Generating a positive customer experience should be at the core of every company’s strategy whether it’s big or small. In our last blog, Christina spoke about Customer Relationship Marketing and one of its key elements – Customer Experience (CX).
Before we jump into it, let me tell you a little story…
I was in a restaurant recently and the food was delicious, the music was lovely, comfortable seating but the service was abysmal. Will I go again? The answer is no. Will I tell my friends about the bad experience, yes. I feel obliged to tell them as I don’t want them to spend hard earned money on a meal that may have been delicious but didn’t meet the full Customer Experience that was anticipated. As someone said recently, we may be interested in purchasing the products available but due to the poor interaction with the brand representatives, we won’t be completing the purchase – money wasted!
OK rant over!
The question at hand is how to effectively generate a positive customer experience.
Many theorists identify CX as a multitude of factors combined with creating a positive (or negative) experience. These factors include the first time interaction between the company and the customer, the tone of the calls and emails they receive, and the after sales service that is provided to them. It’s all about the customers perception of the company following these interactions. If handled correctly by your customer representatives, this will lead to a long term relationship and, ultimately, more revenue.
Dara O’Briain best described CX when he discussed his ‘Live at the Apollo’ comedy show. He explains that each show is filled with ‘You Had to Be There’ moments co-created by the comedian and the audience. A customer experience is unique and not necessarily identical for every individual, everyone interprets a situation differently. Do you agree?
There are three key elements that will help to ensure that you and your team deliver a positive customer experience.
Identify Your Customers Needs
The Customer is always right! You probably hear this time and time again but it’s a golden rule in business. The trick to creating a positive CX is really quite simple, give them what they want. In order to get this right, a business must take time out to identify their ideal customer and establish what their needs and wants are in order to develop an appealing offering.
An excellent example of this is a musician adding an extra date to their tour ‘By popular demand’. This was evident when Beyoncé headlined Coachella 2018. Fans were saddened when she was unable to perform in 2017 and so Coachella and Beyoncé gave the fans what they wanted, by popular demand. Positive customer experience derives from a customers’ want to be fulfilled.
Expectations vs. Reality
Sometimes customers can have a certain expectation as to what can actually be provided by the company. For example, they could be looking for a really customised dress but the budget they have to spend is not enough to fulfil this want. This doesn’t mean that the sale is over. The company needs to have a process in place to manage customers’ expectations from the moment the enquiry comes in so that they are very clear (in most cases) of what can be provided for them for the budget and time that is available.
Disneyland has successfully perfected the art of exceeding the expectations of their customers. Everyone understands the whimsical fantasy of Disneyland, the kingdom of all your childhood dreams. The experience itself is co-created by the individual and the reality that is Disneyland. Consider this and the overwhelming emotion the customer receives upon arrival not forgetting the superior customer service which truly exceeds expectations.
The key to effective CX is data! We touched on this in the last blog, but it’s so true. Having the right type of data can help to generate a positive experience for customers. Thanks to the digital era, we now have more access to data allowing for a better understanding of our customers’ needs and wants and the age of mass customisation is with us.
Social media and other platforms have enhanced the development of personalised experiences through the electronic version of word of mouth (EWOM). Having this data allows a company to personalise their product offering to suit the customer, providing a positive experience whilst simultaneously building a relationship as seen in Customer Relationship blog. An excellent example of an effective personalised experience is Coca Cola’s 2014 #ShareaCoke promotion. According to Coca-Cola UK, this campaign combined data regarding names and the popular trend of self-expression.
Over to You!
We want to know if and how you prioritise customer experiences in your business.
Share your thoughts with us!