In a previous post, I talked about how Fidelity Investments co-creates its customer experience ecosystem. Through co-creation exercises and workshops, you can engage a fairly large number of internal employees, external partners, and customers in the design of your company’s customer experience. But for most large companies, this group will still only represent a small fraction of the people in your entire ecosystem.
That’s why you also need to socialize the ecosystem. You need to help every single employee and every single partner — especially those in behind-the-scenes roles — understand how their actions and decisions affect the customer experience.
US Cellular spends a lot of time doing just that. US Cellular certainly isn’t the biggest wireless service provider in the US, but it consistently receives industry recognition for providing a great customer experience.
Twice a year, Lynn Costlow, VP of Customer Service, visits each of US Cellular’s call centers. She rotates people off the phones in groups of 50 or so and talks with them about what’s happening in their industry and their company, how they’re faring on metrics like customer growth and satisfaction. She helps these employees understand their role in the ecosystem and the impact they personally have on customers’ interactions and perceptions of the US Cellular brand.
But she doesn’t stop there.
US Cellular has outsourced call centers in Nicaragua and Jamaica. And twice a year, Lynn and her Operations Director, Linal Harris, also meet with agents in these locations. Yeah, I know, this sounds like a rough job . . . But while it’s easy to imagine them sipping pina coladas on the beach, in reality they spend their time on these trips visiting the call centers. In fact, Lynn has the same exact meetings with her company’s outsourced, offshore call center associates that she has with her own internal employees.
Why? Because she knows that her partners are part of the customer experience ecosystem.
And because she spends the time to meet with them on a regular basis, they know it, too. Here’s a quote from an associate in the Jamaican call center: “I know how important we are to US Cellular. That’s the reason I am committed to being early for my shift and ensuring that our customers are 100% satisfied.”
What do you do to help every single internal employee and external partner understand how they personally impact the customer experience?