A signature service experience is an incredible way to build strong emotional connections with customers and increase the value and recognition of a brand. The success of that experience, however, goes far beyond the service model itself and really comes to life when the entire organization can align behind the experience in every facet of the business.
A successful service model should extend beyond the obvious customer-business interaction. That’s the “easy” part. You define the ideal customer experience and craft a service model that can deliver the experience. Then you train it throughout the organization to every employee who interacts with customers. The bigger undertaking and opportunity lies not only in keeping the experience alive for the long haul but in structuring your entire organization to enable that experience to happen.
Eliminate Distractions that Don’t Support the Experience
Every process and procedure in the organization should ultimately contribute to or align with the customer experience. If it doesn’t, it should be reconsidered, evaluated, and redefined so that it will support the experience. Anything that distracts from the customer experience becomes background noise that can undermine delivery and impact results. By focusing the entire business on the service model, over time it will become infused in your culture and become the framework for everything you do.
What areas of the business need to align with the service model? The answer is simple: every area and every function. Here are some examples that represent common functions in many service oriented businesses and some questions that can be asked to determine if the signature experience is being supported by that function.
Marketing: Are you talking to customers in a way that reflects the experience? Are there any potential disconnects between the promise being offered through your brand and the experience a customer has when doing business with you? If your marketing messages contradict the service a customer receives as part of your signature experience, you have a disconnect.
Human Resources: Do your employment brand and employee value proposition align with the experience? Are you hiring the right people who can fulfill the experience? Does the culture of your organization support the experience?
Sales: Are you measuring sales results through the lens of the experience so you know if it’s working and can identify opportunities for improvement?
Operations: Is the company structured and operating in a way that supports successful delivery? Are there processes or procedures that can be revised or eliminated to remove distractions from the experience?
Communications: Does communication to employees contain context that continually underscores and aligns with the experience? Are you working to reduce the clutter of too many messages and focus on the important ones that contribute to the success of the signature experience?
Leadership: Does the organization’s leadership team focus the short-term initiatives and long-term strategy of the business in a way that supports a successful customer experience?
Aligning the entire business to support a service model takes dedication and a commitment to long term results in the face of short-term challenges. Our team has worked with numerous global brands to develop and train customer experience models and then to infuse them into the core of the business. If you need direction and support with your service model, contact us. We’d love to help.
How has your business successfully infused a service model into the entire organization? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
For other thoughts on creating a service model or customer experience, you might enjoy our position paper: