Yesterday I walked into a store. The store didn't seem busy, but the staff seemed busy. One was outside rearranging a sign. Another was rearranging a display. Another was carrying a box to out the back of the store.
There was no queue, so I stood by the counter. It took a while. After a few minutes, one staff member walked up. "Oh, sorry," he said. "We've been so busy today".
The staff were friendly and hard working. But moving boxes and rearranging displays all seemed more important than customer service.
Strange, I thought.
Earlier in the day, I had been talking to the training manager of the chain of stores. She showed me the initial elearning staff received. One of the most important lessons was: "customer service is the number one priority". The training manager thought the message was loud and clear. But, based on my brief experience, they were the chain of stores that made you wait.
The business was flying blind. The training manager had to make guesses about how well the elearning was working. Management had to make guesses about customer experience. Nobody had any data. They couldn't make more informed decisions.
Go back to me walking into the store. Imagine that you are the store manager. You are observing what happened. Imagine that, after a few minutes of me waiting, you discreetly pulled out your phone. You selected the staff member from a list. You gave him a score of 2 out of 4 for "attends to customers who enter the store in less than 30 seconds" in the category "is aware customer service is the number 1 priority".
You were doing one item (among many) in a customer service observational checklist.
Customers use informal observation checklists all the time. Customers don't call them "observation checklists" of course. (It would be strange if they did!) So if you use observation checklists, you can see your business the way your customers see it. You can capture data on momentary customer interactions that would otherwise get lost.
But so far we have just have one anecdote, right?
Sure. But sending checklist data back to xapiapps changes that, too.
The scores for the observational checklists are sent back to the chain of store's 'xapiapps'. The data is aggregated and analysed. Then, xapiapps links the observational checklist data to other data from your LMS, LRS and other systems.
Now imagine that observational checklist data is streaming in from stores all over the country.
Did one staff member just need some extra coaching? Did the manager of the store need to know that his store had longer waiting times than other stores? Was there a waiting time problem across the whole chain of stores? Perhaps the new elearning module wasn't getting the "customer service is the number 1 priority" message across to new staff?
Using xapiapps, you could answer these sorts of questions - and adjust accordingly. Indeed, next time I walked into that store I might think: "wow, they're fast to serve you around here!"