From CEO to CEO across the industry spectrum, the underlying goal is always the same: expand, scale, dominate the competition, and above all, gain the fundamental customer Lifetime Value (LTV) to ensure all that happens. However, in order to gain a high customer satisfaction rating that ultimately leads to longstanding customer retention, it all boils down to how effective, efficient, and motivated your CX team is. That's right; if you want sustainable success and a solid customer retention future, start by looking internally to ensure your CX team is armed and ready for the ongoing task of raking in those 5-stars.
Now, you may already have a wonderful, qualified team who is motivated just as much as you are to excel, which is fantastic! But the harsh reality is that great talent is simply not enough to produce great results, and CX teams (just like any other team) need sound leadership and supportive measures to unlock their innate potential. With that being said, if you have a diamond team that needs a little dusting to showcase what they are made of, then below is a list of 5 simple methods that you can implement right now to not just make your CX team better, but ultimately help position them to thrive.
There is a good chance you have heard of things like mentorship and sponsorships in the business setting. There is even a good chance you were one at some point or another. Now, mentors and sponsors are both wonderful at influencing brand positivity, instilling values, and ensuring everyone is reaching their peak performance within their role(s). However, the key thing to note here is that mentors and sponsors are two very different concepts. Mentors are people who you can confide in and help you blueprint your career goals, whereas a sponsor is a person who you can seek out when career advice itself is not enough anymore.
In general, sponsors are partners who see your potential even before you do and will advocate for you to uplift your confidence and help you scale up the corporate ladder. For some more insight, Business Insider lists four studies that showcase sponsorship - not mentorship - is how the majority of power is transferred within a given organization. So, if you truly want to unlock your CX team's potential, think about adding in sponsorship programs alongside mentorship guidance within your internal relations to really boost team morale, capitalize strengths, and pave the path towards customer LTV success.
Holding conferences, lectures, and workshops are all wonderful to keep communication within your company coherent and transparent. But something that is not as often utilized is something called ‘skip level’ meetings. By definition, a skip level meeting is when people from every level of your company (from CEO to ground keepers) all get together in a room either monthly or bi-monthly to discuss issues on a level playing field. This is when people across the pyramid get to voice their concerns, questions, and ideas to those who are generally segregated at the top and brainstorm together to solve them as one unified team.
As a leader who is constantly overseeing the bigger picture, it can be hard to deep dive into the minds of your team and see what is going on at the frontlines day to day, especially if you oversee a CX team of 50+. By taking the time to schedule regular skip level meetings to bring these things to light can ultimately allow you to give your CX team the guidance, support, and tools they need to thrive by hearing it from the sources themselves vs. playing the guessing game and potentially getting it wrong. Plus, allowing them to speak their minds in this light also amplifies respect for you and what you stand for, which is a motivator for potential boosting/stronger customer retention all on its own.
Technology: use it, leverage it, and take full advantage of it. Modern technology is an ever-evolving market and one that can offer substantial CX support to streamline customer satisfaction processes. Because when it comes to high volume customer retention, things like automation are key to gaining as much credibility as you can without your CX team having to risk facing burnout as a direct correlation. In summary, you can improve team potential through technology integration that makes roles easier to manage and can ramp up customer LTV because your crew will have an easier time forming deeper customer relationships due to not being spread thin. Remember, customer retention professionals may be excellent at customer Lifetime Value, but they do have their limits, and this is where technology/automation can help bridge those gaps.
As a final note on this one, technology to help make jobs easier can sound like a no-brainer solution. However, be sure that you do not make any rash decisions without proper reviewing and greenlights from the team who would be using it. Communicating openly with your CX team, align your technology solutions with their needs to make their efforts more effective, and above all, do so while being mindful not to lose the humanizing engagement factor with your customers along the way.
A KPI, also known as a key performance indicator, is a powerful internal pipeline tactic to help you and your team bridge any skill gaps by measuring skill levels and progress using quantifiable data measuring. For a quick definition, it is a performance chart that monitors a person's progress on a specific skill/objective to help everyone within the business move forward on a strategic-styled level. Usually, these progressions are measured in things like revenue growth, profit margin, customer retention rate, customer satisfaction, and revenue per customer.
For example, think of a KPI as a resource that gives your CX team expectations, milestones, and goals to shoot for to better themselves and the organization as a whole. They help keep teams aligned, focused, provide mental checks, and add a healthy level of team accountability. Sure, the process of creating a KPI can take a little bit of time on your part (defining how it will be used, developing tangible goals, making them clear and attainable, and not over-packing expectations), but it can be a golden ticket to help everyone push themselves past barriers and make high potential decisions that can move the entire business forward.
If you want to unleash the power of your people, stop micromanaging them. The short and sweet of it is that being a helicopter boss does not instill motivation or determination. In fact, it does the exact opposite, as it can intensify stress and your unblinking eyes can cause your CX team to become overwhelmed by the pressure of potentially being scrutinized - inevitably debilitating them from being able to do their jobs at full capacity.
Naturally as a leader, you will want to interact, engage, and set precedents for your team to ensure a positive customer satisfaction rating. But do so while allowing your CX team to hold some authority of their own to make sound decisions, try new things, and find different ways to better the organization as a collective. As long as their customer retention milestones are being met and the entire workplace culture stays positive with you stepping back, let them take the reins once in a while. By doing so and not monitoring their every move, you may be surprised at the results your CX team will develop after being encouraged to take the initiative to improve their own productivity and processes.
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and SME business owners all crave the same fruitful goal: to run a massively successful business. Regardless of the industry, they all want to be dominating yet respected leaders in their given field while concurrently instilling lasting granular and societal impacts. But if there is one thing you likely have recognized by now, it is that this success takes a village; in this case, an optimized CX team that shares the same illustrious visions.
Overall, you’ve got your team and they’ve got the core talent to skyrocket your CSAT to the nines. They likely even hold key talents they may not even recognize they have just yet, and it is your job as their leader to help them unlock that potential to move forward as a team – something you can do in just 5 simple steps. Because doing so doesn’t just position your CX team for success, but it ultimately secures a scaling future filled with employee/customer LTV. And you best bet in the end, that is a fruitful outcome that everyone (internally and externally) gets to benefit from.