Seeing Through the Eyes of Your Customers

What better way to become acquainted with your processes than to experience them firsthand?  Most executives and upper management engage at this level, yet neglect to bring other employees into the experience.  In larger organizations especially, employees may not have visited your website or called your 1-800 number.  They have not arrived and looked at each touch point as though they were a customer.  Interestingly, there is also a lot of research and opinion that support the fact that some of the best, most effective, and most innovative ideas come from your front-line employees; inviting their participation seems both useful and smart.

Making this type of training part of the on-boarding process has many benefits.  In addition to helping employees understand what customers hear, see, and experience, it helps encourage teamwork, pride, and engagement at all levels.  Understanding why an organization operates the way it does can be tremendously enlightening to staff.  It helps them balance the things they can control with the things they cannot with the customer experience in mind.

Here are a few ideas to consider.  Each of these can be a great education to your staff.  Instead of viewing their position as isolated, they can begin to see how they affect the entire organization and can better understand their duties and tasks.

  • Call Centers.  Have your call center employees ever called into your 1-800 number?  Do they know how many options are available to the customer and how they are chosen?  Do they know how many steps it takes before being placed on hold or connected to a person?
  • Retail Operations.  Have you ever removed an employee or group of employees from their station on a busy day and asked them to walk through the front door as a customer?  What would they change?  Where would they focus their efforts?  What does the customer see?  Are there employees available to help them?  Do they look frazzled or friendly?  How long are the lines?  Are your products organized or unsightly due to a busy day – do you have any left?
  • Office Environments.  What do your job applicants/candidates see and hear?  Is your receptionist knowledgeable and able to transfer calls to the correct people?  Is the call screening process considerate?  Are people greeted efficiently?

These are just a few ideas to put the idea in motion for your organization.  Whether it is your sales team, an installations team, receptionist, reservationist, manager, or any front-line employee, I would suggest making this an integral part of your new-hire and ongoing training efforts.  Having your people understand what every step is like can only benefit your organization, and having them do it with your direction is very empowering.  The only resource this utilizes is time, and it’s time that you’ll later agree was well spent!  Does your organization do this?  I would like to know more!

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