Customer service can often feel like an internally-focused process, with companies optimizing for their own efficiency rather than truly focusing on the customer. But shifting to an outside in perspective where your processes start with the customer experience first can revolutionize your support and success. Let's explore how to turn your customer service inside out for outside in success.
Step Outside Your Shoes and Into Theirs
To embrace outside in thinking, you need to step outside your own perspective and into your customer’s shoes. What are their pain points, challenges, and desires? How do they think and feel when engaging with your company? Make empathy for the customer perspective your guiding principle. This mindset shift is essential for reframing how your processes serve them.
Map the Ideal Customer Journey
With the customer perspective in mind, map out the ideal journey a customer should have with your company. Outline each touchpoint and how customers should feel at each stage. Look for pain points to eliminate and moments of delight to amplify. This ideal journey puts the customer experience first, providing a north star for optimizing your processes.
Streamline Processes for Customer Simplicity
Take a hard look at your current processes and identify areas of friction, confusion, or inefficiency from the customer’s view. How can you simplify and streamline? Remove unnecessary steps and align workflows to match the ideal customer path. Enable self-service options to give customers control. Your goal is to make every interaction smooth and straightforward for the customer.
Equip Your Team to Serve Outside In
Your team needs the skills, tools, and knowledge to deliver exceptional outside in experiences. Foster a customer-centric mindset through training on empathy, communication, and service recovery. Equip staff with the latest support technologies and access to customer data and history. Empower them to go above and beyond on the frontlines. When your team is set up for customer-first service, it translates to every interaction.
Make Your Systems Relationship-Focused
Evaluate how your support and CRM/Errand handling systems guide interactions. Are they optimized to build relationships and loyalty or simply process tickets? Prioritize relational capabilities like capturing customer data, contextual engagement, and personalization. Your systems should help you understand and serve customers holistically over time, not just handle one-off transactions.
Listen and Learn from Customer Feedback
Creating an effective outside in process requires truly listening to the customer’s voice at every opportunity. Seek feedback through CSATs, online reviews, and social media monitoring. Engage support teams on the frontlines to surface pain points. Capture insights from sales and success teams. Voice of the customer data is invaluable for enhancing experiences and innovating new services. Act on what you learn.
Own Issues End-to-End
When problems arise, own the resolution end-to-end rather than leaving customers to navigate internal processes. Assign an owner to oversee the issue resolution through each step. Provide regular status updates to the customer. Exceed expectations on service recovery to turn detractors into promoters. Taking full ownership exemplifies your commitment to the customer.
Surprise and Delight at Every Interaction
Look for ways to surprise and delight customers at even the most routine touchpoints. Add a personal touch or compliment a social post. Empower staff to go above standard service. Deliver a small but memorable ‘wow’ moment in each interaction. Thinking creatively about exceeding expectations makes the customer feel valued.
Continuously Optimize the Journey
Adopting an outside in approach is an ongoing process. Continuously gather customer feedback to identify areas for improvement. Regularly review metrics on customer satisfaction, sales, renewals, and referrals. Keep pace with changing customer expectations and needs. Your commitment to optimizing the journey never stops when you put the customer at the center.
By turning your customer service inside out for an outside in perspective, you can transform the experience and unlock new levels of success. When processes are streamlined for the customer and interactions are personalized, you become an invaluable partner to the people you serve. Pivot your perspective to see through the customer's eyes, and you’ll provide service that stands out from the inside out.