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What Do Your Customer’s Experience?
One of my favorite questions to ask business owners I meet at networking events is “why do your customers buy from you instead of your competitor”? I would guess that 90% of the time the first answer out of their mouth is – you guessed it – our customer service. So given that 90% of business owners think that is what makes them special, guess what that means… your customer service may not really be so special.
Now, if you really want to differentiate yourself with service, it is possible, but the bar has been raised significantly.
To start with, when was the last time you stepped outside of your business (literally if possible), and took a long, hard, objective look at it. I mean take off your blinders, put aside everything you think you know about your business and LOOK at your business. What do you see? What do you hear? How does it FEEL? You should have a long list of things to work on now, but if you need more…
Now ask your best customers and your newest customers the same questions. How does it feel to be a customer of yours? What do they see when they look at your business? Ask them for the cold, hard truth. Ask them why they started and why they continue to do business with you. If you are afraid to do this, as many business owners are, ask yourself why. Then go back to the previous paragraph and repeat that exercise. The only reason to be afraid is that you know your service is a problem. Go fix it now.
Now take your team and do the same thing – why do they think customers come to you and stay with you? What customer service issues do they see, what negative feedback do they hear from your customers that never gets back to you? Ask them where the customer experience falls apart, where they know it could be easily improved.
To really improve the customer experience, you need to take all of this input and then create a customer experience model that defines what it is you (based on what your customers told you) want your customers to experience. Now you need to create a project plan that implements the new customer experience program and engage your team on the implementation.
The last thought to remember is that you don’t get a vote on how well your team/business delivers customer service. Only your customers have a say in that. To own your industry’s service gold medal you need to find out what your customer’s want, and deliver that and more.
Then keep asking and innovating and improving.
To help you get started on your customer experience analysis and improvement plan, schedule a FREE 30 Minute Spring Break Customer Service Review now. One of our coaches will help you develop a plan to understand and then improve your ability to raise your service bar.
Author: Mark Mcnulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY