Research shows that attitudinal loyalty plays the biggest role in customer loyalty. If customers have a positive emotional outlook towards the customer experience, especially when measured against a competitor, they are more likely to buy from you and become loyal (repeat purchases).
Lot of time employees need to get on the same wavelength as customer to determine what would constitute a just outcome for the experience in the customer's mind and then weigh that against the limits the company has set on the experience and come to a mutually agreed upon resolution.
Employee emotions are as important as customer emotions in the customer experience. Employees and managers who feel unable to do their jobs as they perceive they should be done and feel powerless to change the situation become unhappy and less able and willing to put out the effort it takes to keep customers happy. Rather than speak up about problems, they simply focus on doing what they are told, what research company For rester calls a "culture of compliance."
There is clear evidence that digital contributes a lot to making the experience easy and fast, especially in transactional types of relationships such as buying a book, which customers like. Digital is also great for information-intensive experiences, such as complex products and services that require customers to do a lot of research before buying and of course, digital experiences are much cheaper for companies, though most surveys show that companies do a poor job of managing them especially when it comes to coordinating across digital and human channels.
Companies that invest in delighting the customer without first making sure they are at least meeting the expectations of the vast majority of customers are probably wasting their money. Getting a free gift card for a restaurant is meaningless if the food and service are not so hot to begin with. The first priorities should be to drive down customer effort and sacrifice.
If, through competitive analysis and surveys of customers, it is clear that your customer experience lags behind your competitors then improving customer experience should be considered part of the cost of doing business. Customers can research you and your competitors much more easily now through the web and social media. The holes in your experience will be revealed, causing negative emotion and an exodus to competitors.
This means hearing customers out and treating them with dignity and respect at every point in the interaction and acting to defuse emotional tension without having to put on false emotions such as a painted on smile.
Companies should focus on training employees to offer two things:
★ Treat customers with empathy
★ Offer customers justice
Even the best employees can burn out if they are forced to adopt what researchers call "surface acting," in which employees have to put on the proverbial smile and feign emotions that they are not feeling during an encounter with customers. Part of the stress is that customers can sometimes detect the falseness of employee's emotions, which research says causes customers to react negatively.
For those who interact directly with customers, yes. Research says that extroverts do better in customer experience roles because they are more naturally inclined to want to interact with others. But these extroverts should also have the ability to do three things:
★ Regulate inner emotions
★ Tolerate ambiguity
★ Enjoy helping others
In combination, these factors give employees extra endurance when it comes to dealing with people and more ability to suppress inappropriate behavior (even when customers deserve it).