Spoil Your Customers
Updated: Jun 30
One of the reasons that it’s so easy to talk about the customer experience is because we are all customers. It doesn’t matter where you live, how much money you make, what kind of job you have, or what school you graduated from, we are all customers with unique experiences. Hopefully you have had more good experiences than bad ones. During my lifetime, I have had a few unbelievable, unforgettable customer experiences.
I remember walking into a Marriot Hotel late one night in Chicago, Illinois and telling the front desk clerk that I needed a pair of panty hose. He didn’t flinch and asked me “what color and what size?” Twenty minutes later, he knocked on my hotel door with a pair of panty hose and told me that there was no charge. WOW, I was impressed! At that moment I decided that Marriot would be my hotel of choice. It’s been a good decision for me; Marriot takes pride in creating positive experiences for their customers. They also empower their employees to use their judgment.
There are a few companies that strive to have customer centric cultures. Walt Disney, LL Bean, American Express, and Starbucks are just a few. The challenge is to be consistent which means every employee at every location is expected to use good judgment every time. In today’s world, disgruntled employees and customers can ruin a company’s reputation with the click of a mouse.
In order to create a truly customer centric culture, organizations need to do four things right:
Hire the right people. The right people possess competency and have great attitudes. If I am having surgery, I want a highly skilled surgeon who is a kind, caring human being with fabulous communication skills. An arrogant, condescending skilled surgeon won’t provide a positive customer experience. He will get the job done but might not thrill the customer.
Have great processes and embrace continuous process improvement. If I love my doctor but I have to wait three hours in the waiting room to see him, I am not going to have a great customer experience.
Create a motivating work environment. It’s not enough to hire the best people, once you hire them, you need to retain them. A motivating work environment includes providing fair compensation, offering professional development opportunities, scheduling fun employee events, working with a great team, having available resources and so much more.
Develop fantastic products and/or services. Customers love Apple because Apple develops cool products. Apple also employs bright people who create positive experiences for the Apple customer.
Creating a customer focused business is a competitive advantage. Loyal customers will keep coming back and they will tell their friends about their fabulous experiences. Keeping your customers happy will impact your bottom line, now and in the future.