07. January 2016
It’s the time of the year again to make new year resolutions. Customer service is the new branding and therefor your number one new year resolution should be – to offer the best customer experience.
Customer service vs. Customer experience
Customer service is essentially just a transactional happening between the customer and the company. Customer service is ‘I’m doing this cause I have to’ not because ‘I want to’. It is a department. Customer experience on the other hand is much more robust. It is ‘We are here cause we want to be here.’ And it considers every potential outcome that customer will experience, like thinking what is the perception of the person that is on the other end of this transaction. How are they going to feel, what are they going to see, and what are they going to think. That attitude of ‘I want to be here’ is what makes customer service representatives and sales people really good and impactful.
What’s so special about customer experience?
Today customers can buy an item or service they’re looking for from basically anywhere – local shop, big store or online. As the competition is increasing, more companies are looking how to differentiate from competitors.
Customers are more and more looking for experiences to be re-humanised. More attention is turned on the brands who offer great personalised experience. Customers expect not only friendly and polite services but for interactions that show them you genuinely care. Emotional engagement has become very important when choosing the brand.
Customers are getting smarter. Use your data and know your customer through the data. All the leading brands will be using smart data and analytics to create a personal and emotional connection with their customers. Use customer insights, carry out customer surveys, ask feedback, communicate with your customer and understand their needs and what they value most.
Don’t just ‘say’ but deliver
Customer experience is strongly linked to commercial performance. Customers measure brands not on what they ‘say’ but on what they actually deliver.
When choosing a restaurant or shop people tend to choose the one where they are treated well and where staff doesn’t look miserable but wants to serve them and welcomes them warmly.
With products, it’s not always the features of the product, it’s the experience you get while using the product. That will either keep the customer or makes it easy for competitors to win customer over.
Word of mouth has increasing power in today’s world. Half of the millennial segment – which is one in three consumers – say that they are influenced by social media, previous customers’ and friends’ suggestions and make purchasing decisions based on that. It’s easy to get a bad reputation when you can’t offer good quality service and can’t deliver what you have promised.
That’s the reason why you should be truly customer centric as increasingly all brands will compete more on customer experience rather than product or price.
Don’t forget it costs more to bring a new customer than to keep the customers you already have. The overall experience is very important factor in decision making process and by the time you already make a sales call or an offer to your customer, he might have already made the decision based on the previous experience of someone else who used your product or service. Customer experience is the new branding for your business.