Great customer experience considers the customer journey from beginning to end, and requires the focus of the entire organization.
Customer Experience creates loyalty and positive Word of Mouth
In many industries like service, retail, and food and beverage, the customer journey is affected by many departments within an organization. For these industries, a customer’s experience can oftentimes make or break the success of your organization because it holds importance not only for you as a business but also to the customer.
For example, a customer stops at the counter of a local brewery nearby and notices the cleanliness and inviting atmosphere right away. An employee approaches the customer with a smile and starts to ask the customer how they are doing, what brought them to the brewery, and makes a recommendation based on the customer’s taste preferences. The customer ends up purchasing a glass of the after a taste or two and decides to sit at the bar to continue chatting with the employee. That customer may do the following:
Upon sitting down, the customer may make a check-in post on Facebook where they tell their followers that they are at the brewery and having a great time. He/she may even share a photo of the condensation dripping down the beer glass - a photo enticing beer lovers to check out the brewery.
The customer may add a review to the brewery’s Google Business Profile.
He/she may kickstart word-of-mouth marketing, spreading news about the experience
Lastly, the customer may become a frequent visitor or bring friends along on the next visit.
On the flip side, if the employee had been uninviting, the glasses were dirty, or the beer had not tasted good, the customer likely would have left with a bad review and would never promote the business through word of mouth or social media.
One poor customer experience could lead to one less customer, poor word of mouth and ultimately, lost sales.
The road to great experience starts with looking at all customer touchpoints, and aligning and organization around making those experiences brilliant.
Check out ways Brilliant Workplaces specializes in creating exceptional Customer Service.
Why Customer Experience is Often Neglected
In our experience, we have found that some organizations create gaps in their customer experience when they get caught up in other organizational priorities or when they lack a real understanding of which departments interact with their customers.
In fact, it is not uncommon for customers to interact with many departments in an organization. Let’s take a retail store as an example. Here, customers can shop in store and interact with employees at checkout, in the aisles if employees are working on inventory, at the department counters (like photo, automotive, and sporting goods, etc.), or at the customer service desk. In addition, online shopping also opens up the ability to chat with a representative online or over the phone if you run into issues at checkout like a web browser crash. You may also need to reach out to an online representative if you receive the wrong item, your package is lost during shipping, or inventory changes. In this example, we can see there are many different departments that should have a focus on the customer experience, such as purchasing, distribution, marketing, operations, customer service, customer experience, and IT.
As we learned in the organizational design blog, some businesses may not be ready for large organizational changes. However, for the success of the business defining what you want your customers to experience is a great first step.
Why the Customer Experience is Important & How You Can Make it a Priority
When organizations do not have a focus on the customer experience, it can lead to a lapse in daily tasks like inventory management, cleaning, and more. When these small pieces are neglected, it can often affect the larger pieces of the puzzle like the customer experience, their perception of the organization or brand, and their decision to continue with you or choose a competitor. To ensure your brand and perception won’t be impacted, you must first determine what you want your customers to experience. You may want to ask yourself:
How do I want my customers to remember the brand?
How will they feel after interacting with our product/service/staff?
What departments do they interact with?
How can I give them the best experience possible?
Once you have answers to these questions, you will be able to determine what departments in your organization should be making the customer experience a priority. Ideally, you should be getting everyone involved from the top down.
Download the template on making Customer Experience an organizational priority.
Now that we know customer experience should be an organizational priority, you may be wondering how you can implement this in your business. Here at Brilliant Workplaces, we provide services like Service Vision & Strategy Development, Customer Service Training, Service Standards & Process Development, and so much more. Learn more about how we can help you become a brilliant workplace with customer service and experience.
Photo by: Luca Bravo