Innovative technologies aimed at customer engagement are flooding the market today, but is technology really all brands need to become customer-centric? Antonia Hock, Global Head & VP of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, explains that while data-driven technology is an admirable initiative, it doesn’t mean anything unless the people behind the technology are engaged.
In the latest issues of the AMA Quarterly Magazine, Hock explored how the dedication of those behind the technology and marketing programs – from designers to developers – is the foundation for a successful business. “Regardless of the industry or market segment, building a world-class culture based on shared values, inclusion, compassion, and lateral service must come before any customer-centric focus in order to drive real success,” she said.
Building a culture where employees are engaged, enjoy their work, and will advocate for a brand, are the first steps on the path to a great customer experience. The Ritz-Carlton, for example, has taken employee engagement and care to heart by following a value-based outline that ensures employees and customers will be fulfilled. “The hotel chain has adopted an approach to culture creation that makes that process tangible and executable for any organization willing to implement with discipline, which can be deduced into the following core values,” said Hock.
For organizations on the journey to improve customer experience, it must start from within. Hock describes the 5 values that come together to engage employees, which creates happy customers.
Hire for Culture: “Attitude, selflessness, compassion, positive outlook, work ethic, and heart for serving others are essential to creating a powerful foundation for CX,” she said.
Create Emotional Connections to the Brand: “Employees that are strongly connected to your company through a set of positive emotional experiences will express that positive experience to others,” said Hock.
Implement the CX Foundation: This includes lateral service, empowerment, and first-party resolution. “These three important principles stand out as nonnegotiable foundations that all brands should consider embracing if they want to create a meaningful and sustainable customer-centric culture,” explained Hock.
Build Anticipatory Service: “The magic of superior service, and ultimately superior CX, is being able to anticipate needs and desires,” said Hock, something The Ritz-Carlton excels in.
Make Employees Part of the Tribe: “If you can recruit, hire, empower, and maintain an employee base driven by shared values, you will inherently have a workforce dedicated to delivering great experiences to others and to customers,” said Hock.