and do them consistently, we find there is a direct link back to NPS, sales results, and staff confidence and engagement. We often call this the ‘perfect experience’. Here’s an example – in retail it’s all things from the soft skills like greeting, engaging, understanding needs through to treating them as a valued client and farewell. The more challenging but key selling skills will be around close the sale, selling the full solution- add-ons. Perfect state is that from your program results, you can easily identify the most critical behaviours and then when one or more is missed you can identify what the number 1 priority for improvement is for each team member. You can work out is the reason they are missing this skill or will? By targeting the No.1 priority for improvement and linking to eLearning and other development resources, you will see the greatest change.
2. Coaching and Training – when is this happening within your business?
Regularly assess the patterns of behaviour for every person in your team based on CX results. What we have found is that managers are often too late to provide coaching and training. It is imperative to provide the coaching at the time it is happening – we call this ‘coaching in the moment’. One of the instrumental factors in achieving this is to ensure that your CX results are sent to managers in real time, enabling them to provide coaching straight away, then track progress on a weekly basis.
3. Understand the WHY – does your CX program allow you know and understand the true voice of your customer?
So far we’ve looked at CX data being able to identify our No.1 priority and the behaviour patterns to apply coaching. Now we need to understand the context.
Review customer sentiment and comments for every experience and understand why they felt the way they did. This for us, is understanding the ‘true voice of your customer and their story’ behind the results. With this, you will uncover where the successes or issues stem from in the customers sales experience, These could be ‘out of stocks’, product pricing or lack of staff on weekends vs. weekday as examples. Just tracking an NPS score will not tell you this – to drive change, you must get to the detail and understand the WHY.
4. Action Plans – are these being set by your managers for their teams?
We all know that ‘what gets measured, gets done’…..
Teams should be meeting to review their results and discussing how they can improve. Our suggestion is you need an action plan linked to results. Coach your team leaders how to set targets, commit to action-based plans, and ensure their Managers (Regional Managers or Sales Managers) review the plans, provide any feedback, and hold those accountable for the implementation of that plan and then measure the impact. We find the best results occur when you take the time to focus on ONE thing and commit to improving this over the coming quarter – keep it simple, but highly focussed.
5. Celebrate Success & Reinforce the right habits – have you made this a key focus area for your managers? Provide real time updates. As results improve have the triggers set in place to celebrate the team members who are improving and make a fuss over what has changed and the impact that behaviour has on customers. Then use real time alerts when any of the key behaviours are missed to build urgency around coaching. Remember- to get the greatest impact, coaching and alerts must be done in real time. It’s too late waiting until the end of the month to provide feedback – as close to the customer experience, as physically possible works best.
6. Proving the returns – can you show your team the return on effort?
History for us shows that in every case there is a direct link between the key behaviours and sales results and key measures like ‘returning customer’. Take the time to explain the impact of missing key behaviours to your frontline teams. As their skills improve and you achieve the ideal experience more frequently, you will see a direct link to results – by proving the return on effort and investment in people you will inspire them to care and take ownership.
So to wrap up, go beyond chasing NPS scores. Identify the behaviours that will have the most impact on results, provide coaching and planning and place the focus on driving the improvement rates for each team. Support and inspire your teams. As you help them become more successful they will love your customers and you will boost results ASAP.