You’re at the end of a 17-hour round-trip travel day, hunger rumbling and thoughts of a steak dinner dancing in your mind. You jokingly tweet to your favourite steakhouse, “Hey, can you meet me at the airport when I land in two hours?” Imagine your delight when you’re met by a tuxedo-wearing team member from the steakhouse who brings you a 24 oz steak and all the extras – free!
It happened to Peter Shankman a few years ago on a trip back to Newark from Miami. Morton’s Steak House delivered an exceptional customer experience and had almost 1 million online mentions of their response to Peter.
Did customer visits (and loyalty) grow as a result? Recent survey results show Morton’s outranks all other steakhouses for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Tim Whitlock, Morton’s COO, attributes performance to “a great team of people…who love the hospitality business.” Although the Newark Morton’s team chose to deliver the unexpectedly great experience to Peter, it is their leadership that created the environment for this level of enthusiastic, extraordinary customer service to flourish.
Building Employee Engagement and Achieving Measurable Returns
Employees engaged in delivering strong CX can generate an increase of up to 20 percent in customer satisfaction according to McKinsey research. Revenues in companies with highly engaged teams grew 10 to 15 percent, while cost to serve was 15 to 20 percent below those with less engaged employees.
Getting your teams engaged in reaching corporate objectives is tied to making sure they:
- Understand the company’s mission and values: In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, author Simon Sinek says, “Companies with a strong sense of WHY are able to inspire their employees. Those employees are more productive and innovative, and the feeling they bring to work attracts other people eager to work there as well.”
- Stay informed about company performance: The financial metrics are important but providing teams with reports of customer comments and feedback keeps CX front-and-center.
- Have the training, tools and resources needed to deliver great CX: Customer-centric on-boarding, technical training, and internal processes can help teams connect with customers effectively.
- Are encouraged to get involved in making CX processes better: An open feedback system asking for comments, questions and suggestions keeps team members and leaders in lock-step toward CX objectives.
- Recognize they are valued and trusted: The Morton’s team in our example knew the organization would support their CX decision. The memorable service they provided (and the media attention it evoked) delivered intangible and measurable rewards for the team and the company.