Perception or reality?
There can often be a big gap between what you think your customer is experiencing and the reality of their experience.
Customer feedback is the tool that enables you to measure and stay in tune with your customers' views and opinions of your business.
Remember, clients feel the way they do about their experience with you, whether you ask them or not, finding out how they feel gives you the opportunity to intervene and change it when it’s poor and shout loudly about it when it’s good.
Gather the feedback and use it wisely.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not a new concept. It first came to the fore in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. For an average height person (or stride length) 10,000 steps is just short of 5 miles. We measure our daily steps and as a result we become more active, fitter and healthier.
If you applied a similar approach to your customer experience how much more effective could your business performance be?
“Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
This is a great quote from Richard Branson and a sentiment that can often be overlooked by leaders in the service world. However, taking care of your employees is not just about rewards and benefits.
Employees seek much more from their employer, for example, recognition and feedback. Also, employees want to be listened to. When was the last time you asked your team how they felt about their work environment?
Mobile phones account for over 50% of worldwide website traffic (statista.com), so when was the last time you checked if your website was optimised for mobile devices? Mobile website traffic is up 63% from 2015, so it is vital your website delivers a similar experience when accessing it from a phone or a laptop.
With many services moving to remote or online working this year, the opportunity to deliver an exemplary customer experience is challenging, but expected non the less. ‘Surprising and Delighting’ our customers are intrinsically connected; we can ‘delight’ by over delivering and ‘surprise’ in the unexpected, so much so they tell everyone who is happy to hear about the amazing experience they had with you.
Three top tips to do this in the lead up to the festive period;
- Handwritten Christmas cards
- A small gift as a token of our gratitude to devoted customers for their support in the year
- A mention of loyal suppliers, producers or clients in your social media posts and re-tweets of their posts with your personal comments of recommendation
What ways can you ‘surprise and delight’ your customers?
Christmas is about memories, family, goodwill and presents. Christmas 2020 our high streets need every shopper possible to come out and purchase presents, gifts and tempting tasty delights for sharing.
A memorable service experience will be something shoppers will cherish, it will undoubtedly help build brand loyalty for the year ahead.
It’s lovely to get presents but, let’s face it, we have all opened a gift that perhaps wasn’t what we envisaged! How we manage that situation is what sets us apart!
It does take a certain mindset to ask for feedback and REALLY want to hear it. No-one sets out to do a bad job and often it’s easier to assume that ‘no news is good news’. Statistically though, only 1 in 26 unhappy customers actually complain. With statistics like that, if we take silence as a sign of satisfaction, we are setting ourselves up to fail.
Remember, if our customers are unhappy the only things that will help are a) knowing they are unhappy and b) addressing their concerns.
It takes courage to ask for feedback and when you do it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
How will your customers "Get In" "Get It" and "Get Out" this Christmas season in your business?
This Christmas season has been the most difficult for many years to plan, with lockdown and tiers to take into account the communication with your customers about how they can access your products and services will be the key to your success -
We have three great questions to ask yourself
Get In - How will your customers be able to access your business services and products during the all-important Christmas trading period that is left, safely? Will you extend your hours so customers can shop or longer?
Get It - How will your customers know you are open to trade and raring to sell all your products and services to them? Is your online presence representing the current reality?
Get Out - When they have bought a product or service from you how will you make it safe and easy to pay and easy to leave a glowing review?
Good luck and Happy Christmas.
We know from our research that building a culture of appreciation goes a long way towards building organisational excellence, strong relationships, outstanding customer experience, and a brilliant base for the future.
Never underestimate the power of appreciation and how it builds morale, motivation, engagement and brilliant businesses.
Practice giving appreciation every day, not just at Christmas
How is Santa portrayed in every Christmas movie? Smiling, happy, jolly and making every effort to satisfy his customers; those eager, hopeful little children who happily reel off their wish list after clambering onto his red, festive knee. He asks great questions, has really positive body language, a calming tone of voice and is a fantastic listener.
Think about how differently Scrooge is portrayed; grumpy, miserable, frowning and rude with an aggressive tone of voice. Scrooge is only focused on himself and his money and has no interest in helping people to enjoy Christmas.
It’s common sense that we need to be like Santa when serving at Christmas, but I bet everyone can think of a time when they have been served by a Scrooge. Working at Christmas can be tough, so it’s down to the business leaders to ensure they are looking after their teams to support them in delivering Santa style service.
T'is the season to be jolly! You've warmly greeted your customer into your business, your next step is to help them to buy. You will enhance their experience by asking them what you can do to help, listen to the response and match their needs.
When any situation in life is uncertain, the natural instinct of a human being is to crave the facts. If there is one big lesson from this year it is if you are really clear with your communication as to what your customers can expect or not expect the Customer Experience becomes greatly improved.
One of the greatest examples of this was in 1989 after the Kegworth aircraft crash on the M1 which took the lives of 47 people. Chairman of British Midland was on the scene within half an hour and his response is remembered to this day on courses in media training and crisis management for his immediate, credible and authoritative response to the disaster. He decided to be very publicly available to press and broadcast crews, giving the information as fast as he received it.
The end result was that a small airline that could have been crushed by the weight of publicity emerged all the stronger thanks to the positive public perception Bishop created. Far from falling, ticket sales held steady and then grew. In the longer term, the airline grew into BMI. It was eventually bought by Lufthansa, which sold it on for £172m.