Creating an exceptional customer experience is the cornerstone of any business that wants to build and grow to unbelievable heights. This is the single best branding element that organizations have within their control that will have an immediate impact on the sustainability of the business.
To create an exceptional customer experience, every action, word, marketing message, interaction and behavior within the company, must live and breathe this core mission.
Here are some fundamental elements to creating experiences that count.
1. Keep all your stakeholders involved in the customer experience development process. This means employees, partners, suppliers and customers. Listen to feedback and ideas on how your products and services can better serve their needs.
2. Know your customers. A great experience requires you to thoroughly understand your customer and their needs even before they might realize they have a need. Getting frequent feedback and holding focus groups will insure you are meeting your customer’s needs.
3. Personalize the experience. Since the customer experience is about an emotional connection with your customer, you should take every action to show the customer you care and specifically care about them. Send thank you notes, birthday discounts. Emails that carefully select products for them based upon their previous history. And remember, a thank you and thinking of you goes a long way.
4. Make your customer the hero in your brand story. Build an emotional connection and a story that is worthy of sharing. Your customers will spread the word and help your build your brand.
5. Keep developing the relationship with your current customers. Focus energy and resources on your loyal customers. The Pareto Principal simply states that 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your customers. Know these customers inside out and continue to offer value to grow your connection.
6. Make every business decision from the perspective of the customer experience. This should be a top priority for not only your entire leadership team, but your staff level as well. Every single decision that is made should be made with the customer experience on top of mind.
7. Inspect what you expect. Put customer experience reviews into your normal practice and validate that the result is what you intended. Be a mystery shopper, sign up for your own emails, call your 800 number, create a problem and see how your customer service teams respond.
Having loyal customers that evangelize your products and services is the holy grail for any business. In a world of immediate feedback and a reach of millions with one text, mastering this strategy should be your number one priority.
How do you create the best experience for your customers? Please share in the comments below.