Kerri Nelson, Chief Operations Officer, Clarivate explains how companies can improve their end-to-end customer experience by being responsive. Read more here.
In 2019 Clarivate implemented a global Customer Delight program and in 2020 acquired CustomersFirst Now, a trusted CX company offering consulting, analytics and software that builds end-to-end Customer Delight programs. Now known as Clarivate Customer Experience Services, the team helps companies improve their customer experience in order to deliver better financial results such as retention, new business, cross sell and margin improvements. Kerri has personally led customer experience and customer operations as well as consulted with major brands over the past 25 years.
At Clarivate, we operate at the heart of innovation, providing actionable information and insights customers need to make critical decisions with speed and certainty. In the same way that we arm innovators with unique insights to bring new ideas to life, we also help improve their customer experience (CX).
In order to operate with the highest standards, it is critical to have a CX program that starts with internal behavior changes. Why? Because how we act internally shows up with each customer interaction, whether we like it or not.
To start a CX program journey, it is important to scope a company’s customer experience efforts in a programmatic way rather than as a project or initiative, which can be perceived as a one time event or timebound. A program is a commitment to a long term area of focus with clear short term and long term goals.
In order to improve end-to-end customer experience, there are three key behaviors that the company should role model: being responsive, treating everyone as their customer and being prepared.
Be responsive in your end-to-end customer experience strategy
Being responsive is the first behavior a company should adopt in order to improve their end-to-end customer experience. We all want to be heard and listened to – and the only way to demonstrate that is to initiate a response in order to have a two-way dialogue. A timely response recognizes the other’s effort and it shows respect. Not acknowledging an email or voicemail or text is a fundamental behavior gap that can easily be addressed as a first step to adopting a more caring and customer focused culture.
Kerri shares an example: “A few years ago, I performed a ‘responsive’ test, sending members of a leadership team emails over a two-week time frame. I ended up with a 50% response rate. When I met with the team after the two weeks, I explained the test they had unknowingly participated in, as well as the results. What I discovered was that their definition of ‘responding’ was very varied – from waiting to have the right information before getting back to the email to not having clarity that a response was required.
After discussing the impact of silence following a colleague or customer question, the team agreed that not acknowledging an email, whether or not you have a complete answer, is a behavior that can easily be addressed. Timely response is about recognizing the fact that someone is initiating a conversation with you and wants your help.”
When not responding, one of two things happen: nothing or something that you did not agree to, or had no input. A non-response still results in something, unfortunately that “something” will be outside of your control, and comes with the additional negative effect of sending a message to the recipient that their time is not important, or their question is unworthy. To respond to everyone in a consistent manner – within 24 hours – is a good best practice to aim for.
“It’s amazing to see how good people feel around you when you acknowledge them.”
The other two behaviors we will be discussing in upcoming blogs are treating everyone as a customer and being prepared.
Many studies have proven that how we behave as an organization is exactly how our customers view us when we interact with them. Ensuring everyone internally is on the same page regarding what acceptable behavior is and is not is hugely important to the culture of a company and, ultimately, to its customers’ experience.
Behavior is the hardest thing to adjust in any person, let alone an entire group or company, so when trying to drive this type of change it’s important to keep it simple with examples and strong role modeling by the leadership team.
For more tips and best practices for a more impactful voice of the customer program please download our white paper.