Good customer service is no longer enough. It’s not enough for the checkout guy to smile and ask about your day and pack for you and offer you a complimentary newspaper - if the car park was full, the shelves were half empty, or if your personalised offers and loyalty card for that store don’t give you as much of the right stuff as other stores do.
That one moment of great customer service does not outweigh the overall unsatisfactory customer experience.
It’s the same in the business to business world. For example, a health insurance company providing
cover to employees enrolled by their employer might give good customer service by not quibbling on claims and making prompt payments directly into the members’ bank accounts. But a great customer experience would go much further, balancing the needs of the direct and indirect customers (the company and the employees). It would involve a detailed understanding of corporate policies and the business’ needs, and regular communication and engagement with the end users who of course did not choose that brand. It would embrace everything from providing valuable management information about the scheme’s performance across the organisation, to offering an out of hours contact number so that employees could speak privately about their medical situation away from the ears of their colleagues.
Any business can give great customer service at one point in time, but your customers’ loyalty and spending is determined by their overall attitude to your brand – their customer experience. Can you not only please your customers but delight them? Can you not only meet your customers’ needs but surpass them and then anticipate their future requirements?
Whilst happy customers are likely to stay loyal and become advocates for you, unhappy customers won’t always complain to you; they will simply walk – and probably tell their friends. You won’t just lose them – you’ll lose the opportunity to understand what you did wrong, to prevent it happening again.
It’s no coincidence that the brands renowned for the great customer experience they provide – Apple, Amazon, Disney – are phenomenally successful market leaders. They have created great customer experience by first creating a great customer experience culture that permeates their organisations – a culture that they constantly monitor, support and develop.
They know what’s going on – not just at the point of sale, but from the first customer touchpoint to the very last.
The board decided to do it; the management bought in; the employees bought in; the customers benefit.
It’s the same across all organisations. If you can get the customer experience right, your customers will not only stay customers, but they will spend more and they will tell their friends and colleagues about it. And your employees will enjoy their jobs more – and smile more – and stay too.
All of this will naturally improve your profitability – because of decreased customer and employee churn, because of the upselling and cross-selling, and because of the money saved on finding new prospects and recruiting new employees. And of course, it won’t do your brand reputation any harm either!
But how much do you know about your customers’ real experience? Because that is the key to understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, working out an action plan to drive improvement – and taking the high road to profit enhancement.
Investor in Customers carries out independent assessments of organisations that delivers not only deep and detailed customer insight and an accreditation, but also provides a personalised action plan to show you the way to deliver an enhanced customer experience, which will lead to increased profitability.
Contact us to find out more.