In today’s highly competitive business landscape, customer experience (CX) has emerged as a key differentiator for companies across industries. A positive CX not only drives customer loyalty and advocacy but also helps in acquiring new customers through positive word-of-mouth referrals. On the other hand, a negative CX can severely damage a company’s reputation and result in lost business opportunities. In this article, I will share three points highlighting the importance of getting customer experience right.
HANDLING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
Customers come to businesses with certain expectations regarding the products or services they receive. Handling these expectations is crucial to building trust and establishing a long-term relationship with customers. Even if the solution to their problem is not immediately apparent, it is essential to reassure customers that their issue will be addressed and resolved promptly.
For example, when a customer contacts a technical support team with an issue, the team should not only acknowledge the problem but also communicate a clear timeline for resolution. By doing so, the customer feels heard and reassured, even if the solution may take some time to implement. This builds trust and confidence in the company’s ability to handle customer issues. And did I mention checking back to ensure the customer is happy?
FULFILLING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
Once a customer’s issue has been acknowledged, it is crucial to resolve it as quickly and effectively as possible. This is the core of customer service, and failure to fulfil customer expectations can result in lost business and negative feedback. You must have seen what disgruntled customers are capable of on Twitter right?
For instance, imagine a customer contacts a restaurant to complain about a dish they received, which was not prepared as per their specifications. If the restaurant team addresses the issue and provides a replacement dish promptly, the customer is likely to appreciate the quick resolution and may even return for another meal. On the other hand, if the restaurant fails to acknowledge the issue or provides an inadequate response, the customer may leave feeling dissatisfied and may even leave negative reviews online, damaging the restaurant’s reputation.
GOING BEYOND CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
While fulfilling customer expectations is essential, going beyond them can create a truly memorable and positive CX. I know this is not possible all the time but when the opportunity presents itself, a company should seize it! This can involve personalized service, unexpected perks, or creative problem-solving.
For example, consider a customer who contacts a clothing store with a query about a product. If the store not only answers the query but also suggests additional products that may interest the customer based on their purchase history, the customer may feel valued and appreciated. This personalized approach can lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy, as well as positive word-of-mouth referrals.
In conclusion, delivering a positive CX is critical for business success in today’s competitive landscape. Obviously, the sweet spot is being able to execute all three forms of managing customer expectations to boost customer experience but that would be superficial. In truth, a customer centric organisation must ensure that it is part of their company culture to either do one or three of these. At most three, at least one of these during a transaction.