Mercedes-Benz hasn’t only figured out how to build great machines – they’ve also cracked the code on delivering world-class service. By following the LEAD approach, your organization can improve your customer experience too.
Today’s post is by Joseph Michelli, author of Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way (CLICK HERE to get your copy).
The first time I met Mike Figliuolo – Managing Director at thoughtLEADERS (approximately 8 years ago), we were both listening to a speaker from the Ritz-Carlton.
Across that span of time the world of business has changed dramatically! Innovation and technology have proliferated, consumers enjoy universal access to the Internet, and people are continually connected to one another and their favorite brands through mobile devices.
Also in that time long-standing or innovative brands like Radio Shack, Blackberry, or Blockbuster have lost their luster or disappeared altogether. Conversely, other brands like Apple and Starbucks continue to remain relevant to a changing consumer.
As products have become increasingly similar and better, today’s great business differentiator centers around the “experience” in which products are delivered. As such, many leaders have been tasked to shift from product-centric to customer-centric cultures and strategies.
The path to customer experience excellence is a crowded (a Forrester Research study shows that 92% of leadership teams have it as a strategic priority) and tricky one (the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows consumer satisfaction approaching a 9-year low). So who is making this important transition effectively? What are some of the key behaviors leaders in these brands focus on to succeed when so many others fail?
Over the past several years I have been fortunate to work with the senior leadership at Mercedes-Benz USA and chronicle their efforts to take that iconic brand (known for over a century of commitment to innovative engineering and safety) and position it to deliver a customer experience befitting the brand promise “best or nothing.”
While the details of that transformation can be found in my recently released book, Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way, here are four key behaviors emphasized by Mercedes-Benz leadership and they come in the form of the acronym LEAD: