High performing customer teams deliver 73% greater performance. They underpin the world’s most successful brands and offer almost limitless competitive advantage. Is it possible for any organisation to replicate their performance? Natalie Calvert of CX High Performance explains.

Can any business deliver world class customer service?

Can any business deliver world class customer service?

The short answer is ‘yes’. But of course, this isn’t easy.  But during my time working with customer teams, I have seen first hand that it is possible to turn around ailing customer teams suffering from crippling apathy and lack of engagement.  If you are in this situation, with your customer teams experiencing low morale and performance, you’re not alone.  And I’d like to reassure you that this situation can change quickly.  

But before we look at what’s involved in making this significant improvement, there’s a critical question to answer: what is world class customer service? When I begin working with a customer experience organisation, they invariably tell me they want to be ‘world class’ or a ‘customer service leader’.  But when I ask them what they actually think this means, they freeze. 

It’s not enough to want to be better at service.  You can’t copy the world-class service offered by one organisation because service performance is relative.  If you compare the personalised, hands-on approach which John Lewis stores are famed for with the slick, automated service of Amazon, you’ll understand what I mean.  Both are ‘world class’ but are completely different.

Delivering world-class customer experience is about delivering the right service to customers at the right price point.  It should suit their needs, inspire their loyalty and turn them into brand advocates.  But only you, with your deep understanding of the product and the customers unique to your organisation, can really understand what this service looks like.

This is a big challenge for many organisations and one which I spend a great deal of time helping them with.  But it is critical because the starting point for delivering world-class service is establishing the end goal.  Once you have this goal in focus, you can begin improving.

Planning is critical.  I see all too often a piecemeal, patchwork approach to service improvement, with individuals running well-meaning but disjointed projects.  Delivering world class customer service performance is a company-wide initiative that requires input and support from many areas of the organisation.  The importance of this big picture plan cannot be underestimated.  

Once you have a goal and plan, then you need momentum.  The good news once you’ve begun addressing the problems and people start coming onside, you can quickly see yourself escaping the negative spiral that many customer-facing operations are currently in.  I’ve found that once you introduce some positivity, the effect snowballs and positivity begins seeping into other parts of the customer experience operation.  

If you want to achieve world-class customer service, you should be aware of the 6 behaviours that all high-performing teams.  I’ve written a guide to these behaviours based on my experience working with customer teams which you can download by subscribing to our CX High Performance newsletter using the form below.  

As well as clearly stating the characteristics needed to improve team performance, the guide will help you create the plan, purpose and focus that I’ve identified in this blog as being critical to delivering world-class customer service.