paintThere are four critical factors that paints  the customer’s perception of their experience and each one is a factor that can be planned, managed, and orchestrated by the organization.

1. The Lens of the Customer. Most organizations tend to look through the lens of the business vs. the lens of the customer when designing and executing their processes and procedures. These processes may include things like voice mail trees, scheduled delivery times, excessive documentation, and long wait lines that are set up for the ease of the organization, not for the ease of the customer. By looking through the lens of the customer and putting yourself into their shoes, you have the opportunity to provide a positive experience for the customer and not place your employees into being the “victim” of the process.

2. The Service Environment. Your physical environment makes a powerful first impression on your customers, many times before they even meet any of your employees. What does your website look like? Do all the links work the way they are suppose to? Is it professional? Do you have a phone number that is easy to find so if a customer wants to call and talk to a live human being, they can. What message does your parking lot send? Is it littered with trash, broken lights, faded parking lines? How about your lobby or reception area? What does it speak? Everything in your service environment is sending a message in what your customers see, hear, smell, and touch. “Everything Speaks.”

3. The Service Delivery. This is your staff’s delivery in the customer service interactions they have with your customers. It is their courteous body language, caring and friendly voice tone, helpfulness, and advice they offer your customers. Whenever they can deliver a WOW that exceeds the customer’s expectation, you have the opportunity to create a loyal customer. Little WOW’s can add up quickly when each employee recognizes that each touch point with the customer is an opportunity to create a small WOW.

4. The Processes. Processes impact the customer experience because most are designed looking through the lens of the organization, not the lens of the customer. Outdated processes, convoluted processes, excessive processes can so frustrate a customer that they are furious by the time they reach an employee that might be able to help them. This employee then has to work through the customer’s anger before they can even begin to address the issue or concern at hand. Processes should be designed to make it “easy to do business with you.”

For those businesses willing to take a step back and analyze each of these critical factors within their customer’s experiences with them, will be the businesses and organizations that are the winners of tomorrow.

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