Your customers' Experience Is Your Brand’s Reality
A great customer experience is a sign of a great brand. It is also a step towards brand advocacy and loyalty, arguably the cornerstone of business profitability. The market is saturated with news around excellent customer experiences from the likes of Amazon, Nordstrom, Apple, and Southwest Airlines. Yet, most people think achieving customer experience nirvana is difficult, if not impossible. It’s really not.
Organizations that have excellent customer service all share commonalities. And while most people think these commonalities are backed by a considerable budget, they’re not. These commonalities stem from the foundations on which most organizations are, or should be built.
Loyalty extends far beyond your dog’s companionship
Loyal employees produce satisfied, loyal customers. Loyal employees are engaged. Engaged employees go above and beyond to deliver, providing customers with a better experience. These employees approach the job with enthusiasm and energy; their productivity is heightened and so is their performance. A Hay Group study found that employees who were engaged led organizations to grow revenues by two and a half times as much as low engaged employees. When your employees are happy, they transfer their attitude to the customer, which is an enormous payoff, as customers will then buy more, show their loyalty and advocate to their friends.
What happens on the front lines, stays on the front lines
Part of an excellent customer experience is solving the problem and addressing the issue quickly and efficiently. The customer expects to have their challenges resolved as fast as they come about, having it handled by a competent employee, who has the authority to make immediate decisions on demand. For example, Southwest Airlines’ call center agents have the power to make flight changes and refund points to customer accounts. Not only does empowering employees to make key decisions lead to more competent, higher performing employees, but also ensures that customer challenges are resolved on first contact and never escalate beyond the front lines.
When the going gets tough, the tough get committed
All organizations who exemplify a great customer experience are fully committed to their customers. With the meteoric rise in digital media and technology, the market has seen organizations struggle to stay afloat, adapting their operations to accommodate such an evolutionary change. Fully committing to the customer will help drive your organization’s strategy to execute an enhanced customer experience. Commitment to your customers or lack thereof determines whether your customers stay with your brand, abandon, or refer it.
It’s all about customer centricity. Developing agile, multi-channel support for your customers, connecting on the channels they choose, and providing an end-to-end, holistic experience at every touch point is the customer experience, and ultimately your brand.