Develop Your Employees' Empathy with "A Day in the Life of a Customer" Video
Excellent customer service companies train two distinct customer service skills better than everyone else: 1) they dictate what service aptitude needs to be; and 2) they make sure every employee walks in the shoes of their customers. This creates a “culture of empathy.” Customer empathy is an understanding of a customer’s circumstances and finding a way to improve their current state.
A “Day-in-the-Life-of-a-Customer” video
One of the first places we start with our consulting clients is by helping them create a short Day-in-the-Life-of-a-Customer video. When organizations teach their employees to view things from the customer’s perspective, this dramatically raises their level of service and increases customer satisfaction. Remember, many employees have never been their own customer, have never needed the services and products their company provides, and cannot comprehend what the customer’s mindset is. Therefore, they do not relate well and find it difficult to empathize, be compassionate, and anticipate customer needs. The following is a 2½-minute video of a day in the life of a John Robert’s Spa guest.
The objective of a Day-in-the-Life video is for every employee to understand the critical part that both they and your business play in the daily lives of your customers. More importantly, it’s about how they should handle each customer interaction. Every person in the organization, top to bottom, must understand that it is not merely about a transaction, order accuracy, our expertise, or “next.” Rather, it is about being present with every customer and truly understanding the impact they can have on each customer’s day, personally and professionally.
Creating your own Day-in-the-Life video
Creating a Day-in-the-Life-of-a-Customer script will be one of the best exercises your company can do to change the mindset and service aptitude of your entire organization for the better. Ask your managers and employees to help you create different scenarios of situations going on in your customers’ lives, both personally and professionally, both positive and negative. I guarantee it will be a huge revelation on the importance of every customer interaction they have.
As a result, your employees will gain an abundance of compassion and empathy for every customer they interact with. This can have a significant impact on customer retention. The video should not be about any customer contact your business or your employees have, but rather should be focused on two things:
1) What is happening in each customer’s life before they encounter your business: both their personal life (stresses, kids, spouse, traffic) and their professional life of dealing with work demands, their own customers, bosses, and other business demands.
2) How that relates to why and how they need your company’s services and products; how what your company provides solves their problems or makes their day easier, better, or even helps make their dreams come true.
Who really is your customer?
Improving your team’s empathy does not stop with your customer service team. Your company culture is determined by how everyone is treated, internally and externally. Ask your employees in every department to define their customers and you will get varying answers.
The truth is your primary customer is the person you communicate with directly on a day-to-day basis and who is most affected by the work you do.
In the B2B world, manufacturing, and corporate office settings, the customer is mostly internal people who work at the same organization. These are positions such as management, administration, IT, HR, marketing, regional sales managers, warehouse, branch managers, legal, and regional directors. Every single company I have ever worked with suffers from people in these positions truly not understanding who their customers are, i.e., the person or group that is most dependent on their efforts.
Your primary customer is whoever you communicate with and who depends on the work you do.
Most businesses’ customer-facing employees have never been their customers, don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes, and have little empathy and compassion for how what they do affects their customers. As a result, today many of our consulting clients not only make a Day-in-the-Life video for their external customers, they also make one for their internal customers, to drive home this exact point. This dramatically increases employee engagement. This builds a culture of empathy.
John R. DiJulius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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