Recently, I signed up for the Covid vaccine through our Department of Health and Human Services. Like many of us, I worked to get myself in the right frame of mind, as I was expecting the process to be complicated.
Instead, the entire experience took about 20 minutes and could not have gone smoother from station to station. I took the opportunity to speak with a nurse about my expectations and the actual experience. She made it clear that her team of professionals and their leadership wanted to make this as seamless an experience as possible for the patients, and show the patients they were committed to their care. To accomplish this, they had put together what they felt was a well-thought out plan. During the dry run, the team continued to realize the value of what they were delivering and became quite energized and focused on making this as pleasant an experience they could for the people coming through. You could feel the energy and commitment in the nurse’s voice.
Coming out of a year that was filled with disruption and adversity, we learned our teams required a great deal of resilience. Heading into 2021 and beyond, we can hope for better.
When looking for better, we should think about those nurses - their mindset and the impact of their energized team. We will continue to be challenged to improvise, to adjust, to overcome and to meet the expectations of the ‘new norms” and the evolving expectations of our customers, whether they are internal or external. We may easily be faced with reimagining our customer’s journey more times than planned. However, keep in mind an energized team gets us through this.
We learned that what worked last month may not work this month. Clearly, customers have the wherewithal to make their choices. They are more informed than ever before. Our challenge is to continue delivering a rewarding customer experience within an ever-evolving environment.
I have already seen a lot of conjecture on what will be important for CX during this coming year and beyond. I recommend focusing on deciding on your purpose and delivering it through an energized customer-centric team, one which consists of the following qualities:
- Continuing resilience
- Trust and respect for one another
I have often seen within “Best in Class” teams an ability to harness and focus their energies enthusiastically on being customer- or client-centric and having this enthusiasm flow over to the customer. In fact, McKinsey points out that culture is one of the organizational imperatives which will see a lot of action in 2021.
I am convinced that one of the keys to bring this about is understanding the business and how it delivers the value the customer wants. I suggest beginning by developing that energized team, making it clear what their purpose is and how important and impactful it will be to the company. As a leader, you should understand and focus on recognizing what is truly of value to the business, to the customer, and to the way you go about the business. Becoming customer-centric at every juncture of the customer journey allows the team to deliver an exceptional experience and offer the right solutions for their customer’s needs, and to drive that value to them.
To begin with, a question I often ask is, “Can you clearly state what is the value your customer or client is looking to receive?” And, if you can, can your team do the same? Finally, to what extent are you and your team committed to delivering this?
Why do I dwell on this? Because, if you cannot provide a good answer, you should be concerned if your team has the understanding and the ingredients for the long haul. You may put together the energized team, but, with what purpose in mind?
As I have expressed earlier, moving forward with an energized team and an energized culture to embrace the mindset of being customer-driven is one of the most important investments you will make. Making this change will assure that you deliver value to your customers, and that your company is rewarded by continued growth and profitability.
This change does not come without hard work. Also remember that once you have it, you need to maintain it, as momentum can easily be lost.