Who knows how many legacy-channel ads and marketing messages the average person sees on the typical day? Nobody, that’s who, but it’s a lot. Throw in the internet, spam, and social media, and it all turns into little more than background noise that most people simply tune out.
What’s a business to do?
An ideal way to break through the advertising static is to delight your prospects and customers with a memorable shopping experience. Count the benefits:
- Strengthen brand loyalty among your current clients
- Drive word-of-mouth conversations, which will always be the best way to earn new business
- Increase positive online reviews
What’s the trick to creating an unforgettably positive customer experience?
Get to know your customers, their wants and needs, and aspirations. The better you know them and what makes them tick, the better prepared you are to deliver the kind of experience they’ll tell their friends and family about.
If you have a retail location, engage your customers, connect with them, ask questions—just get to know them as individuals. More than that, understand the demo- and psychographics of your target market.
Understand your technology, too. If you have an e-commerce component, monitor customer service issues and fix problems before they affect customers’ perception of your service.
Don’t rely on the 10 things you’re doing right to compensate for the two things you could improve on. People like to talk about good experiences, but they love to talk about the bad ones by a 2-to-1 margin.
So, make it a habit to critically look at each step, the touch points, of the customer experience. Put yourself in their shoes and walk the walk, from the minute they walk in the door—or reach your landing page—to browsing the pitch, the sale, the check out, to out the door.
The majority of business owners take special pride in delivering great customer service. Ensure your employees are equally committed! Are they empowered to act accordingly? Employees are invaluable to the customer service experience. So don’t rush the hiring process. Make sure you hire people who have integrity, great people skills, and a willingness to learn. Provide training and enable them to do what needs to be done to enhance the customer experience. In general, the way you treat your employees translates directly into how they treat customers.
Go beyond creating an environment and culture of delivering a good experience; make it a great one! If you were a customer and received an unexpected discount on your higher dollar purchase or repeat business, how would you feel? And don’t forget to send a thank-you email after the big buy; you have the customer’s email address. Right?
There are many ways to go beyond that won’t cost an exorbitant amount of money, time, or effort. Need other ideas? Ask your empowered employees for ideas!
Creating a customer experience that delights isn’t about putting on a dog and pony show. By consistently serving customers well, fixing issues and doing those little extras that make a big impression, you’ll create the “wow” factor that will keep your current customers happy and open the door to new ones!