Shifting from Service Process to Customer Experience: Challenge #2 of 5


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Jeff Eilertsen offers service performance insights to address five essential service challenges every organization must successfully address. In this interview with Ron Kaufman, Jeff discusses the second challenge, Shifting from Service Process to Customer Experience.


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Ron: Ron Kaufman and Jeff Eilertsen, and what we’re looking at is: what are the major areas of service challenge, problems, difficulties, hopes, dreams, objectives that clients have when they come and ask us for support from Uplifting Service.

Jeff, you said that there were five, we’ve talked about the first, roll with us: what’s number two?

Jeff: Good. Well the second one that I see most common is: organizations shifting their focus from high quality process to customer experience. And so in the past they were able to be successful and differentiate themselves by having high quality efficient process, now they’re having to pay attention to the experience of their customers in addition to the high quality service process.

Ron: So are you saying that all of the platform capabilities and the delivery speed and the execution that processes, systems and procedures enable and allow that that’s become commoditized?

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Ron: It’s not a point of differentiation anymore.

Jeff: Exactly. It’s still important – have to have it, but it’s a hygiene factor.

Ron: Okay. So then you’ve got the hygiene, I’ve got the hygiene and what you’re saying then is: what becomes the differentiator?

Jeff: Yeah, the experience that we’re creating from that high-quality process: How are our customers experiencing what we do? How are even our internal partners experiencing the relationships that we have so it works both internally and externally.

Ron: So when we work with clients for example: to take a particular service transaction, and we say let’s map it out

Jeff: Yes

Ron: And naturally they think: “well we do this, then we do this and then this happens then we do this we do this…” so they map out the process, and what we’re doing is pulling people’s awareness back to: “well yeah that may be our process, but what’s the perception? What’s the experience that the client, customer, guest, member, patient is actually having?” Is that what you’re saying: bringing about that shift of understanding?

Jeff: Absolutely, and it’s a real mental shift for our clients because they’re so good at looking at: “what we do and how we do it” and we get into that exercise what we call perception point mapping and the first thing they do is map the process.

Ron: Got it.

Jeff: And it’s amazing to watch the shift in their energy as they start to say: “Aah, here’s the experience of that.” but it’s a really turning a corner for them mentally but all of a sudden they see the other side of what they’ve been doing.

Ron: And it makes sense that they would naturally not only think process, because they’ve been focusing on improving it for so many years, but each person who comes up functionally within an organization was essentially groomed up through some methodology of doing “what we do”.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ron: Then shifting that way of thinking to: “Yes yes yes that’s what we do but what’s the client experiencing?” and genuinely getting people to see it from that point of view. You’re saying this is something that leaders are recognizing is important?

Jeff: Increasingly, I think so, yes, absolutely. And, but to your point, we’ve been educated about how to do things from the beginning: from education through school, into organizations. How we learn our jobs is all about: “what we do and how we do it.”

Ron: Mm-hmm

Jeff: We’d rarely do we look at: how customer experience in it? How’s the partner that I’m working with? How’s the employee that I’m working with experiencing what we do? So it’s a brand new way of looking and what’s fantastic is literally the smiles on people’s face when they suddenly get it

Ron: Yeah. And they can talk to their colleagues and go: “but wait a minute, remember that time when and this is what they were talking about.”

Jeff: Right. What I hear the most is: “I never saw it that way. I never knew that that’s what it was like for you.”

Ron: Yeah, you know when we first teach people our definition of service: taking action to create value for someone else, most people would think that the definition begins with: the action I take because you taught me, you trained me the operating manual the procedures say do this action.

Jeff: Yeah.

Ron: And now what we’re saying is: no actually the definition begins with understanding someone else. Therefore being able to appreciate what they value in this moment, in this situation, given what they want to achieve, then you can determine what actions to be taken by the process that you have or that you’re looking to improve.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. It’s literally having people hit the pause button to stop and consider: “what’s gonna happen when I do this? What’s the experience of that other person?”

Ron: Yeah

Jeff: versus jumping right into: “Okay we can fix this, here’s what we should do”.

Ron: Right, right. And then all of a sudden all the history of customer complaints they’ve ever gotten are not really complaints about the process: it’s always a discontent with the experience.

Jeff: Right.

Ron: And now we have a way of looking at it and working our way back.

Jeff: That’s right.

Ron: Very good. Well that was number two, major area that clients come to us and ask: “help!”. We’ll be right back with three, four and five.

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These are the links to watch Challenges 1, 3, 4, and 5:

Challenge 1: Setting Effective Service Standards

Challenge 3: Building Internal Service Relationships and Employee Engagement

Challenge 4: Turning Customer Complaints to Customer Loyalty

Challenge 5: Aligning Leadership and Service Performance

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