When it Comes to a Great Customer Experience Bigger is not Always Better

When it Comes to a Great Customer Experience Bigger is not Always Better

Google the phrase: “Customer service is dead.” You’ll discover 30 million search results.

I can see why.

In the last few months, I have had issues with a car rental, a hotel stay, and a vacation.  Although differences existed in these instances, the approach to resolve the issues was pretty much the same.

Each company provided a generic apology and offered to give me something the company deems to be bigger and better to shut me up and make me a happy customer.

Fail!

A larger car. A larger hotel room. An upgraded package.

In all instances, the customer service strategy to resolve my concerns was to “upgrade.”

Stop! Just stop!

You want to resolve my customer concerns – know me as a customer. If I don’t consent to collect data on my habits and preferences, then here is something new and novel (sarcasm intended), ask me how you can best resolve my poor customer experience.

Bigger is not always better.

When it came to the rental car debacle, they offered to smooth it over with a larger car. I prefer the type and class of vehicle I choose because I am comfortable driving that vehicle. So, no, a larger car that is harder to park and maneuver will not somehow make the issues I dealt with better nor enhance my customer experience. It was the same approach to resolve my issues with my hotel stay, and the same to resolve my issues on my vacation.

Spoiler alert: non-personalized responses and resolutions to a poor customer experience won’t make me a more loyal or happier customer. Listening to me will. Responding in a way I feel appropriate and most helpful will.

The cost of a poor customer experience isn’t cheap. For every customer you lose due to a poor customer experience, you also lose new customer referrals and incur damage to your reputation and brand loyalty.

Here are 3 ways to improve your customer experience and enhance brand loyalty:

 

Listen to your customers

No one likes to be ignored or not heard. When you are speaking to a customer, be sure to actually listen to what they are saying is the problem. Don’t assume. Don’t read from some script. Don’t cut them off if they’re frustrated. Bad idea. Remain flexible. In order to create a memorable customer experience, listen to what is important to your customers and take action appropriate to each customer’s needs and circumstances. Ask. Listen. Deliver.

Make it a memorable customer experience

The phrase “customer experience” is a buzzword. It is defined as the interaction between an organization and a customer throughout the entire relationship. That doesn’t mean every interaction is the same. Not every customer is the same. Creating a positive memorable experience varies. If your systems, processes, and people provide for a personalized customer experience where customers feel heard and valued you’ll have a better chance of providing a memorable and pleasant experience and retaining them and obtaining new referrals. Brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be, and more and more options exist for customers, they don’t have to do business with your organization.

Make it a personalized customer experience

If you haven’t heard the adage applied to customers before, customers are like snowflakes, they’re all different. People prefer a personalized experience. With technology today, often going unnoticed, customer data is being collected and analyzed. Use the data you have available. If you don’t collect data on your customers you best start. This doesn’t always need to be done thru technology. In industries like hospitality for example you can train your people to collect customer data via personal interactions and then document the information in their customer profile to enhance their future experience. More and more customers expect a personalized experience.

The moral of the story: LISTEN to your customers. Take the time to understand their needs and concerns. Respond accordingly. Personalize the customer experience.

Personalized service provides for an excellent customer experience. And these days, plenty of technology exists that can help your organization achieve personalized service, enhance customer satisfaction and provide an improved customer experience.

Poor customer experience leads to a loss of new customers, damage to reputation, increased employee turnover, and reduction in revenues. Customer acquisition isn’t cheap – customer retention is a better way to go.

So, though businesses (and customers) are like snowflakes – everyone is different – following these 3 steps actions is a helpful common starting point for creating a positive customer experience and enhancing your brand loyalty and revenue.

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – a Leadership Effectiveness & Change Management firm.  He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business.

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