Customer Experience Featured Article

Unlock the Best in Customer Experience with a Mission Focus

January 20, 2015

Sometimes it must seem like customer service agents are on the lowest rungs of the ladder, doing a job that should be a no-brainer. But increasingly, we're discovering that customer service agents are actually crucial to the overall health and success of a business. Indeed, a recent report suggests that, in order to get the very best in customer experience, the first place to start is with the people who actually deliver many aspects of the customer experience to customers: the employees.

Indeed, the employees are the place to begin when it comes to delivering the best in customer experience—and even before hiring starts, it's important that a business consider its overall mission and work to find the best in employees to match up with that mission. While skills are certainly important, the mission is actually more so; an employee with all the right skills that doesn't understand the company's mission might even work against a company's progress toward that ultimate goal. Missions also come into play when considering training and even who to fire when the time comes.

Beyond the mission, companies also need to consider the organization's scale; focusing on employees who can help in the long term, not just relieve short-term issues, is a great way to help bring in the best in customer service. Focusing on a resume's credentials may seem like a good idea up front, but it's really about how that employee fits into the company's overall mission that really counts.

In the end, it comes back to the mission. There will be several such missions contained within a company's normal operations, and everything essentially sublimates to these missions. Hiring and firing employees, establishing basic standards and practices for the employees to carry out, even product design and market testing: it all comes back to the mission. Naturally, a mission can't be carried out without the right people, so when hiring is done, focus on those who relate to the mission.

For most companies, delivering a quality customer experience is going to be in the mission somewhere, and likely near the front. So be sure to focus on getting the proper employees, and then supporting said employees with the right tools to do the job. Tying up employees with a lot of red tape and layers of management can do more harm than good. Consider, for example, one of Comcast (News - Alert)'s more recent encounters with a customer over issues of a pricing plan that didn't exist at the time the customer called. If the employee in question could have just supplied the desired plan, the problem would have gone away. But the employee's hands were tied by rules from above, and Comcast was the subject of another viral video showing off just how it doesn't deliver a quality customer experience. Though the issue was subsequently resolved, it took elevation on at least one point, according to reports, so that's still more muscle than should have been needed to take care of a problem like this.

The mission is the thing, when it's all said and done, and since the employees are the ones carrying out the mission, it's a great place to start to make sure the company is delivering the best possible customer experience.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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