I recently shared some observations with a group of frontline bankers, i.e., the people I fondly refer to as the 'human interfaces' of increasingly technology-driven operations.
When you break down the factors that drive customer experiences, the majority rely upon our frontline folks.
Technology can both speed up and help facilitate personalized experiences.
But it’s our bankers who deliver truly personal experiences.
A personalized experience may make a customer feel unique.
A personal experience, however, tends to make them feel appreciated.
The work culture of a place of business is important for more than employee morale.
It sets the table for the customer experiences a team delivers.
After talking a bit about work culture, I asked 'Wouldn’t it be awesome to feel excited and happy every minute of the workday?'
As several folks nodded, I joked, 'Yeah, that’s cool. But…you know…by law, if you are excited every minute of the day, they are required to drug test you.'
After the laughs subsided a bit, I told them, “First, just in case HR is in here… that’s a joke. But remember that the next time you’re feeling tired or anxious or depressed or anything that doesn’t approximate ‘excited’.”
The way we feel in the moment is not always or necessarily tied to objectively identifiable facts.
We’re people with any number of factors impacting our mood at any given moment. And not feeling especially ebullient at the moment doesn’t mean you’re anything but… well, human.
However, we are blessed to have the ability to act in ways that may not necessarily align with our current emotions.
Each one of us, regardless of our role or title, holds significant influence over the work environment in which we operate.
When we interact with other humans, we are constantly affecting each other’s moods. Engaged behavior, respectful tones, and pleasant attitudes tend to foster the same.
When it becomes habitual, it becomes a culture, and cultures drive behaviors.
Ultimately, it’s our personal efforts that breathes life into even technology-driven transactions, making the difference between a personalized experience and a truly personal one.
What impact will your words and actions have on your work culture – and your customers - today?
My wife recently laughed as she handed me an advertising piece that came in the mail.
I recognized the logo on top and suspected that she had only opened the envelope because it came from our security company.
It turns out that the company we use for our home security system now offers pest control. While I wouldn't typically associate those two services, I immediately realized that it might make sense.
Hey, if you trust a company enough to handle your home security, you'll probably trust them to eliminate a few bugs.
I considered that this company has a valuable customer base to cross-sell to.
It was when I read the headline under the logo that I figured out why my wife was laughing.
In large font was printed “RECORD RAIN = BUG INVASION!” The copy then read, “We’ve had record rain, which means bugs are going to be especially bad this year.”
Now, the entire region of Texas that I live in has not had a decent rain in months. The daily temps have been above 100 degrees for weeks.
The leading topics of conversation in our area have been the sustained heat, drought-like conditions, and the dreading of our power and water bills.
It would be hard to imagine a marketing pitch that was such a swing and a miss.
It was so ridiculously out of touch that my wife joked, “I think we should test the alarm system today. I don’t know if I trust that these guys even know where we live.”
It reminded me of the importance of continually assessing our marketing messages to customers.
The fact that no one, at any point in the process, raised their hand to say, “Hey, uh… does that headline make sense during a drought?” is telling.
For all I know, their advertising calendar and materials may have been set months ago and no one thought to reassess if the facts changed.
Our marketing messages - whether digital, print, audio, or face-to-face - greatly shape the impressions customers and prospects have of us.
Are your statements clear, accurate and sincere? Is your messaging truly customer-focused? Are the value propositions you promote relevant and attractive to customers with many other options? Is anything still being promoted outdated by now?
If the answer to any of those questions isn’t clearly obvious, a little debugging may be called for.