Listen to full episode on Frontline Magic Podcast:
Across all industries, exceptional frontline service (we like to call it ‘magic’) is important, but in the beauty business, that service is more personal and emotional than anywhere else. In New Zealand, Caci clinics are at the forefront of the skincare and appearance industry, with over 40 Caci locations, making them one of the country’s most recognisable brands. They’re also well-known for their deep sense of nurturing and care for customers who “...from the very beginning of the customer journey our customers must quite often overcome emotional and social barriers to even entering the building,” says Fran (Francesca) Caliari-Pearce, Acting CEO.
“Our customers trust us with their vulnerabilities, the things that make them the most self-conscious and they haven't even told anyone else about, until they come into a clinic,” says Fran.
How, when the customer calling or visiting, isn’t even confident that they are doing the right thing, do you make immediate connections to put them at ease and work your way towards magic?
Keep reading to find out...
All about NPS
To Caci, NPS and customer feedback is key. “Even after a negative response, we aim to turn around what the customer experienced by reaching out immediately to say we’re so sorry to have received that feedback today and then we ask – ‘how can we help?’ It’s really important to ensure the customer feels heard.”
Caci utilises online platforms (such as Ask Nicely) to collect and analyse customer feedback data and they share this information right across the business.
“This customer feedback helps to identify where the biggest opportunities for change are, and where training and coaching are needed,” says Fran, adding that this focus isn’t just ‘lip service’ - the company’s annual awards conference is also based on customer satisfaction, with the most coveted prize being that of ‘highest customer metrics’ amongst almost 600 employees.
Holy moly – I would never do that… would I?
Fran believes that because customer expectations are so high, an ‘OK’ or even ‘good’ experience can be underwhelming – and that feeling can be massively damaging for a brand – resulting in customer churn and lost revenues.
“The key to beating that feeling, is consistency - ensuring that a customer knows they will receive an exceptional experience every time they visit.”
But how can that level of service be assured in a growing company with a growing number of employees? Fran believes that clear frameworks and processes are the foundation to ensuring everyone knows the minimum expectations around customer interaction, and encouraging them to go above and beyond.
“A lot of people who join us are really experienced in the industry and provide a great customer experience. But regardless, everyone receives training. It’s great that we’re building on a really strong foundation, but training is how we create consistency.”
Caci uses lots of video content and activity-based learning to help instill key messages. “Just as important as highlighting the right things to say; is highlighting what doesn’t make for a consistent customer experience. Often, when watching the videos, people will laugh and think ‘holy moly that’s funny, of course I wouldn’t do that’, but it really helps to land the message.”
Coaching teams for success
The customers and unique situations that Caci deals with everyday can be extremely complex, so looking after the people who look after these customers is more important than ever. “All support offices, franchisee partners and their teams have constant and immediate access to customer feedback data. This has helped us identify where to invest training and coaching resources, including focusing on clinics or staff who need specific support along with scheduled and ongoing coaching sessions.”
Fran’s final thoughts on creating a ‘beautiful’ customer experiences include:
- ‘Good’ vs ‘Awesome’ is an intangible thing – It can be hard to put your finger on what the difference is, but you can just feel it – the energy and the magic behind it.
“Think about all of the little things you can do – they might be easy to overlook when it’s busy, but done properly, that’s what makes an experience special.”
- Passionate people from the start – The magic begins when you recruit people who really find joy in what they do, so take the time to get to the crux of what makes them tick. With all the skills in the world, you still can’t train someone to be passionate about caring for customers.
“You can have the best marketing and strategy in the world, but at the end of the day, it's the team that connects with customers every day.”
- Put yourself in the customers’ shoes – Never underestimate the power of relationships and building empathy for your customer.
“As cliche as it sounds, I truly believe it’s about listening to your customer, being humble, and having the ability to empathise.”
- Live your core purpose every day – It's one thing to have core values, but it's another to make sure that everyone in the business lives and breathes those values every day, for every customer. At Caci, the ‘Simon Sinek method’ (start with ‘why’) resonates with the team and helps drive every decision made.
“How many customers' lives are we going to change today? We keep that front of mind and don't ever take for granted the trust that customers put in our teams.”