“The customer is always right” was a part of the old business model. One where companies merely pretended to actually listen to what customers wanted, but continued doing things as they’ve always done.
But the times have changed and more and more successful companies are getting to where they are because of a customer-centric focus. There’s a reason why they’ve made the climb to the top of the ranks. Here’s how you can, too.
Shift Your Focus
The bottom line is going to remain your bottom line. Actionable items that focus on what to do to raise your bottom line can get you results. If you know anything in this world, you know that. But knowing it and being able to act upon it are two separate creatures.
It’s simple: the companies that focus on customer experience reduce workload and increase revenues. That means higher profits for them. And anymore, if you’re not customer-focused, you’re in the minority. The shift has happened drastically, and it’s happened quickly. In 2015, 78% of executives identified the main driver of their customer contact centers as “growth of business.” By 2017, that number had dropped all the way to 43%. On the flip side, “customer experience” became the leading driver of contact center of growth in 2017 at 88%, up from 71% in 2015.
Customer service is only a small portion of the entire customer experience (CX). You need to understand that in order to increase your revenue, the customer has to be aware of your brand, invited to interact with your brand, remember your brand, have a good experience with your brand, and be satisfied with your products or service. They have to be ready and willing to recommend you to all of their friends. That’s what CX is all about. There’s way more to it than just the service transactions.
Even when a customer doesn’t need your product or service, they still have a customer experience. Customers, both current and potential, are developing impressions of your services. They’re being made aware of you every time they hear your name, see your logo, see one of your products, hear your tagline. That awareness develops with every exposure. They may or may not be attracted to what it is you’re presenting to them. That’s where your marketing comes in.
But it doesn’t stop there. Far from it!
The entire experience from first awareness through way beyond their decision to purchase is a part of the whole.
Customer experience doesn’t start and stop with their purchase and maybe a call to the customer service center. According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, “Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.”
Parts of the Customer Experience
Somewhere, sometime, somehow, a potential customer becomes aware of your brand. They may not even be conscious of that yet at this point. Their exposure can come from anywhere: television, magazine print, social media ad, hearing a friend mention you, email, google search, or any other way information is passed from person to person.
Once a user becomes consciously aware of you, they develop a positive or negative feeling. This is why the way you market your products or services and how they’re communicated really make a difference. Impressions do matter.
Many decisions are based on emotions, not logic. If you put off an air of being amateur or cold and unwelcoming, you’ll probably turn away potential customers. If your first impression is one of being accessible, warm, and professional, they’ll probably be attracted to you.
This is when someone decides to go for it, and gives you a go. This is their decision to pick up your product and put it in their cart, navigate to your website, or send you an email.
Once they’ve taken advantage of what you offer, this is where they become an actual user. The experience of your product or service should have carried through from your marketing. In other words, what you provide should be well-represented by how you marketed it. Your services should support what you showed them. Your call centers and customer support should follow suit.
Here is where you make an effort to maintain the customer relationship and loyalty, supporting them through the entire lifetime of their experience with you. Follow up on outstanding issues. If you’ve promised something through a customer support encounter, you’ve got to provide it. Do everything within your power to make sure that customer is getting what they need.
Cultivation isn’t just about the beginning of the relationship. You’re looking to foster a long-term relationship. One where the customer knows they will always receive quality service and your backing.
Hopefully though the stellar experience that you’ve provided the customer thus far, you’ve created in them loyalty. Not only are they going to return to you in the future, but they’re going to be your advocate; your ally. They’ll recommend you to their friends and others, spreading positive reviews and recommendations through word of mouth.
CX isn’t just about the purchase. It’s the entire experience from first awareness all the way through becoming a brand ambassador. Everything you do that is touchable by the customer makes a difference. As soon as you start to embrace that mindset, the sooner you’ll be on your way to success.
Clocktower Insight is able to help you hone that focus, making sure that your brand carries the perfect experience from start to finish.