Everyone talks about creating a great customer experience, but few people really deliver one that’s special in any way. Creating an exceptional customer experience is pretty simple really – you only need to do one thing – pay attention.
Okay, I know you want more than that so I’ll expand on this thought and then break it back down again.
We lose customers and erode what could be a great customer experience when we fail to pay attention to every possible way that our business comes into contact with a customer, or for that matter, a prospect.
Everyone works in the marketing department
No matter what department bumps into a customer in the name of your business that department is performing a marketing and overall customer experience function.
So you see Stan from Accounting is equally capable of creating or ruining a great customer experience as Sandy from Customer Service, but I wonder how often you pay attention to that fact.
There’s plenty of evidence out there to suggest that our perceived experience with a company is often formed by our last contact, not the first impression, put on your Sunday best, marketing contact we’ve had.
Map the touchpoints
One of the most potent tools you can create for your business is something I call a Customer TouchPoint Map. (Click to download sample map form) The idea behind this tool is to use it to chart every way your business comes into, or should come into, contact with a customer and then set out to make sure that each touchpoint is designed to create a better customer experience. (This dovetails nicely with our Marketing Hourglass)
See, we’ve been trained to think that the marketing department is the only place where marketing messages, brand flourishes and little things matter.
One of the most effective marketing things the Natural Running Store did for me as a customer is slip a handwritten note and some samples from strategic partners into the box of running shoes I purchased recently.
What if your invoices had humorous quotes related to how super-excited you were to present them with this representation of the value delivered in every order? What if you delivered products on a bike?
What if you made it a point to follow-up with every customer using a simple tool that made it easy for them to vote on how good of a job you did? What if your CEO wrote hand-written notes of thanks?
What if you sent timely messages with videos educating customers on how to use or get more from their purchase? What if you included more than they expected?
What if you sent them flowers just because? What if your phone hold message wasn’t painful to listen too? What if you wrapped your shipments in works from local artists? What if . . .
All of the things mentioned above are examples of touches that could enhance your customer experience and get people talking, but it’s the collective focus on the entire map that really pays off.
It’s not really that hard, map it out – pay attention to how your business comes into contact with customers and make every touchpoint, with every department, thoughtful and downright enjoyable.
Need more tips on how to grow your business? Check out our entire Guide to Marketing Professional Services.