Any company that needs to be told that offering a world class customer experience is the key to a successful business is doing something wrong. Yes, generating revenue is important. Pleasing stockholders, if you have them, is crucial. However, none of those things will be achievable without focusing on what drives your company; your customers.
Understanding the importance of offering an exceptional customer experience has, perhaps, been summed up most effectively by Rick Suttle of the Houston Chronicle. To paraphrase, without outstanding customer service there would be no new generation of customers, no customer retention, and no hope for survival. Effectively, a business that puts its customer experience improvement on the back burner is just treading water until it has to close its doors. Here are four ways businesses can focus on customer engagement and help to shape their own world class customer experience.
- Respond Rapidly and Genuinely to Any Concerns
- Make It Easy for Your Customers
- Measure Their Satisfaction
- Show Customers They Are People, Not Numbers
As Six Revisions writes, whether you are doing business online or in traditional brick-and-mortar stores, you need to be attentive and real when talking to your customers. If they send you an e-mail with a complaint over the state of your storefront, take it into consideration. Next, respond to them in a thoughtful way that shows their opinion, not to mention their business, is important to you.
Perhaps no method is more important in crafting a world class customer experience than making it convenient for your clients to use your services and products. DirectBuy, for example, offers their clients an online storefront full of a huge range of products for all needs and price ranges. Any business that can combine convenience with selection has taken the first step to crafting a custom, quality retail customer experience.
According to Entrepreneur, the best way to maintain and improve customer satisfaction is to measure it as you go. To a certain extent, your customers’ satisfaction can be seen in your sales numbers. However, you need to go a step further. When your clients walk into your store, give them a chance to offer you feedback. If you maintain an online store, build surveys into your page or send e-mails to your customers asking them for feedback. The saying that knowledge is power is especially true when it comes to crafting a world class customer experience.
What all of these tips boil down to is the need to treat your customers like human beings instead of walking dollar signs. Your customers know as well as you do that businesses exist to make money. However, as written on About.com, a successful business is one that sees beyond its revenue. Try offering your customers something more, even if there is no profit in it. That will net you loyalty that money literally cannot buy.
Admittedly, crafting a world class customer experience is not an easy process. It requires a level of constant work and attention unlike any other facet of your business. However, client experience has far more power over the success and failure of your business than any other facet. Do not ignore it.