09 dec Random act of kindness for outstanding customer experience
In the current customer experience world, it is important to not only comply with but also exceed the expectations of the customers. A great way to surprise customers through the Customer Journey is with random acts of kindness (RAK).
By surprising customers we mean that you give something extra that was not in the expectations of the customer, e.g. giving additional advise when a customer buys your product or service or leaving a personal message on the inside of a pizza box when delivered. This extra personal effort is known as a random act of kindness, an old theory known as a selfless act performed by a person or a group with the intention of either assisting or to cheering up a individual. But further from this definition, how can we define a random act of kindness?
It is imperative characteristic is that the act is in fact performed randomly. This means that it cannot be implemented in the business process as a given for every customer in a determined channel, but actually needs to happen on a non-regular basis. It can be, however, implemented within a percentage of the contacts, avoiding business standardization. Sometimes random acts of kindness have been seen implemented based on money expenditure, age, location or moment the customer made contact. Separately these can be conditions where acts can be performed, but it needs to remain as random as possible. In other words: if it happens more often and the customer thinks it is standard then it is not random anymore.
The rule for ‘random’ is when the customer thinks: “wow, what lucky I am that this happened to me, in this moment with this employee”.
In the random acts of kindness planet, it is important that an employee performs the act. There has to be a real action involved; not a standard slogan, paper, printed message, standard present or discount. An employee or group of employees need to do something visible that shows kindness and is random. For example: sing a song, write a message, come back to the customer on a later moment, remembering the name of the customer, serve something extra, anticipate or offer a real smile. You need to empower and stimulate your employees to let them ‘act’, not to work like a machine.
The rule for ‘act’: doing something visible and being kind at a random moment.
The most difficult part of the random acts of kindness is the latter segment. It is really hard discuss what ‘kindness’ is, since the definition is vague and it might mean different things depending on the culture or context. This means that the employee needs to ‘feel’ and perceive in what way he/she can be kind. A helpful way to help define this within the organization is to discuss it in team meetings and give examples, letting everybody know what is means to be kind, and even more, what the impact is on the customer.
The rule for ‘kindness’ is: that random act, needs to put a smile on the face of the customer.
But the question is, how?
Of course you are thinking: how can I integrate this into my own business? The answer is simple: you can’t! You cannot train it; you cannot learn it and you cannot make it a standard process. However, a random act of kindness-attitude is something you can incentivize and if implemented well, is an opportunity to stand out with your brand. If your employees are capable of performing random acts of kindness, your sales, compliments and loyalty will increase and the. Make sure, with the selection and hiring of your employees, that you find out if you are dealing with a RAK-person of with a non-RAK-person, that’s all. Good luck!