Customer Experience

Customer experience can make or break your business. 

How customers feel about your company is not only a personal experience but one often shared on social and digital media.

Whether superior or hellacious, these more extreme customer experiences are often shared, repeated, and form the basis of your business’ overall reputation.

Therefore, it is essential for your business to ensure your customers get the best experience possible.  And, when they don’t get the best experience that you handle the shortfall(s) quickly and effectively.

Let’s look at what makes a favorable customer experience today.

  • Easy interface online and in-person – the information flow with the customer should be seamless and low effort.
  • Personalization – basic personal information from your customer’s name to past preferences has become table stakes; with advanced technology and multiple visits, the bar has risen to include style and tone of communication, suggestions, and anticipation of needs or wants.
  • Genuine interest – most customers want you to engage with them and show a genuine interest.
  • Knowledgeable resource – you must be the expert in what you do and the product/service you provide your customers.
  • Privacy – personal data, and preferences, will be protected and not shared without permission.
  • Receiving value – customer always want to feel they have gotten a good deal, or what they paid more for was well worth it.

To deliver good customer service, your business needs to build a culture of customer service and the capabilities to make it happen.  The customer experience should be considered in every decision your business makes.

The business owner and/or manager must support the objective of delivering best-in-class customer experiences.  All employees should be trained and compensated on delivering superior customer service.  

Even if an employee does not directly touch a customer, their work ultimately effects the customer’s experience; therefore you need to make sure the employee understands his/her role in making the customer experience optimal.

Understand your customer and what is important.  Your employees should be able to articulate and deliver a positive customer experience to your customers.  Also, your approach must be agile to change with customer needs and wants.

As you set-up or change work processes consider your customers’ expectations across areas such as getting help or service; remember, customers like to maintain control and want personalization.

To be successful:

  • Link your customer experience with strategic priorities, such as growing revenue and/or market share through increased customer attraction, engagement, loyalty, and referral.
  • Consider the whole customer experience or journey the customer takes with your business; changes and/or problems in one area can and do effect other areas.  Find and fill those gaps and problem areas to ensure the entire customer experience is consistently superior.
  • Be innovative, creative in coming up with improvements to your customers’ experiences.  Generate bold ideas, use a customer-centric mindset, and then assess the feasibility of them.
  • Prioritize what customer experience practices will make the biggest difference.
  • Feedback from your customers is critical.  You think and hope you are delivering a solid customer experience; but are you?  Ask your customers.

In summary, for your business to thrive you must focus on and deliver superior customer service.  Doing so begins with you, the business owner and/or manager.  Start making it a cultural and business imperative today.

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