CX is a focus of every business in every industry in this consumer-driven world. Yet when talking to people with frontline customer-facing responsibility, they don’t talk about building long-term relationships or building competitive advantage, they talk about the importance of being nice. They want to be nice to the customer. They are told to be nice to the customer. But is nice enough?
How the Dictionary Defines Nice
Here’s how Merriam’s dictionary defines nice:
: POLITE, KIND
a very nice person
that’s nice of you to say
: PLEASING, AGREEABLE
a nice time
a nice person
: APPROPRIATE, FITTING
Not a nice word for a formal occasion
she always wears nice clothes
How Customer-Facing People Define and Deliver Nice
Many customer-facing service people stop at one or two (polite or agreeable) but don’t often reach appropriate or fitting. They define nice as pleasantries and complimenting the customer. They believe demonstrating caring is asking a customer how their weekend was, how their day is going, or saying something personal. There is less conversation about the business of customer service. Many aren’t thinking about relating to or caring about their customers and talk more about responding than about listening. They don’t feel like following up, and they don’t. Being helpful and resolving issues is talked about by more experienced and senior level people. At all levels, there is more negative than positive talk about customers. They don’t think about themselves as customers when working with customers.
What Customers Want
We asked customers what they want from the customer experience, and if or when “nice” was what defined a great experience. What customers don’t want is too much time taken up with politeness and pleasantries. Demonstrate you are both of those things, and then get down to the business of competence, efficiency, and resolution. Customers want your attention. They want you to act appropriately to them and their situation and say and do what is fitting their situation. They want respect, and they want your help. They want to feel seen and heard. They want a positive experience and a happy ending. They will share their experience in conversation and online – however it ends.
How Can You Know What Your Customers Want?
Ask them. They will tell you. Don’t know who to ask? How to ask? What to ask? Not objective enough – or afraid – to hear the truth? Ask us. We’ll help you transform your CX from nice to great.