Noah Fleming, Author, The Customer Loyalty Loop
Most companies believe the customer experience starts once the prospect has given you money and has become a customer. They’re wrong.
The experience starts long before a prospect has ever made a purchase and continues long after that first sale is made. The customer is experiencing through every interaction with your company.
There are 4 simple stages to ensure you’re considering the right aspects of the experience, and what you need to be doing during each of those stages.
Here’s a better way to think about the customer experience. Start thinking about every interaction as an experience both FOR the client and one to be HAD by the client. It doesn’t need to be any harder than that.
For example, here’s just a small sample of all the times the customer is having an experience in your business.
How many rings does it take before someone answers the phone? How long does it take before someone greets the customer in a brick & mortar shop?
What’s like when I call your customer service line? Am I speaking to someone who understands me? Are you asking me for information over and over again, only to have to repeat all that information once I finally get a human on the line?
If a customer or prospect submits the contact form on your website, how long does it take for a response? I occasionally do this on company websites. The best is not good enough. The worst is really bad or non-existent. I had one company respond three months later with a question to my question. I’ll be dead before we get it sorted out.
What’s the overall buying experience like for your prospects? Is there a lot of friction in the process? Are things overly complex and confusing?
What’s the delivery or unboxing experience like for your customer? Surprisingly, so many companies still have penniless packaging or don’t realize this is equally part of the client’s experience.
Do your ads, sales, and marketing messages accurately reflect the products and services your customers receive, or do customers experience the expectations gap?
What little perks or unexpected extras do your best customers receive?
Does your storefront or website layout reflect your corporate ethos?
Do new leads fall through the cracks? If you provide a quote and nobody follows up, then the customer experience is already broken.
Do you consider things as simple as submitting a proposal or a quote as part of the customer’s experience? Because it is. Too many companies are giving up on delivering value by emailing proposals when they could be FedEx’ing them.
Is there a different customer experience for a first-time visitor versus a regular visitor? Do your customer-facing employees know the process and how to differentiate?
Now here’s the most important part of asking questions like this.
Nearly all of these areas of consideration are about the emotional feelings your experiences create. Remember the old sales adage that “Logic makes people think, but their emotions make them act.”
The entire customer experience is about how the customer is feeling through each stage of the customer experience. What can you do to create more positive feelings through each and every step of the way?
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Think about these questions as they apply to your business.
What areas of your business are being neglected and not being treated as part of the whole customer experience?
What can you do to make the experiences better, before, during, and long after the sale?
About the Author
Noah Fleming is a globally recognized customer loyalty expert. He works with companies in a broad range of industries with revenues ranging from 5M to 2B per year to create dramatic results. He is the author of the new book, The Customer Loyalty Loop, and the Amazon #1 bestselling book in sales, marketing and customer service categories, Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty that Keeps Your Business Thriving.