Excellent Customer Experience is made up of six emotional drivers according to The CX Academy which drive customer advocacy, repeat businesses, and financial success, but these drivers can very effectively be applied to optimal effect in our careers. Evidence shows that emotions play an important role in career decisions, so the way we make colleagues and managers feel, is of utmost importance.
Principle 1: I trust you
Actively listen to others’ points of view and communicate without jargon (no matter how credible or expert using jargon makes you feel). Let colleagues know what will happen in advance and explain deadlines (and keep them!!). Where relevant, provide information to help others make informed decisions. This trust is, of course, built over time but hugely important in building your personal integrity and career opportunities.
Principle 2: You know me
Learn people’s names and greet them with a relevant comment or question about something they mentioned before. Give people your full attention when they are speaking and use every interaction as an opportunity to get to know them better. Avoid asking people for the same information multiple times. Acknowledge the needs that colleagues previously expressed when making recommendations - make these considerations explicit and visible. Humans like to be valued, and showing you have taken the time to get to know someone will predispose them to feeling warmly to you and seeing your contributions in a positive light - exactly what we want when we are developing our careers and relationships at work.
Principle 3: You make it easy for me
Make it easy for people to work with you. For meetings, pick locations that are easy for you both to get to, and acknowledge when this isn’t possible. Make the most of colleagues’ time and don’t make a habit of arriving late. ALWAYS apologise if you are late to show that THEIR time is important to you. Think about ways to save their time by consolidating a long document or sending a pre-read or voice-note to ensure they don’t needlessly waste any time. Ask them how long they have available and completely respect this timeframe. Make the time spent together as enjoyable as possible - bring a coffee or choose a relaxing or convenient location. Creating an environment where your colleagues and managers enjoy spending time with you and find it easy, smooths the path and creates positive vibes around you.
Principle 4: You ‘get me’
This is all about showing empathy to colleagues and managers. Challenge yourself to not interrupt others when they are speaking and let them completely finish talking before you speak. Summarise back what you’ve heard to check understanding. Take time to listen to their concerns and be curious about the issues they have or successes they’ve had. Show personal interest in them and try to remember these preferences in your next interaction on a project or meeting. Giving people space to be heard is very powerful for building impactful relationships.
Principle 5: You deliver on your promises
Set clear expectations within projects about what will / not happen and give context and stages if possible. If these change, clearly communicate this to the relevant stakeholders even if it isn’t you who’s instigated the change. If possible, create moments where you under promise and overdeliver to create ‘wow’ moments for your colleagues e.g delivering work a day early. Avoid jargon and making your part in the project overly complicated, and share lessons learnt freely and honestly so others may benefit from your experience. When you deliver on your promises, colleagues build trust and are likely to believe in your abilities more, giving you scope to stretch into new opportunities for growth.
Principle 6: You fix things
Things won’t always go right 100% of the time. Fixing things well can ironically deliver more advocacy for you and your work than if things had all gone smoothly. Acknowledge and offer a genuine apology. Urgently resolve the problem and keep the team informed of progress. Don’t be shy of honest conversations and remain open to feedback about things that could have gone better. Take ownership of the end to end problem so your colleague has one, clear point of contact, but empower others in your team to fix things effectively. If there are opportunities to make a choice about how something is resolved, present these with your clear recommendation. If appropriate, a hand written card or small gift at the end of the project to thank them for their collaboration leaves them with a lasting positive impression of your interaction.
Working with Heads of CX and Heads of Marketing, it’s so easy to work on these principles for a brand, but remember that in your career, that YOU are the product, brand, marketing and operational teams (and more!) all rolled into one. Raising awareness of these hints, tricks and tips can help you approach decision making and key moments, being more conscious of your personal impact.
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