The difference between a good customer experience and a great customer experience is the little experiences your customer has along the buying journey. Whether I’m having a quick lunch or an elaborate dinner, the dining experience has a lot of elements to it, and therefore many opportunities for the customers service experience to break down. Here are some of the elements of dining that can mean that a restaurant will win my advocacy or lose my trust:
- Can I book online? Even if online bookings are not available (hello 2014!) can I easily find your trading hours and details of how to book?
- Am I greeted and seated promptly (or if there’s a wait communicated to)?
- Is the place clean and does it have a good ambience?
- Is the menu easy to understand (or the servers able to truly explain the food and make recommendations)?
- Is the service prompt, the quality of food good?
- Do I feel hurried and is the bill accurate ?
- Am I thanked and greeted as I leave?
See what I mean! There are a LOT of steps in the process. If any one of these areas is substandard it can ruin the whole experience. In your business you may have an equally multi-faceted customer system that can break down leaving a customer dissatisfied. Don’t let the seemingly unimportant let you down Sometimes it’s the areas that we don’t think important that could be ruining the experience for customers. Using our restaurant example, one of the areas that I have found often lets a place down is the bathrooms. Some establishments treat the room like a centrepiece, decorated, infused with burning oils, plush paper towels, the right hooks in the right places to ensure a handbag isn’t placed on the ground, regularly serviced. And others treat it like an afterthought; messy, unclean, with door locks that don’t work well, a room devoid of any sense of the style and no real decor – no connection to the rest of the place. What’s been forgotten? In your business the bathroom experience may be the way that your invoices look, or the language used in your after sales communications, the way your package looks when it is received, the unexpected extra or hidden charge a client is hit with at the end of the transaction. It could be something that has been ‘set’ and ‘forget’ but which may now be outdated or incorrect. I recently reviewed (just by chance) a confirmation email for one of our products and the information included in the email referenced a product we haven’t sold in months – yikes!!! That one email could be a touchpoint that is letting us down, diminishing the experience the customer has with us — our dirty bathroom equivalent.
Every step of the customer experience is worth examining, especially where some of the processes are automated and were set up a long time ago.
A quick scan of key touch points in your business may reveal areas that can be improved. Here are a few items to check in your business:
- Is the information on your website, social media pages, signage — all up to date?
- Is the branding consistent across everywhere you’re communicating (or are you holding on to that old letterhead because you paid good money for it – even though you updated your logo a year ago)
- Should there be an additional ‘thank you’ message or follow up action after a customer completes a sales transaction?
- Are your product descriptions accurate and do they fully reflect what the client will receive?
- Are you using default messaging (I see this a lot with people using third-party tools) rather than customising the messages your clients receive when they transact with you?
Competition is higher than ever before. Our customer experiences can really differentiate us from our competition. A little time spent auditing the entire experience could uncover potential issues and also opportunities to WOW your customers more.