From their very first exposure to your business, the way you treat your customers will make or break your business. Being of service is at the very core of providing the best customer experience you possibly can. When you love your work, and you live it every day, then being of service comes naturally. Part of this is going above and beyond to provide a customer experience that will keep people returning.
If you're like me, going above and beyond isn’t merely a business consideration – its part of who you are. It’s what fulfils you and makes you feel that you’re helping make the world a better place. The daily grind of business can result in your focus being getting through the myriad of tasks on your to do list. Service can slip a little as a result.
The importance of reviews
Regularly reviewing your business strategy is essential. Your passion for providing a wonderful customer experience needs to be embedded into the vision you have for your business. It needs to be woven throughout your whole philosophy in terms of how you relate to every single customer. Ensuring that it's integral to every process in your business brings a number of benefits:
- brings loyalty from customers and staff alike
- ensures that you’re running your business ethically
- allows you to do it in such a way that’s a wonderful fit for you personally
- feeds your soul as well as your pocket.
Strategise Your Customer Experience Philosophy
The types of questions you need to ask may vary a little, according to which business phase you're in, but some are outlined below, so that you can get a feel to the types of questions you might want to ask.
If you’re new to business, think carefully about how you can be of service to your potential clients:
- In what way can you greet them when they make initial contact with you?
- How can you let them know that you care about the quality of their experience with your business, before, during and after they’ve made a purchase?
- What kind of follow up procedures will you put in place to ensure that they’re happy and likely to return?
- What policies do you have in place to ensure a customer is satisfied with the way their complaints have been dealt with?
If you have an existing business but you don't spend much time planning, how might you put quality systems in place to deliver the very best service you can? Asking yourself the same questions as above will help you define a structure for this.
If your business is well established, has a reasonable number of clients and is making you a tidy profit:
- Why do people keep coming back?
- Do you need to consider how people might be rewarded for their loyalty?
- What can you do to add a personal touch to express your appreciation for them?
Think of staff as internal customers
Staff satisfaction is just as important as attracting and retaining great customers. If you’re thinking of expanding or you already employ staff:
- How do you ensure you employees are aware of your commitment to provide the very best customer experience possible?
- Do your employees know how much you value the quality of their service to you? How do you express this?
Happy employees make for great business advocates and are more likely to want to continue working with you, as opposed to seeking employment elsewhere.
Regardless of where you are in your business growth, it's essential to stay mindful of the benefits of providing a great experience to everyone you come into contact with. Remember the old saying that a person tells at least 10 people about a negative experience they’ve had with a business? That applies even more in these days of social media, where bad news spreads like wildfire. There's always going to be one person who’s never happy with what you do, but you can maximise your chances of everyone else being thrilled with the way you treat them.
You can't afford to let this slip
Why not enter a date in your diary today to review your whole customer experience strategy? As a business owner, I know that you have a gazillion things demanding your attention. It's difficult to find the time to review and build/amend your processes. As someone who deeply cares about your customers and your business and is passionate about the quality of service provided, can you afford NOT to carry out this review?
If it will help you commit, let me know the time and date that you’ll be reviewing your strategy by sending me an email. I’ll happily send you a reminder asking how you’ve done about a week after the due date. If you need help taking some things off your plate so that you have the time to actually do it, then my team and I would love to help with that, too! See our Services page for details.