|Putting customers in charge: Customer Experience ManagementThink for a moment about all the ways your customers interact with your organization: through your website, in your store or office, through your catalogue (or other print materials) and on the phone with your customer service team or office staff.|
Creating a consistent, intuitive experience across all of those channels is a big challenge. That’s where Customer Experience Management comes in.
The concept behind Customer Experience Management is figuring out the paths your customer takes through your organization. Make them so logical and intuitive that your transaction begins but never ends – because your customer becomes a raving fan and loyal ambassador.
Customer Experience Management can be a transformative process – one that takes time and often requires reorganization. Yet, even if you’re not undertaking a full-scale Customer Experience Management project, you may be able to put some of these ideas to work in your organization:
- Act like a customer. Pretend you are a potential customer of your own organization. (Don’t use any of the ‘inside’ information that you know about how and why things are done.) Try to look at everything with fresh eyes: the look of your store, building or parking lot, how the receptionist greets a client, how quickly and politely the phone is answered. How close is what you see to the image you want to project to prospective customers? Go a step further and hire a “secret shopper” to go through your organization’s processes, documenting his or her experience for later review.
- Engage your team. Don’t do this alone. Ask your team to be a part of the effort. Encourage them to make a typical transaction. Hand out the Blossom Pen/Highlighter and ask them to note positive observations and highlight negative observations. For example, are forms easy to understand? Does signage point you in the right direction? Is it simple to make a purchase? After the exercise, bring everyone together. Ask them to brainstorm ways to improve the experience. Provide logo’d Fortune Cookies as a thank-you to let them know their ideas will pay off.
- Train your team to spot the hot-button issues. In her book Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, Kristin Anderson identifies the 10 deadly sins of customer service. From the dreaded phrase, “I don’t know…” to non-verbal cues that indicate staff members are too busy to care about customers, Anderson offers tips and tricks for addressing the most common customer service concerns. If this is a focus for your organization, encourage problem-solving discussions on this topic during staff meetings. Personally praise staff members who go to great lengths to overcome customer service challenges. Provide on-the-spot recognition when you witness a customer service success by distributing imprinted Wrinkle Resistant LS Oxford Shirts or Performance Pique Colour Blocks. As an added bonus, wearing these shirts will visually remind team members that exceptional customer service is their goal!
- Ask your customers. Another proven way to find out what customers think of their experience with your organization is to ask them. If you already do an online or offline customer satisfaction survey – or something similar – you may be able to glean ideas from it. You can gather valuable feedback simply by chatting with customers about their experiences. Scour Internet review sites like Yelp! to see what people are saying about their experience with you. Even Google listings sometimes contain reviews of interest to your organization.
Customer Experience Management Works
The rationale for constantly improving the customer experience is strong. Researchers say customers who have a positive experience are more likely to buy from you again, refer others to you and provide helpful feedback outlining ways you can improve. That makes it well worth the effort.
If you’d like to learn more about Customer Experience Management, download our complimentary Blue Paper(sm) on the topic at http://www.4imprint.ca/bluepaper.