If you are reading this blog you care about your customers and want them to be satisfied at all times. Identifying leads, converting them into opportunities, translating them into customers and eventually providing them with an enhanced experience are the key factors that define the success of a sales funnel or pipeline. As a business owner, you could be directly interacting with the customers, if you are leading the sales, marketing or front office teams. Or you may not be directly involved with them if you are managing production, design, finance or similar departments. Either way, your customer experience strategy must be at the forefront of your everyday responsibilities.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience is not simply customer service or marketing. According to the US market research company, Forrester Research, Customer Experience can be defined as: “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.” The customer directly communicates with the organization while making inquiries or buying products or services. Customer Experience measures how effective and impactful these customer interactions are.
- Did the customer return back with more sales?
- Will the organization succeed in cross-selling other products?
- Does the customer turn into a brand advocate and increase overall Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)?
How Does a Customer Rate Experience?
Let’s analyze the post-sales experience as if you are the customer. Things really important to you are:
- Value for money: Do you feel as if you got your money’s worth?
- Convenient and easy to use: Is the product or service is user-friendly and uncomplicated?
- A happy experience. Is your interaction with the system or a human representative pleasant and effective and didn’t involve any unnecessary complications?
- A satisfying experience. Did the service/product you brought solve your problem?
How to Create a Delightful Customer Experience
Personalize the Experience
A book shop owner informs you when the book you had been looking for comes into the store. Or a restaurant keeps flowers of a particular type or color (say a red rose) on your table because that is your favorite. And they know how to cook your chicken or fish: half boiled or grilled. Customizing your regular deals to add a hint of personalization makes your customers feel important, loved and connected.
A person’s name is the sweetest sound to him or her in any language. Greet your customers by their names, whenever you remember. Furthermore be proactive about remembering! Say, “Good Morning, Mr. John Smith.” They’ll feel as if you’ll notice if they don’t return.
Appreciate and Acknowledge
How do you feel when you are appreciated? You feel delighted, don’t you? A staff member opens the car door for you. Send a greeting card on Christmas or New Year to your customers. But in a way, let it be known to them that they are being pampered because they are a priority or special customers. Flatter them but with sincerity.
True story: a lady walked up to the front desk in a top-tier hotel and told the manager how overjoyed and pleased she was that the hotel staff remembered her even though she was visiting for only the second time in many years. The new security guard greeted her by name as he welcomed her. Puzzled, the manager asked him about it and the guard replied that he had seen her name tag on her suitcase. Consequently, you should always remember the difference is in the details. Nevertheless, focus on even the minute details about your customers. Nothing is trivial.
A little Consideration
Be a little more caring. Walk the extra mile. Do you have childcare in your departmental store where parents can keep their children so that they can be relaxed while shopping? Or hold an umbrella while your customers are walking to their cars in the rain? All these things matter.
Delighted Customer – An Asset
A customer is “the MAN” (a person who has the Money, Authority, and Need). The MAN decides what and when to buy and use the product or service. So it is the responsibility of each and every employee in the organization to give the MAN a memorable experience.
Customer service is an attitude, not a department. Therefore, customer experience is a concept, a driving force, a philosophy that you must adopt. It’s a team effort. Involve all staff from security to the CEO. So focus on excellent customer experience and make it an integral part of your company’s culture.