In challenging times, small frustrations may result in harmful long-term negative sentiment. During this current pandemic crisis your approach to Customer Experience (CX) matters more than ever. Your business needs to protect relationship capital and see this as an opportunity to appeal to your next generation of loyal customers.
Recently I sold a few things on an auction website. The transactions were great and concluded quickly. But, the payment arm of this organization seems to have a bug in their tracking system related to USPS Registered Mail. Their status of the transaction displayed “shipped,” but when you pressed the “Tracking” button it was clear that the package had been delivered a few weeks earlier. Still, they were holding a significant amount of money and there was no clear release date.
While that was a little frustrating, what happened next changed how I feel about this company. I sent email to Support and received canned responses. I used their chat option and spoke to a couple of “people” who were either chatbots or who should be replaced by chatbots because no matter what information I provided the response was always the same, and it was not helpful at all.
Now, think about tens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers or prospects having problems working with your company in this time where working from home is the new normal, and for many people it may be their first time doing this. Moreover, with “shelter-in-place” restrictions there could be other people vying for their attention or just creating distractions.
I’ve always told my teams that, “People buy easy” so as a group or organization our goal is to make conducting business with us as easy and frictionless as possible. By doing that, being fair, and acting with integrity we are rewarded with loyal customers that help our business grow.
Relationships develop over time, and each interaction helps determine the eventual outcome. Understanding what differentiates your company and products in the eyes of your customers and prospects can help you create more meaningful, consistent, and useful interactions. People appreciate a positive customer experience so those efforts may ultimately lead to the creation of Customers for Life.
Now is the time to evaluate your processes, procedures, guidelines, and interfaces. Be extremely critical as you ask yourself, “Is this how I would like to be treated as a customer?” By setting CX as a strategic priority, your business or organization will be focused on ways to eliminate friction and ensure that your customers are treated well. Investments in CX today have the potential for an immediate payback and increased long-term growth.
This was originally posted on LinkedIn.com/in/chipn
When I had my own company our focus was on providing the absolute best services in a few niche areas. Our goal was to succeed in the spaces that were important yet underserved. We identified those areas, validated the need, evaluated the competition and our competitive positioning, determined the market potential, and then made an informed decision based on that data.
But, this was not a plan for winning. It was a roadmap to places that we could win, but nothing more.What would our strategy be? What specific problems would we solve? How would we create awareness around the potential impact of those problems? And, how would we position ourselves as being the best candidates to address those business needs? In short, what was our real purpose or raison d’etre?
Recognizing that void led to a couple of powerful revelations –
1. It is great to have a goal of being the best at something, but don’t use that as an excuse to procrastinate. Learning and improving is an iterative process, so that goal by itself was not good enough.
2. Adopting an “Attitude of Better” turned out to be a game-changer. We set our focus on continuous improvement and winning. We became customer-obsessed, driven to provide a better service and better results for each and every customer. We gauged our success by customer satisfaction, repeat engagements, and referrals.
3. But, it wasn’t until we adopted an intentional Growth Mindset that our business really started to evolve and improve.
· We leveraged each and every win to help us find and create the next win.
· Our team was constantly pushing each other to raise the bar of knowledge, expertise, and performance.
· Just as important was what occurred next. They became a safety net for each other. Failure for one meant failure for all and nobody wanted that. They became a high-performance team.
· We created standard processes and procedures to ensure consistency and maintain the highest levels of quality. This applied to everything we did – from working on a task to writing trip reports, status reports, and proposals. It also reduced our risks when we chose an outsourcing partner to help us take on more concurrent projects.
· Whenever possible we automated processes to maintain consistency while increasing efficiency, repeatability, scalability, and profitability.
· We measured and tracked everything, analyzed that data, captured lessons learned, and continuously worked on improving (and documenting) every aspect of the business.
· A byproduct of this approach was that we could offer leaner pricing based on accurate estimates having very small margins of error. Our pricing was competitive, we could fix price much of what we did, and our profit margins were very good. This allowed us to invest in further growth.
Our “attitude of better” also came across as confidence when selling to and working with new customers. Not only could we tell them stories of our success that included tangible metrics, most of our customers became references willing to talk about the value we added. Their stories included discussions about how much better things became as a result of our work.
Better became the foundation of what we did as well as the basis of those customer success stories.