If our goal is to provide our customers with an excellent experience from the moment they come into contact with our company until the time they complete their transaction, we have to invest time and energy into seeing things from our customers’ perspectives. Have you ever visited a new town and looked for a destination only to find the signage impossible to follow unless you already know where the business is? Have you ever gone for lunch in an area with tons of families, only to find nowhere has family-friendly meal options? These are just two common real life examples of businesses not taking the time to evaluate their customer experience from nuts to bolts. What might we ourselves be missing? How can we discover our shortcomings in order to fix them?
Either through imagining ourselves as new customers or by engaging new and existing customers to get their honest feedback, we need to approach every step of the customer experience and evaluate it for ease and enjoyment in order to lay the groundwork for outstanding customer service.
How Can They Find Us?
Can new customers find us easily? Do our websites easily pop up in search results? If our website is segmented, is it clear and easy to find the page for shopping? If we have brick and mortar stores, do potential customers know we’re there?
What Do They Need?
As our businesses grow and change, so too do our customer bases. We need to keep pace with our target markets, evolving our offerings to meet their changing needs so that our customers don’t outgrow our companies. Being adaptable in our offerings endears us to our customers because we care enough to anticipate their changing needs. When was the last time we asked what they would like us to offer that we presently aren’t?
How Can They Buy?
It behooves both our companies and our customers to remove as many barriers to purchasing as possible. Accepting all major cards, offering Internet-based payment methods, order by phone, and even ordering by email help different segments of our customer bases have an unhindered buying experience with our companies.
When Can They Expect Us?
When our customers do business with us, they are excited about our products. Are we doing enough to keep them apprised of how and when their purchases will make their ways to them? Do our particular customers want to know every step of the way (order received, being processed, preparing for shipment, shipped, arrived)? Or do they want more edited alerts? Providing our customers with the order information they like and expect is not just a logistical consideration, but an important component of customer service.
By performing “experience checks” on our customers’ total experiences with our companies, we will set ourselves up for success by pleasing our customers from the moment they first hear of us.