Customer experience is becoming increasingly important as business continues to go global and the marketing space expands. The time when competition was local, or at most national, is long gone. Business can no longer rely on being a big fish in a small pond. Competition has now shifted from physical geography to a digital landscape that knows no borders. In the process, the customer has become supreme.
Customers worldwide have been empowered by digital technology. They now have the ability to buy from competitors across the planet. This means that furnishing a quality product at a competitive price is no longer enough.
Customer experience has become a key factor as the increase in globalisation has increased the choices available to potential customers, thereby cluttering the market and blurring the lines between different brands. This has made it difficult to stand out from the crowd by advertising alone. And competing on price or technology is no longer enough.
However, the Internet does provide a way to bypass traditional promotional ideas and reach customers in a direct and personal way. That way is to create a unique brand experience that customers find pleasing and which encourages them to come back again. This can be done through social media, the company website or blog. The point is to provide the customer with emotional value that he or she would not get from someone else. What is emotional value? It’s creating a pleasurable experience that customers will, ideally, want to share with others or, at the very least, will want to experience again.
Providing that experience means converting your business into a human centered, rather than policy centered, organisation. Placing the customer as the number one priority is a good place to start. Other elements include cross selling or up selling only at the right moments in the sales cycle, customers should never feel rushed or imposed upon. It also includes keeping quality metrics on the customers in your database. Know what customers like and what they don’t like. It’s also a matter of service, deliver more than what you promised and fix problems quickly, while being generous to the customer.
It also includes addressing customer needs at the right time and never making the customer jump through hoops to get things done. The best way to do this is to develop a culture of service within your organisation. You should ensure that only motivated, service oriented employees are in customer facing positions.
Now more than ever, customers are aware of alternatives and know when a company is providing a good customer experience. This has changed the playing field and, as customer demand for positive experience increases, the opportunity to deliver such an experience places the customer engaged company in a position to grow its market share.