How to hire the right people and training those in order to deliver the desired customer service experience has always been a focus and a debate. But what else can you do when, despite investing in training and sharing knowledge within the organization, your staff still fail to deliver the desired customer experience? Behavioral science might be able to assist us in complementing our delivery of desired customer experience.

Behavioral science is the understanding of human behavior. It generally disregards the existence of mind, and concentrate on the patterns of human response to external stimuli; in other words, factors that drive people’s behavior ( http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/behavioral-sciences.html).  Therefore, understanding behavioral science will not only help us to identify what motivates and engages customers but most importantly recognize what provokes and drives our employees to deliver service excellence. Organizations use performance indicators to improve efficiency and measure outcomes against set targets. However, in many circumstances, companies underestimate the real influence of performance indicators in people’s behavior. If you choose the wrong measures, thus drive the wrong behavior, you can end up creating unexpected surprises in your organization.

The very first focus to ensure the right measurements for consistency in customer experience is set, is to identify the different touch-points that forms the brand experience; and for each of the touch-points and attributes, design the indicators that will support it. For instance, if a team of sales  representatives are only measured based on the number of contract signed and/or conversation rate, it is then inevitable that their energy will be mainly focused on getting as many contacts signed (or sales) as possible and therefore, overlook the sequential touch-points of the whole client experience journey. To balance this out, it is then necessary to also measure the after sales relationship with the clients, such as the number of complaints or compliments.

Getting the right balance between measuring performance and desired staff behavior for service excellence is a critical debate!

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Wei Cheng-Chen Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Wei-Cheng is a Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting SA. He has assisted many international organizations, such as luxury goods, insurance and banking companies, in designing and delivering tailored training programmes to enhance their customer service and experience. His role also involves in managing a team in setting up hospitality schools and learning centres where hospitality talents are most needed; from concept development to implementation, quality inspection and ensuring sustainable growth and competitive advantage of each institution.

Prior to LHC, he worked in the hospitality industry in Argentina and Switzerland and also collected experience in the education sector. Wei was responsible for talent sourcing for Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, recruiting young future leaders for the hospitality industry. Wei is a life member of Clare Hall, a constituent and graduate college of the University of Cambridge where he obtained his postgraduate degree. He is also alumnus of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and possesses a degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from the Escuela Internacional de Hotelería y Turismo CENCAP in Buenos Aires, Argentina.