Increasingly I am coming across companies who are losing customers but do not know why. Research by the Harvard Business Review found that companies who manage and implement customer experience strategies reap enormous rewards. They achieve higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction.
In addition, with greater competitive pressures, creating a highly differentiated customer experience can help turn dissatisfaction or indifference into delight. People like being WOW’ed and having their expectations exceeded. In this and my next blog, I share five strategies to take your customer experience to a totally new level.
1. Follow the three ‘Ds’ of customer experience
A Bain and Co survey found that only 8% of companies truly deliver a superior customer experience. Interestingly, when the survey asked companies to rate themselves, 80% thought they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers.
Further analysis of the successful 8% found the leaders in these companies pursued three imperatives simultaneously.
a) Designing the right experience focused value propositions
The companies delivering a truly outstanding customer experience divide customers into segments and design experience focused value propositions for each one. They tailor and design customer experiences for different customers.
b) Delivering value to the customer
The best companies deliver these value propositions by focusing the entire company on delivering them. An emphasis is put on cross-functional collaboration. For example, the marketing team and operations team are in line across the whole customer experience.
c) Developing the capabilities to do it again and again
The 8% of companies who offer superior customer experience have developed their skills to please customers again and again. They have systems and measures in place to deliver a consistent customer experience over and over again.
2. Base the experience on individual customer needs
Customer experience must start with knowing what your customer needs and wants, which equates to their expectations.
Once you know that, you can work backwards to create an experience that exceeds those customer expectations.
To achieve this, the best companies speak to their customers. Taking a hands-on approach to understanding individual customers’ needs will help create an experience that WOW’s your customers. Exceeding customer expectations is the easiest way to create a memorable experience. These memorable experiences in turn will develop customer advocates who will actively talk and promote your company to other potential customers.
3. Create experiences with ‘real people’ not ‘companies’
People want to deal with other people, not brands or companies. Getting an email from a ‘company’ with no personalisation will not build positive relationships. All customers seek human engagement.
I recommend you try to make sure that every engagement with a customer is a personalised experience. It’s an opportunity to build a strong relationship with a customer that exceeds expectations.
Think about the US company Zappos customer service reps. Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, doesn’t care how long his customer service reps stay on the phone. He sees it as a marketing opportunity to build a customer experience that then gets told to friends and colleagues.
“Too many companies think of their call centres as an expense to minimise. We believe that it’s a huge untapped opportunity for most companies, not only because it can result in word-of-mouth marketing, but because of its potential to increase the lifetime value of the customer.” Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
To be continued……