I’ve never believed you have to “wow” customers in every interaction to be successful. It’s not possible or necessary, and frontline leaders I’ve talked to say the corporate quest for perfection does more harm than good. A “10 or nothing” policy makes it HARDER for them to motivate employees.
Of course it does. How would you feel if you did your best every day to deliver a good experience but were constantly told it wasn’t good enough? Demoralized? Disengaged? Defeated? For me, it’s all of the above.
That’s why I suggest a different, more realistic standard that can be summed up in four words: Consistently good; strategically amazing.
Defining “Consistently Good”
“Consistently good” means that the vast majority of the time when people interact with your organization, things just work. Customers can get done what they need to get done and move on with their day, confident that products and services will function properly, orders will arrive on time, questions will be answered accurately, and the information they need will be easy to find.
It’s is a simple idea that’s EXTREMELY hard to achieve in practice, especially at scale in a volatile environment.
Defining “Strategically Amazing”
The “strategically amazing” aspect of this strategy spans a few different scenarios like:
How might your CX roadmap or strategy change if your organization embraced this idea?
Scattering unexpected, on-brand moments of delight into what would usually be a mundane situation.
Recognizing and meeting customer needs that may not directly relate to your business but make the overall task the customer needs to accomplish easier.
Reliably going above and beyond in moments of truth, i.e.:
On the rare occasion things do go wrong, doing what’s necessary to make it right.
When there’s a conflict, doing what’s fair, even if it isn’t the thing that makes you the most money.
And at emotionally charged moments in the journey, designing in extra doses of comfort, confidence, and care.
Practically speaking, I think “strategically amazing” is the easier of the two dimensions to get right. Employees are naturally inclined to go above and beyond in extreme situations because the need is obvious. And I’ll bet most of you can rattle off 5 emotionally charged moments in your own customer journey that would benefit from a little extra TLC.
The real trick is that it’s not an either or situation.
From what I’ve seen, great CX companies are perceived as such because they meet BOTH standards. They balance operational excellence and empathy, anchored by the goal of long-term, sustainable growth.
What do you think? Is this a viable standard to consider?