I can’t do it… there’s just too much to think about at once!”
This phrase was uttered in frustration by one of the masters swimming group that I coach on Tuesday evenings. They range in ability from age-group members of the Great Britain triathlon team through to solid swimmers that want to improve technique and speed, and there can be success, inspiration and frustration at every session.
The swimmer in question – let’s call her Rebecca – was trying to improve her time for the swim leg of an Olympic distance triathlon. A mixture of YouTube videos, magazine articles and well-intended peer recommendations had created a real sense of bewilderment, and her times were slower because of trying to make all the changes at once… with no recorded measures of what difference each one was making.
Over a coffee at the end of the session we decided to tackle the areas for improvement one at a time, and record the results over a period of eight weeks. Steady progress and plenty of revision has already seen her improve her time by over 40 seconds… and Rebecca enjoys her experience at training more after seeing the outputs.
“Breaking experiences up into manageable chunks is a great way to tackle things.”
When I listen to our customers at events I attend, and read the incredible range of articles online or in industry magazines such as this, I do feel that this possible sense of being overwhelmed can be felt by teams targeted with continuously improving the customer and/or student experiences. With so many factors to think about, it is difficult to know where to start, what will make the most difference and where teams should spend the already limited time available.
It sounds almost patronising to suggest that breaking the experiences up into manageable chunks is a great way to tackle things – whether trying to improve enquiry conversions through more targeted chase procedures or improving the efficiency of the students’ online application experience – and this is not the intention here – but I really feel that this is the key to achieving the improvements.
And it is the measurement that is critical. Using integrated CRM and student accommodation systems to track the actions taken is paramount. And working with those supplier partners to let them know what it is that you are trying to build on and achieve, means that there can be more members of the team around you to support your process changes, at every step of the way. As a result, the standard of customer and student experiences can only be driven even higher.
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