The only way to guarantee customer satisfaction and retention is by giving the ultimate customer experience. It is the kind of experience that drives the customer back to you and refers others to you. Not only does it benefit the customer but the business itself.
Statistics show that 74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experiences alone. This is why you need to be inventive when it comes to your customer experience.
In my CX Quick Tips interview with Scott McKain, he shared insights on What’s Missing From Delivering The Ultimate Customer Experience.
The ultimate customer experience is hinged upon three levels of customer interaction. You will get to learn about all three levels in this article.
Before we do that I want to be certain to mention, for even more insights on this topic, check my interview with Dennis Geelen author of THE ZERO IN FORMULA on the Fast Leader Show podcast episode on Customer-Centric Innovation.
This is what your customer has a right to expect. For example, in the Airline Industry, you have a right to expect the plane to leave on time and that it is well maintained and the pilots know what they are doing.
You have a right to expect it because you are buying a ticket to travel, not a chance to travel. You need the complete (and safe) processing of the product you paid for.
It has to do with friendliness and services like giving clients coffee. You have first to take care of the processing before you go to the service.
If the plane is crashing in a desert, you don’t care how hot or nice the coffee is. Therefore, the only way to enjoy the service is if the processing is right.
According to Siegel and Gale’s report, $98 billion per year is left on the table by companies who fail to provide “simple” experiences to their consumers. I am certain a chance to travel is not one of them.
Emotion And Personalisation
The highest level of experience adds emotion and personalization.
All experiences have to connect with my emotions, and to me, that’s what is missing in the ultimate customer experience, though it is controversial.
Havard Business Review noted that “an emotional connection matters more than customer satisfaction.”
Training Leaders To Deliver The Ultimate Customer Experience
Scott makes a very provocative point when he shared that top leadership has been trained through getting MBA degrees. You can get an MBA and never take a course on customer experience or deal with customers. Considering customer experience can drive several multiples in earnings and growth, that seems rather foolish.
But to the point, you can become a doctor and not train in bedside care. I think I’ve had a few of those in my day.
It is true, we have trained a generation of leaders and executives that know of theory and not the experience.
In the words of Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes Benz USA, said “Customer experience better be at the top of your list when it comes to priorities in your organization. Customer experience is the new marketing.”
Developing Exceptional Customer Experience
Since Customer Experience is personal and emotional, it is challenging for employees to take the role that leaders do not. So, that’s what might be missing to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Because if it’s not coming from the organization’s leadership, it’s not going to filter through your company.
Scott is correct in more instances than I care to admit. Institutionalism fundamentally is broken. Nokia spent its time working on phones – they viewed Motorolla as their competition. Apple just came along because they understood the experience has to come first.
Apple was designed around outstanding experience rather than technology. Uber also did the same.
In his book The Innovators Dilemma, Clayton Christenson said, “Once you innovate, do everything you can to protect and prolong that innovation.”
Build walls around that which you have created, yet continue to build on customer-centric innovation.
Be ahead of what customers want. Study and survey what the customer wants and is trying to solve. Talk to them, be precise and analytical about what they want.
How do you exceed expectations that you are unaware of?
Connect with customers and be close with them. From the leadership down, you have to engage with the customer. And work on redefining the sales role and people in them. It’s important to teach them that creating the ultimate customer experience is how you sell because it’s why they buy.
Many will argue that service is the first step of the next sale, but that’s a lie. Exceptional customer experience starts even before the salesperson entertains the customer.
Rethink to create an outstanding customer experience for your customers before they interact with you. Their perception is the first point in your sale.
James Cameroon, the director of Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar, said ‘A fundamental key is creating a movie that when people see it, they want to come back and see it again, but when they do, they want to bring a friend.’
That should also be the goal of your business. Once your customers have it, they want to keep it or repeat it, and they want to refer it to others. You get that by creating the ultimate customer experience.
Ask yourself; what if everything went exactly right? That is the first question in creating an outstanding customer experience.
Execution Of Outstanding Customer Experience
It’s all about the execution.
1. What if everything went exactly right?
Steven Carvey said, ‘you begin with the end in mind.’ Ask yourself what the ultimate customer experience looks like. Be precise about everything.
2. What do you have to do to make certain your people can deliver it?
Maybe do away with old policies and procedures. Be specific.
3. What are the tools that it takes to make certain your people can deliver it?
That is an investment in training and education. It’s also an investment in hiring because the employee experience must be so compelling that people want to deliver this incredible experience.
Make customers be attracted to work with you. We’ve got to be in the business of customer attraction.
The places that have extraordinary employee experience are also delivering exceptional customer experience.
Always aim to ensure outstanding customer experience to grow your business through retention and referrals.
If this is what you want for your customer experience, I encourage you to read Scott Mckain’s book What Customers Really Want: How to Bridge the Gap Between What Your Organization Offers and What Your Clients Crave.
Watch My Interview with Scott McKain
- How can you make sure that you deliver the exceptional CX?
- What makes CX outstanding?
- What is the role of leadership in delivering the ultimate CX?
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.