In April, 2014, more than 150 customer experience, data, marketing and business leaders participated in the first Customer 360 Symposium run by Ashton Media.
This is the final of three posts based on a presentation given by Billy Butler, Director, Global Customer Quality at Dell, about how Dell made the transformation as a global solutions provider without losing touch with the customer experience.
Help a Customer
How do you make it simple? We introduced this concept called Help a Customer. It’s for an external and internal activity. Each of our employees actually have a card. It’s that simple. You just get online, you select the region, you tell us your issue, and that goes into one centralised team and they will do all of that engagement internally.
For a customer, it’s one activity. Then, somebody would call you back but it will be the right person. It will be the person that can actually address your issue and get a result quickly. Feedback from that, from our customers, has been quite significant.
We also try to drive “wow” moments. Let me just share a story which I know Tim had mentioned about storytelling but to me, this is a perfect example of where you get your employees fully engaged in this process.
I am not sure if anyone here is a huge fan of Formula 1, but about a year ago in Madrid, the Williams team had a fire in one of their garages during the Madrid race. One of our tech support employees was a huge, huge fan. He’s sitting at home on a Sunday watching this blaze going on. Then, of course, the news came on about this fire going on.
He thought about it and recognised, “Hey, they’re one of our customers.” He wrote to his boss and he said, “Listen, you probably have seen the news but Williams have a problem and they’ve got another race in three weeks’ time. We’ve got to help him.” He and his boss rang a few other guys from within Dell. They created a wall room situation. They got in.
They identified what equipment had been destroyed. They went ahead and organised to get all that equipment replaced and to have it delivered to the next race in three weeks’ time. As a result, Williams were able to just continue as is without having to worry about the damage.
Now, the normal process is that Williams would have to come back to us. They’d go through the whole thing, but here was someone using their initiative, understanding this is a customer, I need to help that customer.
I just think it’s a great example of people understanding that as a customer experience champion, you don’t switch off when you leave the office building. I remind my own employees as well about the same thing.
Look for those “wow” moments
Don’t forget that the biggest example of customer experience and what great customer experience is, is within yourself because we’re all consumers. You know what good looks like. You know what great looks like. Suddenly, we get a mind lapse as soon as we walk through the door of our building, and we forget, and we’re looking for input and insight from everybody else.
Never forget your own experiences and live them every single day. That’s what we encourage our employees to do. I think just that story with the Formula 1 thing gives you an example of it.
Look for those wow moments. Share them across your teams. Let people understand so they recognise it as well. It encourages and fosters a lot of innovative and creative thinking in that format, and gives your employees the opportunity to exercise it.
Test and analyse every social media channel
Social media, we know it’s huge. It’s extremely challenging across the board. I mentioned already what we do as part of the process. We also have a command center and this command center, it’s based in Austin. It operates 24/7. What it actually does is test and analyse every social media channel that is out there.
As we go through it, we’re watching for sentiment, we’re watching for not just ourselves but our competitors so we can get a sense of how the industry is being perceived, how all of us are being perceived, and what our customer is looking for us to do differently. We generate reports. We generate changes within our organisation to address this. We incorporate that into our CRM system, and we’ve got this continuous feedback process going on.
Your employees are your single most valuable resource
I suppose one of the last pieces of advice that I am going to share with you is what I mentioned about employee engagement. Your employees are your single most valuable resource when it comes to customer engagement.
One of the things that we found was that employees themselves, they also have a voice. I know there was a discussion during Michael’s presentation yesterday about employee engagement and around that service with employees. We do that as well.
I have to agree with him. I often seriously question the value and what feedback I am getting on that service. One of the things that we’ve done in Dell which I think is a problem and we still haven’t corrected it, is that we do this service and we use it as a measure of how effective the manager is.
What happens in that situation? The manager goes and talks to his team and says, “Hey, look. This survey is testing me. You need to treat me fairly.” You’re completely undermining the purpose of it. It’s asking some very genuine questions around the culture and it’s asking general questions, but because it’s a reflection of the manager, the information being fed into it is false.
The real interesting piece is the comments
I mentioned this to some folks I was talking to yesterday. I can remember back in the 16 years I’ve been with Dell, the first five or six years were directly in manufacturing with very large manufacturing lines with about 5,000 employees in Ireland.
I remember reading through the comments because the survey results would always be positive but one of the questions we would ask was, “what is the one thing you like most about Dell?” One of the responses back was, “I love looking at it in my rear view mirror as I drive away.” Now, having said that, that person scored positively in the survey. The real richness was actually in the commentary. That gave you a better perception of what was going on.
What we did was we introduced two questions into the survey and we used that Net Promoter Score approach. One of the first questions we asked was, would you recommend Dell to a friend or colleague as a great place to work? Would you recommend Dell’s product and services to a friend or colleague?
I’ll tell you, the results were fascinating. Just even watching these very issues between the different functions and departments. We got more insight and more value out of those two questions than the 37 questions that were in the survey.
Do your employees feel engaged and supported?
When you’re looking at your service particularly with employee engagement, you can question that, but if you really want that true richness, I’ve always found personally, sit in a room with folks, talk to them, or go to them on a daily basis and get them to give you that feedback.
If they’re not willing to give you that feedback, then that in itself tells you loads about the environment you’ve created in terms of your management style, but if they are willing to open up to you, it’s really important that just like customers, you keep going back to them and you update them on what is changing based on their feedback and based on your personal behavior.
That’s really, really important but the reason I mentioned that is what we found when we’ve done that analysis over the last number of years. Employees that felt really engaged, really supported by their managers, and by measure of the process, we discovered that their customer net promoter score was twice the score of any of our employees that scored poorly in that employee engagement survey.
Results of our baseline study – it’s 25% more!
The reason I mentioned that to you by way of introduction to this piece is when we did a baseline study over the last number of years on our customer and our customer net promoter score, we found that 25% more revenue was spent by our promoters than by our passives, or our detractors.
If your employees drive twice the level of the customer net promoter score, and those customers spend 25% more revenue, there is your return on investment. That is why employee engagement is so critical as part and process of the customer experience piece.
People will always remember how it made them feel
I wanted to just finish with this one quote and it’s from a lady called Maya Angelou. I used that quote all of the time myself because it resonates so well with me, and it resonates with me as being somebody who is a consumer and a customer in my own right, and I leverage it when I am dealing with customers all of the time.
Because I am global, my remit is global, I will engage with customers through any social media any time of the day or night. Obviously, there are a couple of hours that I’d like to get some sleep in but I will engage with them because they are so important to our business.
But this is what I remember every time, it’s, ” People will not remember what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how it made them feel.” If you could think of that and bring that one message back, that is what will drive your business forward and give you the opportunity to grow.
Reach out, we’re there for you
That’s pretty much what I wanted to cover with you. You can contact me on LinkedIn or on Facebook. I will share, I will work with whatever we have, and if you are a Dell customer, never be afraid to reach out. We’re there for you. That’s it.
This is the final post of this 3 part series.
View the full presentation here:
Mark Abay - Content Director, Ashton Media
Mark is Content Director at Ashton Media. It's his job to create interesting and engaging conference programs that stretch the thinking of our attendees. Mark works closely with our industry advisors to ensure the conference content is aligned with the needs and interests of our audiences.