Customer Experience Officer (CXO)
4xi Global Consulting & Solutions
Anyone else feel like 2020 was the equivalent of a safe falling out of a building and hitting you Looney Tunes style? - Time to dust off and move forward.
"2021 will bring new challenges and opportunities to customer and employee experience that organizations must harness if they are to succeed in the evolving economy."
There is a sense of collective optimism - a combination of the calendar turning to 2021 and the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine. That is not to say that the world will immediately snap back to center, but there is an opportunity to double down on experience in new and innovative ways.
"The best part is that everything from patients to consumers to the guest experience will benefit from examining these core fundamentals of CX."
Many places around the US and across the world have never fully reopened from the initial coronavirus lockdowns, and while still potentially months away, businesses must understand what that looks like and how to build loyalty through execution.
REMEMBER: Your competition may be different prior to the pandemic as economies improve following a downturn, new businesses tend to flood the marketplace with innovative models that could overshadow your previous success.
As I work with organizations to re-engage their teams and customers in the new year, this is where we will start:
Double Down on Your Team Experience
This is particularly true if you are bringing your team back from remote work or determining what your workplace of the future looks like. They will need to feel comfortable with the work environment and that you have their safety well in hand. Team members will also continue to look for flexibility as they now have proof that they can work from home effectively. Conversely there are still many executives that are locked into the previous model of work and are struggling to lead a workforce they cannot see each day.
Recently Simon Elliot, Managing Partner of 4xi, discussed the future of the workplace on my podcast Customer Service Academy. Check out our conversation HERE.
"You have one club in your bag that you may not have actively engaged – your engagement survey data. Likely you conducted an employee survey some time in the last 4-6 months and now is the time to put it to work. Find the top 2-3 items your team voiced issues about and take action to improve them early in the new year."
SPOILER ALERT: You are likely going to see safety, communication, recognition, training, and time sucking meetings in your top 5.
Look to People, Place, and Process
When you think about experience – either team or customer – you have to look at the journey from their point of view.
People are the resource with the greatest ability to impact your hospitality model. You have to look at the team who serves your customers and the internal team that serves your employees to be sure they are enabled and empowered to deliver on their commitments, your commitments, your brand promise.
PLACE is wherever you do business and meet your customers – your offices, call centers, physical locations, or online. Does your conference center or sports arena deliver on safety? Is your restaurant clean and orderly? Does your website deliver maximum assistance with minimal work?
PROCESS is how things get done. They are your policies, training, rules, and procedures. These are often unseen aspects of your business but can be what drive your customers and employees most crazy.
Training Will Fuel Your Future
Training has been become deprioritized as many organizations downsized their development organizations or simply found themselves fighting to remain open. Efforts around training were limited to safety (and rightfully so), but there will be a need for more than that this year.
Training is one of those tasks that can live happily on the backburner – until it can’t. There is a grace period for training when muscle memory fuels performance and you can eek by on that for a time. But over time behaviors shift back to the path of least resistance and new team members start work without a proper grounding in yours or your customers expectations.
"I was a successful collegiate bowler, and I remember how I could sometimes go without practice for a while and still perform when the tournaments rolled around – but if I neglected my daily practices for more than a few weeks I found my fundamentals began to erode."
The same thing can happen to your organization if you do not make training a priority.
Cut Through the Experience Noise
There was much for customers to digest in 2020 when it came to brand performance. Early in the pandemic, many organizations floundered as they moved their call centers to virtual and solutions like telehealth came online. These were not always successful off the starting blocks, as callers experienced massive wait times and online healthcare had to work through connectivity and technology issues.
Restaurants found they had to trim their menus as supply chains struggled to keep up with demand and the reality of worker availability. Many quick service menus are still at 60% of their pre-covid-19 offerings.
Call centers are still experiencing increased wait times and clunky transfers as they remain virtual. We all see the signs as we pull into our favorite restaurants about what they are not offering, and we hear the recording when you dial your bank that warns of longer than expected wait times.
This is “experience noise” and while at one time it was a courtesy to let customers know of an impending inconvenience, the time has come to solve them and move on. Your customers aren’t listening to these warnings – and if they are they don’t care. Going forward they will expect you take action to correct these issues, not accept them as a part of doing business.
"This is an exciting time as the optimism in the marketplace is palpable and customer experience will be even more of a differentiator into the future. It has always been important, but now there is an opportunity for businesses who truly want to grow to invest and prioritize CX in order to not only survive but to thrive in 2021 and beyond."
Contact 4xi Today to learn more about how we can help you establish and train your customer experience strategy for 2021 and beyond.
Tony Johnson, Founder of Ignite Your Service Training and 4xi Customer Experience Consultant and strategist, lives in Central Florida, the hospitality capital of North America. He can help your organization create customer experience strategies and training with a future looking mindset.
Tony has extensive experience in higher education, healthcare, business and industry, restaurants, sports and entertainment, and leisure, helping organizations:
Map their customer journey and identify improvements
Create, implement, and sustain their customer experience strategies and programs
Create leadership development and workplace culture initiatives
Implement Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs
Create front line employee and leadership training programs
Connect their brand vision into operational behaviors and tactics
Come join the conversation! Investing in Your Customers for Your Future Success.
Tony Johnson has a background in hospitality and retail management – leading large and diverse teams to grow sales and delight customers over 2 decades. He served as Customer Experience Officer for 4 years with Aramark Corporation, leading their global CX strategy and deployment for their food and facilities businesses. Tony is now the owner of Ignite Your Service Training and Strategy, where he is proud to partner with 4xi Global Consulting as CXO and CX strategist. The power of the 4xi collective allows Tony’s customer centric approach to seamlessly integrate and complement the host of other experts available to help your business thrive and inspire the future of work, together.
To learn more about how Tony and 4xi can help you build your Customer Experience Journey for the future, contact Tony at TonyJohnson@4xiConsulting.com
4xi Global Workplace Consulting & Solutions provides a range of services to support Corporations, Service Providers, Innovators, and Accelerators to navigate the world of work. Inspiring the future of work, together.
4xi is proud to be Chair of WORKTECH Academy for North America and a member of its Leadership Advisory Board. 4xi is a Global Ambassador for WORKTECH Academy.
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