Do service providers need Chief Experience Officers or Chief Empowerment Officers (or both) ?
The world has seen a steady rise in the new role known as 'Chief Experience Officer' across the Fortune 2000 and way beyond. However, in service-oriented organizations like Healthcare, Hospitality, Facilities, Retail and more, it almost seems like a 'Chief Empowerment Officer', is needed more.
For product companies, creating an amazing experience for the customer is often quite different to the same challenge faced by service-based businesses. Beyond their structural assets, services organizations live and die by the quality and consistency of their teams' delivery of the service - and how motivated, enabled or empowered their people are. Yet many services businesses have put their main emphasis on 'Customer Experience' (CX). We hate to tell you this, but there is no customer experience without great and consistent employee experience and empowerment.
At JabFab we believe that service providers need to carefully balance both. Of course the customer typically comes first and customer experience is paramount, but if you aren't investing in your people in an authentic manner (especially now) and recognizing them for their value and contribution to a culture of excellence, then your CX program will be severely impaired.
Perhaps, rather than creating yet another CXO role, the Chief Experience Officer and the Chief People/HR Officers need to be developing a next-generation model for service excellence and team recognition. They need to be literally next door to each other in the office, or meeting with each other almost every day. Simply installing experience management (XM) tools, to capture the voice of the customer is not enough. The people in charge of people need to be connecting experience management processes directly to the human rewards and recognition systems that support or empower service workers to be successful.
Service leaders should be asking themselves a key question, every time they install a new shiny object toolkit for customer experience. "Will this technology empower my people, day in and day out, to deliver a better experience for our customer?". If not, why not? Your people are already busy, and currently leaving their posts in record numbers. So if the systems of record and systems of engagement you are deploying for CX are not also helping them to make a difference every day, why are you implementing them?
Now, sometimes you simply have to implement compliance related systems, to keep the government happy and ensure your organization is given its fair share of government incentives and rebates. This is often true in Healthcare service providers, who are subjected to CMS regulatory satisfaction surveys they must excel in, to receive rebates. Fair enough, but for elective tools you choose to add into your culture of service excellence, you do have a choice. That choice must balance the need for you to empower your staff to actually make a difference today, versus simply bombarding them with rear-view-mirror data about customer experiences that happened yesterday or weeks ago, where they have zero-ability to affect the outcome.
There are two key problems with most CX programs:
1) The people delivering the service and addressing service gaps are not provided with game-time information, with which to intervene and affect the outcome before it's too late to act, and...
2) Those same people are not being consistently recognized for going above and beyond their original job descriptions on a daily basis.
The average services staff member isn't going to be pouring over your patient customer satisfaction survey data from a survey the customer took hours or days after their experience of your service. Remarkably, some survey technology providers call this data "Real-time" even though it happened hours and hours ago. Hello! McFly? .... Real-time means real-time!
Therefore, we have redefined the term real-time at JabFab, since it has become so maligned. We call it Game-Time, and if you provide your staff with actual game-time visibility to customer service events and gaps, they will act, and they will be able to change the outcome.
Nevertheless, if you have the first problem nailed, then the second problem starts to rear its head. Your people are already busy, and they can be inspired to do more by authentic recognition from their employers, so if you can connect the actions that your people are taking to a consistent system of recognition, you might just have stumbled over a winning formula.
Customer Experience just got mashed up with Employee Experience, and it's a beautiful thing.
So, as you revisit your customer experience strategy, mission and vision, try adding some new key words and hashtags into it, namely: #EmployeeEngagement #StaffEmpowerment #Recognition #Rewards #GameTimeDecisions #GameTimeVisibility .
Lastly, poll your people. Regularly. Measure the monthly Monday mood, the Friday feedback. Your people aren't scared to share their truth, and for you it will be truth to power. #Empower.
Hit us up here or on our social media properties with your thoughts. At JabFab we are on a mission to empower and recognize services teams for making game-time decisions that drive the very best customer experiences. www.jabfab.com