Customer experience is more than just service.
Stephen Covey, best-selling author, teacher, and mentor, was a master of customer experience. With Covey’s passing, I dedicate this post to Covey, a master of experience who taught us to think abundantly and be willing to share and help those who ask for assistance.
Exceptional experiences are about the principles and best practices that have the greatest impact for the customer. Covey’s teachings inspired us all to thing outside of ourselves, and deliver a world-class customer experience in our specific line of work.
Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Customer Experience
1. Customer Experience is Proactive
Customer experience, true customer service requires action. Service requires initiative. It requires taking responsibility for your actions. Proactive customer experience is service based on principles.
The highly effective customer experience is proactive. Proactive customer experience is driven by creating customer value and is independent of the weather or how people treat customer experience professionals.
-Flavio Martins, serviceio.com
2. Customer Experience Has the End in Mind
Plan, plan, plan. How can you reach the end of your journey, arrive at your destination without first knowing where to go? Customer experience requires planning, it requires direction, it requires a goal.
Great customer service happens when we have a goal in mind and a plan for how to make it happen. Exceptional customer experiences aren’t spontaneous, they’re planned, deliberate, and intended.
3. Customer Experience Puts First Things First
If you had to pick just one customer service activity you could perform, each and every time you interacted with a customer..just one. Which action would it be? What would you choose? Which action has the most positive effect on the customer relationship?
A fantastic customer experience focused on putting those actions that mean the most, first. It takes knowing when to say yes, and when to say no. It takes organization, determination, and delegation between customer service team members.
4. Customer Experience is Win-Win
Win-Win is a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. What better definition of customer service and true customer experience can you have?
Customer service professionals have their goals they want to achieve. Included in the overall goal is being able to completely fulfill the needs of the customer. Customer experience does not exist where the needs of the customers goes unfulfilled.
5. Customer Experience is About Understanding
One of the great maxims of the modern age. Customer experience is understanding customers. It requires understanding the needs of customers. It requires understanding the wants of customers. It requires understanding the problems of customers.
Before we can bring others to knowledge, to fulfillment of an experience, we need to understand the requirements that the customer experience will fulfill.
Adam Toporek at Customers That Stick puts it best: “Want to understand customers? Just shut up.” Listen to your customers, you’d be surprised what you learn about what they really want.
6. Customer Experience Needs Synergy
True exceptional customer experience means clarity of purpose, shared goals, and customer-oriented metrics. Innovative service models, service delivery mechanisms, component products and technologies are all customer focused, well-fitting, and contribute to the overall strategic customer experience framework.
7. Customer Experience is Learning, Growing
This is the habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow. Covey interprets the self into four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical and the social/emotional, which all need feeding and developing.
In order to develop the ultimate service mentality, it requires us to be in a place where we are whole. The whole person needs to be committed, prepared, and dedicated to perform.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Customer Experience Organizations
Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits are a simple set of rules for life – inter-related and synergistic, and yet each one powerful and worthy of adopting and following in its own right. For many people, reading Covey’s work, or listening to him speak, literally changes their lives. This is powerful stuff indeed and highly recommended.
The 7 habits of highly effective customer experience is a starting point to developing exceptional customer experience organizations.