There’s a part of your customer journey that is most likely inconsistent.
It’s those pesky people. Going from one hotel front desk to the next or calling different customer service reps can have very different outcomes. Sometimes calling the same customer service rep on a different day means having a completely different experience! Are you dealing with the sunshiny optimist or the tired, overworked and overwhelmed grouch?
None of us are immune.
Why does this matter? Because the magic of a great customer experience is tied directly to our emotional connection to a brand. Being treated well just once may win us over as a customer, and the second time may wow us. But when treated well day after day and month after month, we build an authentic relationship with a brand.
And yet consistency is one of those vital pieces in creating positive customer experiences. How can you overcome the very real human hard-wiring that works against achieving customer experience consistency?
A few basics about humans and all our idiosyncrasies that throttle customer experience consistency:
1. Our brains are always looking for the negative.
Our amygdala is using most of its energy to scan for negative stimuli. And the things that are not quite right? They set the tone for the experience.
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So when a tired guest has certain expectations for checking into a favorite hotel, his brain continues scanning the environment. “Weren’t we thanked for being a loyal customer last time? Why isn’t that happening this time?”
Meanwhile, the agent is insecure about procedures because of a memo about a new way to greet guests. “Am I expected to mention our loyalty program anymore? I heard something about it changing…”
That insecurity leaves the agent appearing distracted or not as warm as usual to the guest. Meanwhile, her negative subconscious scanner is doing its job, telling her this guy is grumpy and doesn’t look friendly!
2. Our messages are murky.
We send mixed messages, but we still expect consistent behavior from our people. Changing company priorities or giving stressful instructions like “get that satisfaction score up…or else!” lead to each individual trying their own thing. It’s a perfect storm of creating wildly inconsistent experiences for customers.
3. We have the map, but still don’t know our destination.
It all starts with the mission. Your customer journey is not about an end destination of a transaction. It’s about living a mission. You must have a customer experience mission and know EXACTLY what kind of experience to deliver.
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Without a mission, how will your people know what to do time and again to create a meaningful, consistent experience? They need to live and breathe your mission every day. That means training to it and empowering them to do what’s necessary each time to live up to it. Your people need to feel confident in the procedures that back up your mission on a daily basis.
No two customers are alike.
There is no single behavior or set of actions that’s perfectly consistent for each nuanced human situation. Help your imperfect, inconsistent people in a way that shows your brand and customer experience in a consistent and personal way.
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