Steps, procedures, and processes are merely the ways that large companies organize their work, train their workers, and lower their risk. They are only tools to handle on a large scale what a small enterprise does well without the complex of rules. It is continuous improvement and delivery of sincere interactions between our customers and our staff, our products, and our services.
A common mistake in business is to put so much focus on procedures and adherence to them that the employees forget the customer and instead focus on procedure. And we have all had a ‘procedural focused’ customer experience. It’s uncaring, disrespectful and impersonal. A memorable experience for all the wrong reasons…
Truly memorable and sincere customer experience comes from us being aware of the customers’ wants, needs and expectations before we deliver. In rapport with our customers we:
■ We do things with the customers and with their input and consent.
■ Interact before we act. Awareness before action.
Because we know that every procedural move we make, every caring vow we break, every procedural claim we stake, customers will be watching us and looking for more caring effective alternatives.
Nowadays we are living in an experience economy. Whatever industry you are in the key to competitive advantage is the same. The experience you offer to your customers. Believe it or not your company is delivering customer experiences as you read this article.
Do you know if they are good or bad? Are you able to listen to and understand your customers? Are you able to manage their experiences? Throughout history those companies who have truly succeeded have been able to offer unique customer experiences.
The hardest thing for competitors to copy is the customer experience you create. And engaged employees are the most dynamic and influential force in creating superior customer experiences.
Companies that have increased their customer experience investment in the past three years, compared to those that have decreased their investment, report satisfaction scores that are 60% higher. And they are 30% more likely to have attrition rates of 5% or less. These improvements in customer retention spur company growth and likewise boost the bottom line.
Zappos – the brand has some great customer service initiatives and takes pride in its famous customer experience. Zappos is a perfect case study for an organisation that is customer centric and delivers a customer experience that makes people want to talk about their experience.
The Zappos secret of success is simply. Watch the video clip and learn more from the people themselves.
To be the best requires commitment and determination. See how John Lewis make delivering exceptional customer experience a way of life.
The John Lewis Partnership is unique because our Partners are active co-owners in the business. This means that they share in the profits and have a real say in determining John Lewis’s future. This video shows the benefits of being a co-owned business.
Reflecting on Steve Jobs’ legacy – his devotion to customers, not shareholders, and his ability to deliver product excellence.
Apple hasn’t optimized its organization to maximize profit. Instead, it has made the creation of value for customers its priority. Profit was viewed as necessary, but not sufficient, to justify everything Apple did.
Apple would solve problems customers didn’t know they had with products they didn’t even realize they wanted.
To deliver the ultimate customer experience requires heart and intuition …
The world has changed and there’s no going back… We’ve entered a time when focus on the customer matters more than any other strategic imperative. In this new world:
- Commoditization has stripped away previously recognised sources of differentiation
- Traditional industry boundaries have dissolved.
- Customers have more power than ever before.
To win in this new world companies need to start treating customer experience as a business discipline. Every company in every industry can leverage customer experiences to:
- Bolster brand equity
- Garner customer loyalty
- Boost revenue
- Drive down costs
The big question is: How will you measure up in this new world?
Actors often say they are only as good as their last film. A similiar comparison can be made with brand reputation which is often determined by a customer’s last experience of that company or its products. If customers have an exceptional experience, they may share it with their friends, family, and colleagues. However if a customer has a poor experience then the customer is more likely to share their experience. So for a company to consistently deliver business success it is imperative for each and every customer experience to be exceptional.