- Why is customer experience so important to your business?

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  • - Why is customer experience so important to your business? Mr. Jaakko Männistö, a very interesting customer experience (CX) guru from Scandinavia, recently sat down with me to offer his compelling insights into CX. In order to share his perspective with my 18 million monthly SlideShare article business readers, I am publishing a series of articles by Mr. Männistö. This is one installment in the series. —Christian Dillstrom
  • A LOT OF PEOPLE TALK A LOT ABOUT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. But what are they saying? My feeling is that they often don’t understand the half of it. When your company dedicates itself to improving customer experience, it can gain a slew of benefits:  Higher revenues and higher customer retention.  Recognition from customers and others in the industry.  A chance to thrive even when the industry as a whole is not thriving.  Happier employees—who stick around and keep getting better and better.  Happier customers—who stick around and keep buying more and more. It’s easy to upsell to customers that have had a great customer experience. Happy customers are wallet- opening customers. Who are the winning companies when it comes to providing excellent and innovative customer experience? It’s no mystery. The examples are splashed across the front covers of Forbes and Business Week: Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Apple, to name just a few. SO HOW DID THEY DO IT? When we talk about ”the customer experience,” people often assume we're talking about just two things: face-to-face interactions and call-center interactions. But that’s a very incomplete and impoverished view of customer experience. And you really don’t want to put half of your customer-experience eggs in the call-center basket, not if your call center is the kind that so many customers complain about. Customers Hate dealing with auto-dialer menus that loop and loop, or that merely lead them to powerless call center reps. Hate Hate Hate. Hate with a capital H. The customer experience involves much more than these two possibilities. Customer experience encompasses the entire array of a customer’s interactions with and exposures to your company. It all adds up to the customer’s perception of how well he is being treated and whether your product or service is worth buying.
  • AND IT’S THE CUSTOMER’S PERCEPTION THAT COUNTS, NOT YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS. What counts is how that customer feels about his interaction with your company as he has experienced it throughout the entire multichannel customer journey. It’s your customer’s perception that is the reality of the customer experience, and it’s the customer’s own perception that he will be communicating to others. Not your intentions. Not your assumptions. Not your still-on-the-drawing-board game plan. Example (to avoid): No matter how many times SBC Telecom tells us in their ads that they’re going ”beyond the call,” we—i.e., customers and former customers of SBC—don't believe it. (As one wag puts it, we’re ”stuck behind the call”...not exactly the way SBC wants its acronym to be remembered.) We don’t believe SBC’s motto because we are not experiencing any great effort to satisfy the customer when we deal with the company. WHY IS EXCELLENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SO CRUCIAL TO YOUR BUSINESS? Customer experience is not just about customer support. Nor is it just about the buying process. It’s about everything. The customer experience starts when the customer becomes aware that you, your products and your services exist. It continues with his experience of the buying process, the consumption process, what kind of support he gets when he needs it, and how he feels when he speaks to his friends and family about what your company has to offer and how your company has treated him. Call that last part of the journey water-cooler conversation. Call it reputation. It’s what companies live and die on. Each customer has plenty of touch points with your brand, and he has plenty of touch points with his friends, family and colleagues. There are many ways you can make an impression—and many ways that your customers can pass that impression along to others.
  • Your job as a customer-focused company is to ensure that at every touch point with your brand, you are offering a compelling and consistent customer experience. Because all it takes is just one disappointing user experience to drive hordes of customers—and everyone he knows—away from your business. A SINGLE SMALL IMPROVEMENT IN A CUSTOMER’S EXPERIENCE CAN PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT RESULTS...IF YOU WORK FAST. The job of measuring and managing customer experience involves attending to a lot of little things that you can do something about fast if and when something goes wrong. I recently learned about an important aspect of guest experience while speaking with a hotel manager. The hotel had offered great in-room service that the customer really enjoyed and appreciate. But the checkout process was turning out to be a pain in the neck. It looked like guest was being made to wait for quite a long time even though he had to rush to the airport to catch a flight. Thanks to our customer experience journey software—which alerts you immediately when something goes wrong—the hotel manager was able to spot and fix the problem. He was able to solve the customer’s problem immediately while actually selling him more at the same time! The hotel now has more loyal guests than ever. They come to the hotel not just because of the reward points for repeat visits, but because the hotel gives them a consistently great guest experience. THAT’S LOYALTY GROUNDED IN SOMETHING REAL. The hotel achieved these permanent gains because: 1. it made improving the customer’s experience a top priority; and 2. it had the tools to follow through consistently in achieving this goal. Measuring and Improving your customer’s experience is crucial if you want to build a loyal customer base. Customers are loyal when they’re emotionally engaged. When they’re rooting for you. We help you to create the loyal customers who serve as your best salesmen.
  • Jaakko Männistö has agreed to give 30 days of free service so you can risk-free test making the customer experience great all the time. Anyone interested in pursuing this can book a free teleconference with him by click here. BACKGROUND Christian Dillstrom is a global growth hacker who has growth-hacked more than 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies over the last seven years. Mr. Dillstrom is responsible for over 100 marketing and sales innovations. Over 350 million of his marketing solutions are currently active on the Internet. Every month, 18 million business people read his Growth Hacking articles at SlideShare. Click here to read them. Mr. Dillstrom has founded and managed three global startups and has evaluated and consulted with over 300 startups around the globe since 1999. To get in touch with Christian Dillstrom, book a free teleconference with him, please click here.