Drive Referrals and Repeat Business
Most businesses focus resources on the stuff that gets the phone to ring, social sharing, location visits or website traffic. But what happens next can be the difference between a one-time sale or a lifetime customer. It’s all about the total customer experience.
The term customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company over the duration of their relationship. In other words, it covers all the steps or building blocks on the loyalty ladder: awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy.
You have a lot of chances to create a customer experience that gets people talking – good or bad – about your company. Do it right, you get more repeat business and referrals. Mess it up, you get none. Sales and profit suffer, along with your reputation. Don’t leave it to chance.
Customer Experience | Why It’s Important
Most of us recognize that customer loyalty drives referrals, reviews and repeat business. So this alone is a good reason to focus on improving the customer experience. But here’s another reason worth considering.
With products and services becoming commodities fast and price differentiation not sustainable, delivering a superior customer experience really does provide a competitive advantage because others can’t quickly replicate what you are doing.
3 Steps to Superior Customer Experience
Map Out What You Want
What do you want the total customer experience to look like from start to finish? Here are a few things to consider:
- How knowledgeable are your people as it relates to your company’s core values, products and services, and your customer needs and expectations? Interactions with potential customers are not limited to your marketing and sales staff. Your entire team encounters opportunities inside and outside the business. Make everyone a customer advocate and give them the knowledge to pull it off.
- What should your sales process look like from initial contact to ultimate sale? What are the touch points along the way? Building relationships take time and often more than one contact.
- How should your product or service delivery work in order to insure quality and efficiency? Is the hand-off from sales seamless to the customer or do they feel abandoned after they purchase or sign a contract?
- What about billing? Is it convenient, timely and accurate? Are you taking advantage of technology to customize methods based on customer preferences?
- What are you doing after the sale to continue to build the relationship? Phone follow-up calls and surveys are a great way to say thanks, get feedback and ask for referrals. Do you have a system to insure after sales activities get done consistently?
You probably already have an idea of how you would like the customer experience to work. So decide what you want, document it and implement consistently.
Build a Few Measure to Track and Share
What you select may vary based on your type of business and objectives. You don’t need a lot of measures, but you do need a few that have an impact on customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty. Here are a few examples:
- Customer satisfaction scores based on phone survey
- Quality rating — is it done right the first time?
- Service level scores — on-time delivery or service appointments.
- Renewal rate — do customer re-sign up after initial terms?
- Referrals or online reviews — how many are you receiving each month?
Look For Ways to Keep Getting Better
Make business improvement and service an ongoing effort. Get your team, customers and suppliers involved. Here are two questions to consider:
- What can we do to make it easier for prospects and customers to do business with us?
- What can we do to inspire them, to make them smile or surprise them? It doesn’t need to be something really big. Simple things like “please” and “thank you” go a long way today.
Make your total customer experience a real asset for your business. You’ll be rewarded with raving fans who buy again and gladly tells others. Then smile as your competitor’s try to play catch-up.
Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?
Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com