Want impact? Draw a Services Map.

Increasing employee and customer enthusiam for greater growth and sucess

In today’s challenging business environment, creating and maintaining customer enthusiasm can make the difference between business success and business extinction.

Customers have more choices than ever before and expect higher and higher service levels relative to

  • product and service information
  • choice between service offerings
  • tailored or custom services
  • quality of delivery
  • the quality of the buying experience

Across industries, companies are discovering that of these 5 customer demands, the greatest is that of the buying experience.

While a customer will forgive a service failure that is corrected promptly by a company’s enthusiastic employee ambassador, customers will migrate quickly from companies whose employees feel disenfranchised, even if the service is performed as promised.

But what is an employee ambassador, and where do you find one?  The answer is simple, employee ambassadors are all around you.  They are each member of your organization who touches a customer – directly or indirectly.  To create enthusiastic employee ambassadors, organizations must provide a support system  to foster enthusiasm that includes:

A consistent culture that reaffirms that each employee is key to the company’s success
A commitment to process, structure and continuous improvement that allows the employee to make promises to customers and gives the employee faith that their promises will be kept.

As companies aggressively pursue the development and growth of services offerings and services revenue, it has become increasingly important, in fact, imperative for these firms to provide a consistent level of process, support and flexibility to support employees in their quest of keeping promises to customers resulting in the growth of high levels of customer and employee enthusiasm and the resultant customer loyalty and profitability.

All of us want our employees and customers to be enthusiastic about the products and services we provide.  Employees can not be enthusiastic if they feel that they can not deliver what is promised, and customers will loose enthusiasm and go elsewhere if promises are not kept.  The question is how do we create that enthusiasm and keep it?  One tool, created at Arizona State University, is the process of Services Mapping.
Cross functional teams across the spectrum of a product or service delivery create a “map” of the product and service delivery systems.  The map is broken down into five levels:

  •  Customer View & Evidence – What does the customer see in the way of marketing materials, articles, and information about the product or service that brings them to your door?
  •  Customer Contact – What does the customer experience when they first make contact  with your  Organization?
  • On Stage Employee – What are the tools, attitudes, and systems in place to support a positive employee/customer interaction and the employees confidence in making promises to customers?
  • Back Stage Employees – What are the tools, attitudes, and systems in place to support a positive interaction between the front line employee and those they must rely on behind the scenes.
  • Resources – What are the physical, financial, and technology resources on stage and back stage employees need to keep promises to each other and ultimately to customers.

The Services Mapping process:

  • Provides an Overview so employees know “What to Do” when things go right and when they don’t.
  • Identifies weak links in the chain, so promises are kept more often!
  • Defines the Lines of Customer Interaction between customers and employees so the employee recognizes where they can have the most impact to the customer experience and the company’s goals.
  • Defines Lines of Internal Interaction defined between departments
  • Provides a basis for identifying and assessing cost, revenue, and capital invested
  • Creates a baseline for use in customer satisfaction and quality improvement efforts

When service delivery processes work, promises are kept, employee enthusiasm increases and it spreads to customers.  The result is greater profits as customers stay, and more importantly, through their enthusiasm, bring more customers via  the strongest marketing tool in the arsenal, customer referrals!

About the Author:

Joan Koerber-Walker is founder and executive director of CorePurpose,Inc. and organization dedicated to helping companies grow by refocusing actions and resources into the areas they are passionate about and best at in a way that makes financial sense.

Posted in Blog, Insights.