Score a Touchdown with Customer Experience

The cooler autumn weather and the children returning to school signal one thing for many households in America… the return of NFL football.

It’s also around this time that many football fans begin to exhibit some interesting behavior. Premature championship celebration. After only a handful of games many fans are already preparing their Superbowl celebration party. However if there is one lesson I’ve learned as a lifelong football fan it’s that a handful of early season games is rarely a good predictor of the future. A full 16 game season can be long and it’s usually not the fast starting teams who win it all, but the most consistent.

The phenomena holds true when it comes to customer experience as well. Launching new products or seasonal marketing campaigns might prompt a temporary spike in great customer experiences for a retailer, but ultimately the best brands are the ones who are able to deliver on their promises day in and day out, from one location to another. Front line staff needs to be fully engaged and accountable each and every day to do so. Great store managers know this, and they understand that the real key to maintaining great experiences is in changing the staff behavior for the better. Behavior that drives exceptional in-store experiences are the catalyst for advocacy.

There’s a simple four step process to helping make this happen:

1. Start with helping location managers focus front line staff on specific areas that can have the biggest impact and doing so in a consistent manner.

Focusing on doing the right things shouldn’t be a onetime event, it needs to be an ongoing philosophy. One way to ensure ongoing improvement is to leverage the power of your own internal community through social sharing. Let location managers learn from each other, to provide support and best practices.

2. Create a program where you ask for commitment to making improvements.

Committing to those focus area improvements is a significant emotional step and encourages a more meaningful level of engagement for location managers with their customer experience programs. Commitment and engagement also provide a different kind of measurement for area and regional managers to have conversations with local managers about improvement rather than blame.

3. Once the commitment is made, then it’s all about driving actions.

Providing location managers with action plans to encourage the right behaviors at the right times for all their employees. These actions can be built from brand best practices, and they can be enhanced through the power of social sharing and the knowledge of other managers across the brand. This living library of actions ensures that local improvements aren’t a onetime activity but are an ongoing part of your brand’s culture.

4. On a regular basis location managers should have an opportunity to reflect back on what worked and what needed improvement for next time.

This ongoing cycle of action and review provides location managers a powerful tool to reflect back on what worked and what to focus on moving forward.

Whether the goal is to win the Superbowl or to build a winning retail brand, the key is consistency. While not every NFL team has access to the same player talent and fan base, all retail brands today have access to the modern tools and programs to ensure their front line staff is fully engaged and delivering every day.

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