I define the customer experience as the perceptions, emotions, actions and reactions a customer has with your people, products, and environment. Environment can be a store, office, website, etc.
Combined, these elements meet, exceed, or fall short of your customer’s expectations. That determines if, and how much, a customer makes a purchase, advocates for you and your company to others, and will continue to do business with you.
That’s why well-defined and well-executed experiences can be so magnetic. Magnetic experiences attract new customers and keep current customers coming back. Both are vital for continued success in today’s ultra-competitive and rapidly evolving market.
How do you make your customer experience more magnetic? The answer varies from company to company, and even location to location. What doesn’t vary is the fact that if you’re not obsessed about making your customer experience more magnetic you’re at risk of losing current customers, and are less likely to replace them.
Here are the questions that I ask when leading strategy sessions to identify opportunities to make a customer experience even more magnetic. Choose one or two, and use it/them for a brainstorming session.
Involve as many people at different levels of your company as possible. Your frontline staff brings an important perspective and voice to the conversation. Brainstorm as many answers as possible, and then determine their validity and potential impact on your customer experience and results.
1) How can we make it easier for customers to do business with us?
2) How can we save our customer time?
3) How can we add value to a customer’s purchase and/or life?
4) What do we do, and/or start doing for customers that other companies can’t or won’t?
5) What is really special and unique about our company and customer experience?
6) How do we, and/or what can we do, to make our customer feel special and appreciated?
7) Why might a customer choose to stop doing business with us?
8a) What do we want a customer to tell others about us?
8b) What different things do we do, or can we do, to make sure that happens?
9) Where is the biggest gap between what we say we do, and what our customer actually experiences?
10) If our biggest competitor put a store/office right next door to us, what would we do to make sure people walks in our door?
End the brainstorming session with a list of actions (not ideas) you and your team can take immediately. One change rarely makes your custom experience more magnetic, but a series of small improvements will make a big difference in the people and the targeted experience.
So let me ask, how much more magnetic can your customer experience be?
Doug Fleener, the former director of retail for Bose Corporation, is a speaker and consultant known for bring fresh approaches and powerful actionable ideas to clients and audiences around the world. Learn more at DougFleener.com.