Brands are constantly brainstorming ways of improving the customer experience, and new trends and buzzwords are popping up left and right:
Showrooming vs. “webrooming”, geo-location technology, social/location based apps, social media engagement, ‘Click-And-Collect’, personalized digital coupons, incentive platforms, gamification, apps, innovative loyalty/reward/experience programmes. The list goes on, and on, and on.
It’s true that, as brands, we’re all trying to keep pace in this transformative and progressive multi-channel world.
Looking at our own organization, we’ve rolled out a Total Customer mobile app. We’ve revamped our Total Customer website in the last year. We focus on growing and maintaining a Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn account. All of these initiatives work in parallel with our sister companies that provide B2B conferences, briefings and training.
But, I want to bring up a point on something that I feel has been overlooked in this evolving technological world: the importance of fundamentals. As much as you can throw technology at something, positive customer experiences and overall customer satisfaction boils down to a major factor, service.
You can invest in all the technology in the world, but if you don’t make customer service the center of your strategy, all of that investment is simply a waste!
So, what are customers looking for?
According to Entrepreneur.com, there are five essentials to customer experience and satisfaction:
Thinking of people as guests, not customers or clients
Thinking of your organization as host, and that during the time they are interacting with your brand, you are creating a great experience.
Anticipating their needs
“A great waiter knows when to refill your glass or bring the check, just as a great company anticipates what their guests’ need — often before they know it themselves”.
Your customer deserves it, and it costs nothing.
Treating everyone like a VIP
Customers are king and can always spend their money elsewhere.
Always remember that the boss is the #1 boss
Show immediate action and solutions, not blame.
Be prepared to apologize and take responsibility
Most importantly, remember to follow-up with action.
These are all great points, but most importantly, they emphasize the importance of people in the equation, and not technology.
Your front-line employees- the cashier, the call center representative, the server, the receptionist- and the service they provide are key to your customer’s satisfaction and customer experience.
- If a customer posts a complaint on Twitter, and you don’t respond accordingly, you’ll have a disgruntled customer who may take their business elsewhere.
- If a package was ordered online, but arrived to the incorrect store, the way you handle the miscommunication is crucial.
- If you can’t assist your client in redeeming their points or rewards, you fail deliver on your brand promise as an organization.
At America’s Customer Festival, September 15-16, 2013, we’ll look at how brands like Comcast, Red Lion Hotels, and Capital One are leveraging technology to improve the customer-facing aspects of their organization.
If you’d like to learn more, contact Sara Torres at +1 646 619 1783 or via email.[Image: Dave Gray]