Simplify Customers Lives for Remarkable Experiences
What are some of your customer priorities? Are you continuously thinking about how to simplify customers’ lives? Keeping your best customers happy and making them your advocates is a top priority for any business, isn’t it?
Your service and the experiences customers derive from it are critical in this regard. And the heart of this service is to simplify customers’ lives.
What is a great customer experience?
An awesome customer experience is ultimately determined by the way customers feel after their last interaction. If the customer is unhappy, your company’s customer experience is bad. If the customer doesn’t have a feeling one way or the other, your company’s customer experience is mediocre. If the customer feels good, your company’s customer experience is satisfactory. But if the customer feels delighted, your company’s customer experience is a substantial competitive advantage. That is the only one that really matters to success.
See our article on the 9 truths to improve customer experience and service design.
Customers’ feelings about their experiences with companies are actually driven by several specific factors about how to simplify their lives. Consider these four ways to simplify the lives of most consumers:
Sense customer needs
Sounds simple enough, but it is often not that easy. You must understand what these customers value most, and align your products and services to these needs. Consider these customer needs:
Most people today suffer from too little time. Always and it is an increasingly important factor. Time is the one thing that even the richest customer doesn’t have enough of. So customers’ perceptions about your company’s customer experience are largely influenced by time. Often the meaning correlates with convenience. This means you have to reduce the time it takes for them to:
Engage with you
Communicate their problem
For you to resolve that problem.
How well are you doing with these components of the problem?
Customers like knowing that you are there for them and that you care. Great service is the top reason customers keep giving their business to companies and the top reason they recommend those companies to others. On the flipside, 80 percent of customers say that they have stopped doing business with a company because of a bad service experience. More often than not, they will never do business with such a company ever again. For these reasons and others, it is critical to ensure that your company delivers great service care. Care that results in great experiences that are remembered and talked about.
Where can sensors provide best input? How can you make senses of employees more perceptive? Do you know what you need to respond best?
Actively solicit feedback
Make it easy for your customers to provide inputs. Learn from these inputs and make changes where necessary
If you are any type of service provider, never become complacent. Don’t provide standard, average or just good enough service. Always look for ways to continuously improve your service and do things better.
Because the day someone provides better results, service, or quality than you do, is the day your customers’ loyalty will dry up. Left unchanged and not corrected so too may your business.
Pay special attention
Special attention when errors are made. Go out of your way to make things right .Turn negatives into satisfying encounters
Research has shown time and time again that customers who reported a problem and were delighted with the outcome have higher satisfaction with the business than the ones who never experienced a problem. So these results show the importance of turning customer failure into full customer recovery.
Honesty all the time
If you make a mistake with the order, admit it right away. Don’t try to place blame or cover it up with excuses. The customer knows what’s going on and will be looking for your reaction. Once you admit the mistake, start talking about solutions.
Customers don’t want to be treated like a number. They want to feel valued and understood. Their belief? That the money they spend with your company entitles them to such treatment. The differentiation of the experience your company delivers will therefore be at least in part contingent on your ability to personalize your interactions with customers across all channels.
That means knowing their name, their previously expressed preferences, or the particulars of their current situation. Lots of small ways to create customer personalization.
Take nothing for granted
Don’t take a customer’s loyalty for granted, especially when dealing with a first-time buyer. The key to customer loyalty is not just by providing a quality service or product, but how you service and support it. Meeting customer expectations in a first sale may not be enough. First-time buyers want to know you care. For loyalty to endure, it must be noticed and acknowledged.
Eliminate practices that waste consumers’ time
Be flexible and easy to work with and minimize rules for the business and your staff.
Come up with new ideas for customers. You have experience and knowledge. You know what’s happening in your industry and your customer’s needs. Make a serious effort to share your thoughts with new customers.
Customers need to believe that your company’s employees are good at what they do. They must perceive that your staff are well-informed about products, services, policies, issues, and any other relevant subject matter.
So, to project a their best knowledge to your customers, you have to make sure that they are fully empowered with information that’s accurate, complete, and up-to-date. And the ability and time to provide sound advice.
Remember what consumers tell you
Always look at things from customer lenses. View complaints as insights and opportunities. Make commitments and deliver on these commitments. Exceed and do the unexpected whenever possible
Keep up communications
Maintain communication with the decision-maker. Some salespeople make the mistake of dealing with the day-to-day users in a customer’s organization and ignoring the original decision-maker. It’s a good idea to maintain contact with your decision-maker if only to get his or her feedback.
The bottom line
Customer loyalty is hard-won and mostly driven by the quality of the staff. Get all of your staff engaged. Solicit their ideas and encourage initiative. Go overboard with your accountability and make a difference with customer care.
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.