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Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience

The Amazement Revolution – Shep Hyken A Forward by Steve Peralta, VP/CXO Bank of Springfield & CILCSA Board Member

One of many common attributes of the members of the Central Illinois Customer Service Association (CILCSA) is that we all embrace values that drive the best customer and employee experiences for our respective teams. In addition, most if not all our members agree that employees should be treated as any company’s #1 customer.

Successful leaders often stress the notion that as we cultivate happy and engaged employees, our external customer experience (CX) in turn will improve and this improvement will generate tremendous opportunities for people to grow and be successful.

This blog post is a forward from a book entitled The Amazement Revolution authored by Shep Hyken. In this series we will share the seven strategies to create an amazing customer and employee experience (EX). Subsequent posts will dig deeper into each of the noted strategies which will include CILCSA member comments and actual strategies CX-EX leaders can implement to be successful.

Hyken states that amazement is realized when customers become an evangelist for the organization. This means they are so amazed by your service and begin to describe themselves as members of your organization and try to get others to join and become members as well (i.e., generate referrals).

“Happy customers become the best members of your marketing department. The right customer experience gets customers to talk about you, refer you and evangelize your brand.”- Shep Hyken

The key to creating an amazing culture is to sincerely treat your customers the way they should and want to be treated. As we do this, customers will come back again and again. The Seven Strategies as defined by Hyken are as follows:

  1. Provide MembershipWhat if you treated the people you serve like members instead of customers?

  2. Have Serious FUNWhat if your employees felt a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment that made them loyal to you and your customers?

  3. Cultivate PartnershipWhat if your customers thought of you as a partner rather than just another vendor or provider?

  4. Hire Right– What if you could implement innovative hiring processes to support your customer-service mission?

  5. Create a memorable After-ExperienceWhat if you could create a memorable, positive experience after someone did business with you?

  6. Build CommunityWhat if you could create a community of evangelists-loyal customers who brag about you to their friends and associates?

  7. Walk the WalkWhat if every person in your company didn’t just deliver, but also lived and breathed your vision for amazing customer service?

According to Hyken the above strategies (which we will explain in greater detail during subsequent posts) enable the highest level of customer engagement and occurs when the customers of your organization become evangelists and recommend your firm to others.

Customer service is defined by Hyken as, “the way the customer is treated by anyone in the company before, during, and after the sale.” This means any interaction the customer has with your brand can affect the way a customer feels about your team. Below are a few comments from a few of our CILCSA colleagues regarding the importance of the Customer and Employee Experience.

Brad Wike President Peerless Cleaning & Restoration Services

"At Peerless a great customer experience is everything! When we walk into a customer’s life, it is often during a very difficult or stressful time. One of their largest assets, their home or business, has been damaged by water or fire. It is our job to walk beside them and insure we can help in restoring their home or business to its pre-loss condition. For us, delivering World Class Customer Service is essential as we care for and serve our customers”.

Damon Brown AVP | Strategy, Program Management & Support | Customer Care Operations The Horace Mann Companies

Customer Experience is everything. Even if your customers love your company or your product, literature shows that in the U.S. 59% will walk away after several bad experiences. 17% after just one bad experience. Focus on that which drives customer loyalty and encourages brand advocacy – consistently providing exceptional value and experience with minimal friction or stress”.

Lashonda Fitch Director Oak Ridge Cemetery

“A positive customer experience is critical for the families we serve. Our clients come to us at one of the most difficult times of their lives. Therefore, it is imperative that our staff provides a positive experience for the family throughout the end-of-life process. Our goal is to provide a positive memorable experience to the families who are resting at Oak Ridge Cemetery”.

Colleen Stone Executive Director Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, Springfield, IL

“Our employees are our greatest asset and the one’s we don’t often pay enough attention to! If our employees feel we, their employer, appreciate the work they do, and are rewarded for their work financially, we have a better chance of our employees delivering great customer service. When our employees are happy at work, they are more invested in our success. Especially if they know when our company is successful, the company will share that success with the employees. The old saying, happy wife, happy life could apply to employees. Happy employees, happy customers!”

In summary, customer experience is essential for building relationships and helping companies to realize sustainable growth. As your team creates positive experiences for customers, your friendly reputation will be heard, which will attract new customers.

Please be on the lookout for our next blog post which will discuss the importance and strategies of treating customers like members of your team.


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