THE 5 ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS TO CREATING A GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
As a busy small business owner how do you make sure that amazing customer experience is at the heart of what you do?
Here are 5 essential ingredients to creating a great experience for your clients.
1. Know who they are.
I’m sure you’ve all done some work on your Ideal Customer Avatar (and if you haven’t, you totally should!). However, in understanding them really well I recommend going even deeper than most ICA exercises take you.
When someone decides to purchase from you, they are not buying because of your product or service, or even because of you. They are purchasing because of their deepest desires, values and motivations – which are largely directed by their worldview.
In any ICA exercise I would add that you need to also understand:
• What do they want from you?
• What do they need from you? (this may be different from what they want!)
• What is their biggest complaint?
• What do they actually want you to do about it?
• What is their worldview on what you are offering? (i.e. if you are a real estate agent, what is their current belief about your industry)
2. Know your product or service, and how it best suits your customer
Are your current products or services what you want to provide, or what your customer actually wants and needs?
The whole idea of this is to make sure that your products or services are actually what your customer really wants and needs. If you are developing an offering that you love, but that isn’t quite right for your Ideal Customer, then it’s going to be tough to leave them with an amazing experience, something will fall short and leave them wanting or needing more.
Think outside the square on this one – do you have a product or service that is a better fit for your customer than the one they currently use? Even if it means less revenue for you! (remember, this isn’t about YOU, it’s about THEM).
3. Create a Customer Experience Vision
In your mind’s eye, what would the PERFECT experience for your customer look like. Think about how they would feel when they first hear about you – before they contact/visit you – right through to how you want them to feel six months after you provide their product/service.
This includes how they feel when they browse your website, receive an email from you, read a social media post about you. And even how they feel when they hear other people talking about your business.
This is both the finer detail, and the big picture stuff. At this point, don’t be constrained by money, staffing or systems. This is the time to dream about what you would absolutely LOVE to provide.
Dreaming big for this is awesome, but you need to be able to deliver it perfectly and consistently to create an amazing experience. So this is where you can break down that vision into bite sized chunks. Start small, get that 100% perfect, 100% of the time. When you achieve that consistency, add the next chunk.
Implement ONE thing first, get it right, then add the next and the next.
4. Have systems in place that work – EVERY TIME
Contrary to popular belief, having systems does not mean boring – it means consistency, so that every single time someone interacts with you they are consistently WOWed. But the key here is that your systems WORK. If your current systems are not WOWing your customers, they are NOT WORKING!
4a. If you have staff, make sure they know exactly what your expectations are in terms of their interactions with your customers
You may be great with your customers, but if next time they visit you aren’t there you MUST make sure that every single person they come across will give them exactly the same level of service. This comes back to #3 – Systems that work & Consistency
5. Don’t EVER think you are 100% perfect at WOWing your customers
By now you hopefully know what your customer wants, you know how your product or service best suits your customer, you have the systems in place, and your staff are consistently amazing! This is when many businesses will rest on their laurels. BUT that is a BIG mistake.
Keep going back to Step 3 and refining your Customer Experience Vision. Not only will it ensure that you are continually WOWing your customers, it will also ensure that your competitors find it next to impossible to match what you are doing.
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About Jodie Preiss
Jodie Preiss has walked her talk in all areas of customer experience through many different roles – both as Marketing Manager for two independent schools, and in a stint as a marketing consultant, when she wrote this blog post. Little did she know that her love of all things experience focused would lead her on another path. And in early 2019 she will officially launch the incarnation of that journey.
She has created Inspiring a Difference from one simple truth. That one person, one voice, armed with wisdom and the commitment to act, can make a very real difference.
Creating a methodology around challenge-driven impact has became her driving motivation, and the vision for Inspiring a Difference. Challenging herself, as well as those around her, to step out of their comfort zone and create a ripple in their world. The fundamental drive for Jodies is to show you that you can make a a difference. And that the ripples that we create individually, one day might move a mountain.
We turn drops into ripples into waves and then oceans of impact. One person, one challenge at a time.