Service or Experience? What is your business offering?
Customer Service or Customer Experience what is the difference? More importantly how are they affecting your business! I'm not talking about taking your customers for treks through the Amazon Jungle or climbing Mount Kosciuszko - I am asking you what are you doing different; How do your customers FEEL from engaging with your product, service or business. Was is it a standard transaction where you take money for a product or service? Or do you make a conscious decision to create a exceptional experience that has your customers raving to their friends and family?
Walt Disney famously says
"Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do."
This is the epitome of EXPERIENCE!
Think about a time when you have enjoyed purchasing a product or spoke to a friend about the special care received at a restaurant. What feelings come up from that memory? Does it make you smile? Have you recommended that business to others? I bet where possible you have gone back!
2 Years ago I wanted to go buy a nice dress to wear for my husbands 40th birthday. I'm not much of a dress wearer so the whole thought of going dress shopping induced fear and uncertainty in me. I really didn't know what I was looking for. After going through quite a few big named stores getting little to no assistance I happened across this tiny little dress shop. Not the sort of place I would typically step into but my best friend had told me to check it out. As soon I as I walked in the door I was greeted with a big happy smile and instant assistance! I couldn't tell her what size I was, what colour I wanted - instead of just leaving me to my own devices she said "that's perfectly fine I will have a look around to and grab some for you to test out to give you an idea of what suits you." WOW Now that is service!! Between us there was about half a dozen dresses hanging in the dressing room. And as luck would always have it - the first one I tried on was the one I ended up buying! Typical! However for someone who doesn't like buying dresses I really enjoyed the Whole experience; having someone help and support me making a decision was incredible. Since then whenever the occasion arises this is the business I return too and always receive the same exceptional experience and refer others to it as well.
Of course if I were to ask a question from the other end of the spectrum - Can you think of a time where you didn't have a good experience I bet you can think of a lot of instances! It is easier to recall experiences where you felt anger and hurt over times when you have been happy and fulfilled. It's one of our survival quirks that make us human and keep us safe; however for a business an unhappy customer can be detrimental with the ease of communication from Social Media. We have all seen posts tearing shreds off a business from a disgruntled customer (particularly Telstra!!)
When people go the extra step for their customers the rewards for the Business are many and noticeable! From repeat customers, happier employees and constant referrals to less staff turnover and longer customer lifetime value. Essentially a S.E.L.F Business - Sustainable, Effective, Lucrative and FUN!
Imagine if Disneyland had no people raving about how great it is?? How long do you think it would of lasted? If you have no people you have a liability not a business!
You can have the most perfect venue, the most delicious food or current trends...... but People will be drawn to your business once - they continue to return by choice if they have enjoyed their time with you and their needs or desires have been met. Some people you only have a customer if they have brought from your business twice; I don't agree with this statement as I honestly believe a customer is a person that has engaged with your business in anyway, shape or form whether they have spent money or not. You just have customers that haven't brought your business YET, I still regard them just as valuable as customers that have. It's like that beautiful saying
"There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats
A great place to start with creating an exceptional customer experience in your business is to start with your team and getting everyone on the same page. Create your company standards - your common purpose. This is the foundational tool on which product, service and process development is built on. Your standards are a succinct explanation of what you want the customer experience to be at a service and emotional level. They are there for all the employees to build and develop their approach from. It also tells them what you and the business stand for, why the business exists and the value you are giving to the world through your products and services.
Cathryn Mahon - Innovative Business Strategist @ Wild Dynamics