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The Key to Customer Experience is Being Awesome with People

If you have customers then you’re in the people business. At FullContact, we strongly believe that success in life is all about people and that every business can benefit from a people-first strategy. So, we have a “be awesome with people” motto at FullContact to help our company focus on customer experience and focus on developing solutions that help other businesses to be awesome with people too.

Serving as the lifeblood that drives FullContact and its team members, being awesome with people is much more than a company philosophy. It’s a long-term strategy because being awesome with people requires knowing your customers better and better over time. This mantra looks great on paper and even better in theory, but what does it look like in practice when companies are truly awesome with people?

Let’s use airlines as an example. Earlier this week the US Department of Air Transportation released their Air Travel Consumer Report, which shockingly reported that airline complaints have risen 20 percent in the first half of 2015. The bulk of complaints were caused by late and cancelled flights, lost bags, and an overall poor customer experience. The airlines with the most complaints are fighting an uphill battle to regain the trust of their valued customers. It seems there are a lot of airlines – and a lot of travelers – that could benefit from an “awesome with people” philosophy.

As a case in point, a colleague of mine named Adrianne told me just this week that she recently flew through Dallas on a connecting flight. Upon arrival in Dallas she discovered that the airline had switched her flight plans entirely without notice, removing her from her scheduled connecting flight and placing her on a new one… four hours later. In an attempt to correct their wrongdoing, the airline emailed her a mileage bonus to be used on a future flight. Did the airline think that miles applied to a future flight would appease Adrianne in her situation? The better question for this airline is, “What would be “awesome with people” in this situation?”

In this instance, the airline was clearly not “awesome with people.” The airline assumed that their blanket approach of throwing mileage at a customer would right their wrong. They neglected to understand the customer, understand her situation, understand the context, and take action based on how she felt and wanted to be treated in that context. At FullContact, we call this level of understanding “fully connecting.”

One way to think about fully connecting is to think of it like the ‘Platinum Rule’, a term coined by Dr. Tony Alessandra that gives a different perspective than the classic ‘Golden Rule’. Keeping in mind that no two individuals are the same, the Platinum Rule asserts that we should treat others not as we wish to be treated, but as they wish to be treated. Simply understanding what uniquely drives people and recognizing how to best communicate and foster meaningful relationships with people is what being awesome with people is all about.

Even though no two people are the same, we have found at FullContact that there are a few consistent ways businesses can tailor an organizational approach to fully connecting and being awesome with people.

  1. Know your customer 360-degrees. Build and maintain a 360-degree contact record for every customer. A 360-degreee record includes permission-based private data, public data, and organizational data.
  2. Remember the details. Organizations can remember the details by keeping and sharing unified contact records containing important details about their customers.
  3. Use the details in context. All departments in an organization need to be able to quickly access details about a contact so any customer-facing employee can fully connect with a customer and understand the context of the situation.

What method of fully connecting works for your business? Do you have a time when a company was exceptionally awesome with you? Comment below or tweet us at @FullContact. We would love to hear about it!

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