Eleven years of research have shown that every outstanding customer relationship has a universal set of qualities – they are The Six Pillars of experience excellence. They are inextricably intertwined and, in combination, provide a powerful mechanism to help organizations understand how well their customer experience is delivered across channels, industries and company types. Leading organizations demonstrate mastery of these pillars and are outstanding at all of them. In our research this year, all the top ranked brands exceeded the market average on each of The Six Pillars. Indeed, the top-ranked brand in each market typically outperforms the respective market average score for each pillar by between 10 percent and 12 percent.
Acting with integrity and engendering trust. Trust is an outcome of consistent organizational behavior that demonstrates trustworthiness.Read more
Being trustworthy and engendering trust.
There are trust building events where organizations have the need to publicly react to a difficult situation, and trust building moments where individual actions by staff add up to create trust in the organization as a whole. Behavioral economics holds that as humans we trust people we like. The ability to build rapport at a basic human level is therefore critical in creating trust with customers.
Do the right thing for me personally
Be seen to be doing the right things for customers in general
Stand for something more than profit
Have not been associated with negative stories on the TV, internet or in the newspapers
Are recommended by my friends or family
Take corporate social responsibility seriously
Contribute to my local community
Turning a poor experience into a great one. Historically when it comes to resolution, organizations have majored on service recovery.Read more
Turning a poor experience into a great one.
COVID-19 has driven rapid innovation because customer problem solving has come to the fore. This mindset in turn has accelerated a focus on solutions rather than products and driven engagement.
Own the resolution and fix with urgency
Keep me fully informed of issue resolution progress
Offer a warm and sincere apology
Go the extra mile if required
Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Customers have needs and they also have expectations about how these needs will be met.Read more
Managing, meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Customer satisfaction is the difference between expectation and actual delivery. Understanding, delivering and, if possible, exceeding expectations is a key skill of great organizations. Shaped by COVID-19 customer expectations have become more fluid. Understanding these changing expectations is a vital component of designing the right solutions and experiences. Proactive expectation setting communications will now be expected as standard.
Do what they said they would
Provide a consistent service every time I use them
Use plain English – no jargon
Keep me informed as to what is happening when I have a query or place an order
Check whether I’m happy with their product/services
Set my expectations accurately
Minimizing customer effort and creating frictionless processes. Customers are time poor and increasingly are looking for instant gratification.Read more
Minimizing customer effort and creating frictionless processes.
Removing unnecessary obstacles, impediments and bureaucracy to enable the customer to achieve their objectives quickly and easily have been shown to increase loyalty. COVID-19 has amplified the need for easy access to products and services, convenience and relevant information. Home delivery has become a way of life.
Provide information/answers I need when I contact them
Minimize waiting times
Manage queues/call waiting effectively
Explain exactly what I need to do next at all points in my task or purchase
Make my time investment feel worth it
Offer alternative ways to complete my task or make my purchase
Using individualised attention to drive emotional connection. Demonstrating that you understand the customer’s specific needs and circumstances and will adapt the experience accordingly is now the expected norm.Read more
Using individualized attention to drive emotional connection.
Customers during the crisis described the feeling of being in an infinite present and unable to see beyond tomorrow. Our CX leaders have been focused on ensuring that, as far as possible, customers can take control over their lives by providing experiences that are more strongly tailored to their circumstances, that make them feel valued and important and put them back in control.
Offer products or services relevant for me
Understand my specific personal needs
Make me feel valued
Treat me as an individual
Know who I am from my customer history when I’m dealing with them
Make me feel in control
Show an interest in me
Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport. It is time for all firms to show that they care, that the safety and wellbeing of their employees and customers is their prime concern.Read more
Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport.
Corporate kindness are two words not usually put together, but they are now fundamental to how a company operates from within.
Understand my particular situation
Explain things in a way I can easily understand
Demonstrate they care
Acknowledge how I’m feeling and act appropriately
Invest time to understand me and my needs
Provide the right emotional responses for my situation Are willing to bend the rules to help me out