Customer Touchstone
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Your Customers Experience and the Ten Principles

Towards the bottom of this article you will find the 10 Principle to focus on for great customer experience.

Don’t Pay Attention to Your Customer Experience!

And observe what happens as your business loses traction against your competitors. Yes, you may be growing but if your competitors are growing faster than you are, it means you’re falling behind.

It seems to me as though marketing and marketers have been subsumed into being seen as the people who can promote and help sell a product. The board of directors want to sell more and so product promotion seems to be a good idea. It might be a good idea but the last thing you want to do is promote a product which fails on customer experience. Rather than get repeat business or referrals you end up with upset people and potential destruction of a product or business. Samsung Note 7 anyone!

Customer service is seen as a measure of customer experience, (it’s not). Customer service may indeed be part of customer experience but beware. If a customer has to call customer service it usually means they have a problem with the product or service being sold. When a company measures customer service they may end up with a glowing report, the problem is that they aren’t asking the right questions and end up believing something is okay when it isn’t.

Short Term Thinking – The shareholder value theory

I’m not fully certain when it happened, I think it was around 1970 and a fairly well known economist called Milton Friedman suggested that the sole purpose of a business was to increase shareholder value.

Even Jack Welsh said as much; “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy! Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products. Managers and investors should not set share price increases as their overarching goal. Short-term profits should be allied with an increase in the long-term value of a company”. Jack had built GE between 1981 to 2001, from $14 billion to $484 billion. It turned out that much of it was smoke and mirrors and due in large part to financial leverage of GE Capital, which would have collapsed in 2008 if it had not been for a government bailout. Source Forbes.

If you run a business which is not listed on the stock exchange then you are in a better position to think longer term .

Customer Experience and Your Business

Some of what I’ve learned and developed has been based on my own insights. Sensitivity to the emotions going through people’s mind as they experience the journey of buying something is helpful. Understanding the journey from the beginning to the end of the first transaction and onto a potentially lifetime relationship.

I’ve also learned much from other practitioners in this field, people like Matt Watkinson to whom I’m most grateful.

It’s my belief that businesses must move towards a customer centric approach and focus on their emotional experience. Because failure to do so will put the business on a poor footing. Selling and marketing is going through a transformation and it has to because customers really are king!

Jay Abraham said there was only three ways to grow a business;

  • Get more customers
  • Sell to the existing customers more often
  • Increase the average transaction value

Principles Guide a Great Customer Experience

We can look to the earlier statement and encourage marketing to get out there and find ways to achieve all of the above. But how exactly are we to do that without going down the wrong path? Listed below are the 10 Principle of Great Customer Experience.

I hope this will get the ball rolling and whet your appetite;

Customers Identity

Beliefs and values are at the core of our behaviour. Values are deeply personal and may even change over time. Your potential customers will have their own self image, does this resonate with your brand or does it detract from it?

Higher Objectives

Each and every one of us has higher objectives which are often hidden from view. Customer will make product and service buying decisions based on these wants and desires. In what way does your product or service articulate and deliver these higher objectives?

Leave Nothing to Chance

Sometimes the smallest of details can have a huge postive or negative effect. Your customers could be interacting with your business in multiple ways. Online and offline, are your customers having a pleasant interaction or not?

Set and Meet Expectations

People learn from their experiences  and associations. People will judge an experience right from the beginning to the end. A great experience and you will keep your customers for a long time. A bad experience and you will stand the risk of losing them.

Effortless Experience

Have you ever had a rotten experience as a customer? I would bet that you have and you probably wondered why it took so much effort. Have you ever put yourself in the customers shoes when buying from your business? Try it, you might be shocked!

A Stress Free Experience

We all want to have an easy life which is anxiety and stress free. A customer experience which is easy, quick and fun is incredibly rewarding. Loyalty to your brand is the outcome of a stress free experience. What’s your customer journey really like?

Indulge the Senses

Humans are not automatons, we are sensory beings and anything which promotes our senses brings us back for more. As pleasure seekers, we yern to be pampered in some way. Have you thought about ways to indulge your customers?

Socially Engaging

You would imagine that all businesses would understand that people are social. People buy from those whom they trust. They want to relate to others and often seek out places which help promote their social standing.

Put the Customer in Control

People love to be in control and hate to be forced to jump through hoops to buy a product or service. Customers want to be able to do things in their own time and in their own way. Businesses which are flexible and accommodating are loved.

Consider the Customers Emotions

People buy with their emotions and justify with logic. Like it or not customers are not the rational thinkers we like to believe they are. By evaluating the emotional customer experience we can think up new ways to delight people.

About the Author Steve

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