An article from JoAnna Brandi
Some businesses make the mistake of trying to be all things to all customers. That’s a problem because it spreads their resources and their people much too thin to be truly effective.
Here’s an idea you can take to the bank: You get what you focus on!
To be “eligible” for customer loyalty, you need to:
- Focus on what you do best – Create a clear vision and purpose that allows customers to easily understand your capabilities and how they can best use your services. Set your sights on consistently providing a level of customer service that is exquisite (Yes, exquisite) and unequaled – the competition may not be able to “fast follow” you on that one.
- Figure out “who” is your best customer – Focus your energy on customers that have the propensity to be loyal – people who look for real value, not the ones who stop in only for your occasional sale.
- Execute your plan – Zero in on the kind of experience you wish to create for your clients, build all your systems to support it, and then make it happen.
Ask yourself … How focused am I when it comes to providing a superior customer experience?
Focus … IN ACTION!
- Try this back-to-basics approach: First, define what the word “customer” means in your organization. Then make a list of the different kinds of customers you have. (Yes – even those you have internally!) Next to that, list the kinds of things you know they want and need. Any surprises?
- Find out from customers what kind of experience they would like to have. Ask about how well you are meeting or exceeding their expectations. (And are you anticipating them once in a while?)
- Develop a clear picture of what you want to create. Get your team together and discuss what you want customers to experience when they do business with you. Do you want them to be wowed, to feel secure, to be pampered, to feel educated, etc.? Define the “ideal” customer experiences in your organization. What do they feel like, look like, sound like, smell like, and taste like? Have fun with this exercise – do a skit, turn it into a performance, serve popcorn. Use charts and draw a few posters that you can later hang on your walls.
How can you make sure that the “picture” you developed in the previous exercise remains in everyone’s consciousness?
At staff meetings, ask: “Who has an example of creating an ideal customer experience?” Challenge yourself and others to search for evidence that such experiences are, in fact, being created. A client of mine is creating “Dazzle Me” experiences for its customers. Everyone there knows what “Dazzle Me” service looks like because that’s where they’ve put their focus.
Use your own experiences as a customer. Think of the last person who, while serving you, seemed focused on you and your needs, and on creating a positive experience for you. What did he or she do? Write down the specific behaviors that had a positive effect on you … then do them yourself!
Can’t think of a focused server? Try someone who gave you lousy service. What did that person do that you can avoid? There are many ways to learn!
And of course you can do the same thing with your last online purchase – I had two things in my shopping cart from my last purchase and couldn’t remove them. How quickly do you think it took me to see if Amazon had the products I needed rather than pick up the phone to find a person? Too bad.
JoAnna Brandi has been speaking, writing and consulting on customer care and helping brands create lifetime customer loyalty for over 30 years. She brings a fresh perspective to Customer Experience with practical tips to help marketers transform their CX. JoAnna is a Certified Happiness Officer and Coach. You can find her at https://returnonhappiness.com/ and https://Positiveenergizer.com. She is the author of two books on Customer Loyalty and the illustrated gift book “54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World”.