Is customer experience your responsibility?
Or.. Are you managing sales, marketing, operations, customer service or HR? A different role entirely? All of the above?
Whichever role you’re most focused on, creating a customer experience should be top of mind.
In business today, where the customer is in the driving seat, the customers’ experience is everyone’s business.
A single person in your company can make a positive or negative impression on a customer.
And today, thanks to social media, that one impression can be multiplied, exponentially, within hours…
One negative impression can spread like wildfire… Your customer’s mobile device is like a big megaphone… and they aren’t afraid to use it.
According to Harvey Mackay, Author of ‘How to Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive’.
“Successful organisations have one common central focus: Customers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business, a professional practice, a hospital, or a government agency, success comes to those, and only those, who are obsessed with looking after customers.”
So how do we get everyone on board… swimming in the same direction?
Simple, focus everything you do around your customers.
Paying attention to customers is profitable – especially when done publicly, where everyone can see it.
I know what you’re thinking – “That’s great, but I’m already overworked and don’t have time to spend more time looking after customers”.
I challenge you to re-think that by asking one question: “If you had NO customers would your business be viable?”
The answer is likely to be ‘NO’, then you don’t have a choice – every member of your organisation must be totally focused on improving the customer experience.
For senior managers, the challenge comes in shifting the strategic focus to providing stellar customer experience—empowering the people in the organisation who are connected to each step along the customer’s lifecycle to do what’s needed individually and collectively to deliver compelling and consistent experiences.
A simple way to start, is to look at staff attitude.
In a survey* conducted by International Customer Service Professionals, customers were asked to rank, in order of importance, what they looked for in service staff.
The results revealed that customers’ top five priorities are:
- Staff friendliness
- Positive attitude
- Staff knowledge
- Efficiency of service
It can also be helpful to look at a practical example of how a business has embraced the customer experience across the entire business.
At Zappos, a leading US online shoe retailer, they think from the customer’s point of view, and aim to “deliver happiness”.
Zappos believes that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand, or passionate employees and customers – will happen naturally on its own. Zappos has formally defined the Zappos culture in terms of ten core values:
- Deliver WOW through service
- Embrace and drive change
- Create fun and a little weirdness
- Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded
- Pursue growth and learning
- Build open and honest relationships with communication
- Build a positive team and family spirit
- Do more with less
- Be passionate and determined
- Be humble
So, regardless of the maturity or size of your business, you can start with simple customer program and develop it over time, ensuring all levels of staff are involved from the start.
What’s important is… Just start!
retail360 is a business advisory company that specialises in creating customer experience strategies. Whether it’s a small engagement, or multi-year initiative, our team can deliver strategy, design and training expertise to businesses who aspire to continuously improve their customer experience.
Our goal is to create world-class customer experience for each of our clients.
Our motivation is to partner with emerging and established brands and build great customer experiences together. By doing so, it will ensure that these newly created initiatives become the backbone of the business.
As the Director of retail360, Shelley works collaboratively with businesses to reinvent or refine the customer experience they deliver so that they can increase sales, beat their competition and achieve their maximum potential.
To find out how we can help your business thrive in a customer driven environment, call us +61 1300 144 720 or send us an email.
*Survey conducted by GAPBuster Worldwide for International Customer Service Professionals (ICSP), 2007