Word of mouth referrals remains one of the highest lead generating marketing tools of the current day. The busier we get, the more we look to friends, family and trusted referrers to help us make quick decisions. We do not have the time or the tolerance for a bad experience. The power of referrals can be seen in one of the most popular customer surveys - the Net Promoter Score (NPS). One question is asked after each interaction “Based on latest experience in dealing with us how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”
Experience is becoming the the new accepted expectation with the benchmark tracking ever upwards. People want it quicker, easier, more personalised and intuitive, more, more more (ideally for less!) Technology can help. Paywave makes it quicker, self checkout makes it faster and more convenient, augmented reality helps us make right choices, apps allow us to engage on the go all the while prompting with suggestions and options. With the growth in AI we will soon have driverless cars and home help robots. Do we need people? Do we need teams?
I argue a resounding “Yes!” People buy from people. Notice the increase in online chat boxes? Notice how Amazon is ‘growing’ into bricks and mortar? More than just reaching out to customers in a tactile, interactive way, Amazon is investing billions in creating a workplace that will be environmentally friendly and allow team members to engage and interact in line with the “Day 1” mantra. (If you have never Googled Amazon Seattle offices, it is a sight to behold).
What about your team? Your culture? Your company focus and beliefs around the customer? Are they written up and clearly understood by everyone? Does engaging with your team “feel” different, is it “Wow those guys are amazing! They care so much”?
What experience do you want your customers to have? Many organisations have never considered this deeply enough to create a team focus and mantra that seeks to delight customers. Some have - Harrods, Zappos, Disney - and these stand out. Consider the below thoughts and questions, and work with your team to see how you can stand out:
What experience do we want customers to have?
What would we like people to say about us?
What have our competitors done so well even we hear about it & how can we go one better?
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is high) where would we rate our team culture?
On a scale of 0-10 (where 10 is high) where would we rate our customer experience?
How can we move closer to 10 on these two scales?
How can we engage our customers more effectively? (Asking this questions while running a kitchen showroom saw us install the only fully working showroom kitchen which occasionally brought a chef in to demonstrate and offered to clients to use to raise funds for schools. We also baked bread everyday and had fresh brewed coffee available)
How could we add more value to the customer while they were with us?
How could we and value and keep in touch after they leave? (Via social media, interesting newsletters, surveys, competitions, etc)
How can we encourage them to come back?
How do we get referrals?
How do we “WOW” them so we are the topic of the next dinner conversation?
If you would like some outside input or help in crafting your ideal customer experience do get in touch - we would love to help. Remember, customers are the lifeblood of any organisations. Create a heart of service that keeps that lifeblood healthy and flowing and business will be both pleasurable and profitable.