Part 1 – Creating Your Customer Experience Baseline
There are two critical things necessary to be a successful business:
- Be profitable
- Create a great customer experience
The first item needs no explanation. The second shouldn’t, yet we are shocked by how many businesses struggle with it. How do you create a great customer experience? Read on to find out.
Define Your Minimum Acceptable Customer Experience
What is the number one thing to remember when focusing on your customer experience? YOU are a customer.
To create a great customer experience, start by becoming “hyper-aware” of those things you personally like…and dislike..as a customer. Constantly be aware of your own customer experience when interacting with other businesses, both good and bad. Make a list. Write them down. Then start implementing the good practices , and banishing the bad.
What you’ve done for yourself here is defined the minimum acceptable customer experience in your own mind…so you need to make damn sure your business operates at…or better yet, above…this level.
Look Outside Your Industry
When defining your minimum acceptable customer experience, seek out a variety of businesses for examples. Do not…I repeat…DO NOT look only at your competitors. Doing so will merely lead you down the road to the intersection of Mediocrity and Sub-par Experience.
I’ve been a customer experience consultant for the past 20 years. My biggest pet-peeve is the company that seeks the help of someone like me…but only if that someone has consulting experience specifically in their industry. A close second is the company that hires me to provide an assessment of their customer experience…but only against their direct competitors.
As if it makes sense to say “I am a gas company, and I sell gas. Yes, my customers also buy cars, televisions, and cell phones…but I don’t care about the customer experience they receive when dealing with those companies…there is nothing I can learn from them.”
This gets my blood boiling. I’ve heard it uttered so many times by leaders of so many businesses. Invariably, each one providing mediocre customer experience, at best…horrible customer experience at worst.
Well…that’s it for part 1.