Turning Customer Moments into Customer ExperiencesPosted 3/26/2004
By Richard Flint
It doesn't matter much if you think your customer care is good. What do your customers think? Do you know at the beginning of the selling process that your customer is going to be satisfied? The experience that your customer has with your company has more to do with your behavior toward them than anything else.
Too many people treat a customer like a moment, rather than an important experience. You see, people just want to know they matter. Not just their money or their time; they want to know they matter as a human being. When you treat your customers like taking care of them is the absolute most important part of your day, you solidify in their minds good thoughts of you and your company. What that means is that you give them the best reason in the world to spend their money with you: it makes their lives better!
People spend money for two reasons: 1) To satisfy a need and 2) For good feelings. Once they determine they need your product, it's your job to make sure they have good feelings about everything that happens with your company during the sales process. Remember: what really matters is how good your customer feels about what has happened, not how good you feel about it.
When you feel you have done a good job for a customer and they have not responded as you hoped, did you blame the customer? If you answered that as "yes," go back and rethink the experience in your mind. Pay attention to the moments that you "mentally and emotionally touched" your customer. If they ended up dissatisfied, it happened in one of those moments.
Your customer is the one who defines whether you're good at what you do, and they do that through their definition of their experience.
Here are the steps you can take to make sure your customer never is treated as a "moment" but as the focus of your business:
1. Make sure you have plenty of time for them.
Remember: more than anything, they want to know that they matter. If your customer feels pushed, interrupted, unwelcome, or put off, they will not really be satisfied.
2. Organize yourself to take care of their needs.
Two of the biggest destructive forces in business are inconsistencies and inefficiencies. If you are inconsistent or inefficient, your customers take the brunt of it; it's punishment to them.
3. Manage the moments of touch.
You know all the critical junctions where your customers connect emotionally with your business or product and those are the places where you should be constantly monitoring what's going on with them and with you. It is at these junctions that your customers will form their opinion of who you are.
4. Empower your business associates to make decisions.
Anytime a customer has to wait on permission from someone else in the company, their frustration level increases. Your customers determine their own satisfaction. Don't wait until it's too late to know if they are satisfied. If you are wondering about it, then it's too late! It's your behavior that will make them feel like they are the focus of your business.
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