“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” - Jerry Gregoire
Gone are the days when customers were entirely focused on the quality of products companies produced. Today, customers are equally or more focused on the quality of experiences and services brands deliver to them. According to research from PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
Why is that?
It is so because everyone wants to feel special and excellent customer experiences make customers feel exactly that way. Having said that, if you aspire to captivate the hearts of customers and earn their loyalty in today’s world, offering an outstanding customer experience is key.
Further, when you deliver an exceptional customer experience, you stimulate your customers to turn into your brand advocates. And as all of us know that customers trust word-of-mouth marketing more than what brands say about their products and services. With that said, a good customer experience is not only beneficial in terms of earning customer loyalty but it also promotes customer acquisition. Further, when there is a perfect balance between customer acquisition and customer retention, your company is set up for immense success.
From everything that we have discussed till now, we come to a conclusion that today, customer experience should be more important to you than anything else. If you aspire to deliver the best experiences to your customers, it is best to follow in the footsteps of those who know exactly what is needed to do that. So, in this blog, we’ll discuss the top lessons from customer experience leaders across the globe.
1. Apply General Life Lessons to Excel in the World of CX
Annette Franz, customer experience thought leader, coach, keynote speaker, and author, emphasizes that to excel in the world of customer experience, it is imperative for us to apply general life lessons to this field too.
She calls the general life lessons that she has learned throughout the years of her life ‘common sense.’
The best thing is that she has 26 major lessons to offer corresponding to the 26 letters in the English alphabet:
- Accept Differences: Every customer is different. Don’t try to make a single approach work for all your customers. Segment customers on the basis of how they interact with your brand and then, deliver the best services to them on that basis.
- Be kind: Annette calls it to rule 1 for impressive customer service.
- Count your blessings: Your customers are your true blessings. Be grateful to your existing customers and never ignore them in your search for new customers. Even if you get two new customers at the loss of one loyal customer, you are at loss.
- Dream: Dream of offering a better experience to your customers than your competitors and do it!
- Express Thanks: Always thank your customers, employees, and everyone in the company who helps in the survival of your business.
- Forgive: Sometimes customers get impatient, behave rudely and get cranky. No matter what, you should be empathetic towards them, forgive them and still serve them with a smile.
- Give Freely: Learn the art of giving. When we talk about giving, it’s not always linked to monetary stuff. There are numerous ways to give to your customers without spending anything. Give them your affection, show them they are your priority, offer personalized deals to them and see the magic happening for you.
- Harm no one: This is one of the most important things to focus on. Harm no one. Don’t use your customers as a ladder to success. Your motive should be to transform their lives for the better and success will follow. However, if your intentions aren’t pure and you do harm, you might yourself fall into the trap you have set for others and suffer!
- Imagine more: Imagine different things, keep imagining and try to come up with unique customer service ideas that have never been heard before
- Jettison anger: Anger, that brutal force should have no place in your company anywhere. Have a happy attitude and only hire happy people.
- Keep confidence: Create a culture of openness and transparency. Share everything you can but be smart, everything is not meant to be shared.
- Love: Love your customers like you love your friends and family members.
- Master something: Every day you should master something. Learn new things when it comes to customer experience and master them.
- Nurture hope: Your customers have a lot of hopes from you. Your goal should be to exceed their hopes and expectations.
- Open your mind: Be open to the ideas, views and opinions of others
- Pack lightly: Understand your customers and prioritize things that they value the most. Keep yourself light by eliminating things that don’t matter to them.
- Quell rumors: The best way to do that is to never let them begin in the first place. You can prevent rumors from spreading by interacting with your customers with absolute transparency.
- Reciprocate: If your customers are passionate about your brand, you should also reciprocate with the same level of passion. Show your passion to meet their needs, serve them and delight them.
- Seek wisdom: Wisdom is the best thing that you can go after. Seek wisdom from others and don’t shy away from asking for help.
- Touch hearts: Touch hearts of all those who come in contact with you.
- Understand: Understand your customers, their needs and what they expect from you.
- Value truth: Be honest and truthful in your interactions with others.
- Win graciously: You win when your customers win. Always ensure that it is a win-win situation for you and your customers both.
- Xeriscape: Shoulder innovative corporate social responsibility initiatives. Customers respect and love to buy from conscious businesses.
- Yearn for peace: Focus on peace in all forms. When your business is at peace you are more likely to fulfill your aspirations as chaos drains energy.
- Zealously support a worthy cause: You should stay up to date with the latest news, issues the world is facing and try to offer support in dealing with the issue. For example, right now, Ukrainians have to flee their country due to the war initiated by Russia. If you can, you should try to offer support to Ukrainian refugees.
2. Know What it Feels like to be a Customer
Blake Morgan, a Customer Experience Futurist, and an author says that everyone from the CEO down to the contact center should know exactly what it feels like to be a customer.
According to her, this is the key to delivering the most amazing customer experiences. If you can place yourself in the shoes of your customers then you can know what they want from you and when. I personally feel that this is the best piece of advice any customer experience expert can give you. So, focus on this one and I’m sure you’ll never fall behind in terms of customer experiences.
3. Always Remember that your Customers are Humans
Adam Toporek, a customer experience expert, keynote speaker, consultant, and customer service trainer emphasizes that brands should always remember that their customers are humans and every experience should be designed around that principle. How beautifully he has highlighted one of the most important lessons that we need to learn when it comes to customer experience.
If you always keep a human perspective toward your customers and teach your employees to do that, you can understand your customers in a much better manner. As you comprehend them better, obviously, you can offer them the best of the services that are in alignment with their needs. So, as said by Adam Toporek, always remember that your customers are humans.
Treat them and understand them the way you want to be treated and understood as a human being. Even if you use chatbots to interact with your customers, ensure that there is a human element in those interactions.
4. There is No One Thing that Will Fix Everything:
Colin Shaw is one of the original pioneers of customer experience and is recognized as one of the world’s top 150 influencers. One of the most important lessons that he loves to share with everyone is that there is no one thing that will fix everything.
He says that companies often keep looking for that one silver bullet solution that will bring them the intended results. However, this is a wrong approach. He emphasizes that outstanding results are always reaped from a combination of the many things that are required to achieve the intended results. Hence, there is always one more thing to boost customer experience that you can include but there is not only one thing that will boost customer experience independently.
So, stop looking for that one thing and start doing everything that you can. You can understand practically what he says with the help of key performance indicators.
Until and unless you implement multiple tactics to improve customer experience, the key performance indicators will only show slight improvement.
5. The Little Things Matter as Much, if not More
This lesson from Adrian Swinscoe, customer experience consultant and advisor is a gem. What he intends to say is quite clear in his words. When it comes to customer experience, the little things matter as much, if not more, than the bigger things.
Most of the time what happens is that we make big plans, take enormous steps and implement huge strategies to captivate the hearts of our customers but we forget the small things, and perhaps that’s where we make the biggest mistake. Small things matter as much as the big ones. If you offer lucrative personalized deals to your customers but don’t greet them well or smile at them, the former will also lose its impact due to the latter.
So, engage in big things but don’t forget the small ones.
6. CX Encompasses Customer as well as Employee Experience
Ian Golding is a Certified customer experience professional, speaker, and blogger. He is known for sharing immensely valuable advice with his clients and followers.
One of the best lessons that I’ve learned from him is that CX encompasses not only the customer experience but employee experience as well.
This is because your employees are the ones who interact with your customers. If they are unhappy with your company, do you think they’ll make your customers happy?
Quite the contrary, if your employees are delighted with your company, their happiness will translate into excellent customer experiences as they’ll leave no stone unturned to keep your customers happy.
Even the famous business tycoon Richard Branson believes the same. He once said that “if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” Having said that, if you aspire to offer exceptional customer experiences, you should also offer excellent employee experience.
7. Know Who to Dance With
Jeanne Bliss, leadership and customer experience advisor and keynote speaker, often says and writes in her books that as a leader you should know who to dance with.
If you don’t have the right people who’ll join in your dance and match steps with you, it won’t be a beautiful presentation. Here, the word ‘dance’ represents the goals and ambitions that you aspire to achieve as a business leader. If your workforce doesn’t join in equally and dance with you to fulfill those aspirations, everything will be challenging for you. Given that, for delivering an extraordinary customer experience, only your commitment isn’t enough. You need to have people who’ll join in too.
So, hire only those who you know will dance with you.
This is the key to evolving into a customer-centric, reputed, and loved organization.
Wrapping it Up
Extending excellent customer experience is the way to a successful future in the business world.
Customers prefer brands that make them feel special and render the best services to them. As excelling in terms of customer experience is quite challenging, it is best to follow in the steps of those who have already led companies to achieve high customer satisfaction rates.
The above-mentioned are some lessons from global customer experience beacons with a vision to help you on your journey of improving customer experience. Wish you All the Best!