Do you know what your differentiating factor is when it comes to customer loyalty? What is the deciding factor that makes them buy from you time and time again? Having good salespeople, outstanding discounts, and unforgettable advertising are nice but what draws customers in?
The overall experience is what keeps customers loyal and continuing to darken the doorstep of your establishment. Having a strategy in place and empowering your employees to execute that strategy is of the utmost importance.
How do you stand out from the guy around the corner that offers the same products and services you do? Customer experiences, the value you bring to the transaction.
In “Customer Experience Strategy”, Lior Arussy talks about three steps for keeping your customer experience strategy fresh, timely, and effective.
Deliver: “Execute your customer experience strategy. How do you perform at the moment of truth? Do you succeed? If you fail, why? And what will you do differently? Compliant resolution will be a big component of this discussion.”
Be proactive, Not reactive.
When you truly execute your customer experience strategy, you will find yourself in a proactive situation instead of a defensive reactive response pattern. Customers will be spreading positive comments about your organization through word of mouth, social media, and other likely outlets. Having satisfied customers that sing your praises is the single best marketing advantage an organization can have in today’s marketplace.
The proactive approach allows for your message to be consistent and delivered with purpose. It allows for a strategic viewpoint to the changes in the marketplace and therefore the changing demands of your customers.
“40% of loyal customers are willing to pay a premium of 10% or more when they receive great experiences.”
But is it too late? If the customer has already complained in a public form like Twitter, Facebook or a blog, could it be too late to resolve the issue? According to companies like Southwest, Ikea, and Boingo; it’s not. All of these companies consistently reach out to unhappy customers via social media and offer to resolve the unpleasant experience. Nobody wants to be associated with a hashtag fail! That can haunt you on Twitter for years to come. In other media outlets, taking a transparent and sincere approach with customers and employees is a win-win.
Measure: “Measure the progress and the impact of the customer experience strategy on loyalty. What are the right metrics not only for your organization as a whole, but also for departments and individuals? How do you determine which metrics to pay attention to? You’ll examine which metrics to ignore, and which to highlight, both internally and externally.”
Customer care surveys are key! Companies like Old Navy, Wal-Mart, and Ulta appreciate feedback so much that they offer discounts just for calling in or going online and answering a few questions as follow-up for a recent trip to one of their retail locations. Not only do they gather information on their products but they ask about location and staff as well.
Change with the times…AND your customers.
Redefine: “Continue an on-going reinvention process. How do you put continuing experience governance in place and make it effective? Changes in technology and in taste dictate a constantly evolving set of experiences to delight customers.”
Redefining is pretty self-explanatory, but think about it for just a minute. How do companies stay successful and in the forefront of their industry? They evolve! They change! And so do your customers and what they want from each and every interaction with your company.
And now you might be wondering, is a customer experience strategy worth it? Absolutely!