Serving customers has been replaced with a new concept.  As there is increased competition in almost everything, moving the way we think about customer service is as simple as calling it “the customer experience”.  

However, it is not just about changing a few words, because when you start thinking of it in terms of your customer’s experience as opposed to customer service, you will notice slight but very valuable adjustments in the way you retain your customers and about moving towards also gaining new ones.  

What do we mean by this?

Customer service, despite this sounding like it is for the customer, is not customer focused.  

Customer service is only one component of the offer your company gives.  

How do you ensure your customers are completely satisfied and have a “wow” experience?

To be able to change towards giving your customer an experience, it means you need to 

Analyse every moment your customer interacts with your company i.e., at every touchpoint

From the moment they start researching about a product or service online or they hear about you and go online through your website, to the next step that they take and that is to make that phone call, email, or step into your business, and they must make some decisions, every single step of the way, they are going through an experience and undoubtedly making judgement, and of course, you want it to be good. 

You need to understand and know what they have been thinking and saying along the way and the experience they have had by the time they get to your store  

Employee empowerment to avoid negative experiences. 

Give your employees the resources and authority to deliver on the promise of excellent service. 

Customers want to deal with one person, not three or four at a time.  

This is crucial when the customer has a problem.  

They do not want to be passed from hand to hand. If this happens, your employees may look like they are “passing the buck.” 

Employee training

Employees need to know how to give customers a great experience, because for most, it is not in their nature. 

Train them to offer quick solutions for customers who are having problems with products or services. 

To help them have success with every one of your customers, give them a path to follow, so that there is always consistency, and it is easy for them to execute. 

You have done all the above so … 

Start Creating your customers Experience

This is crucial. Your company has a mission and its own set of goals. Use this to design your customer’s experience to make your company stand out from the rest.

Show empathy

Give your customers a personalized experience.  Having empathy is getting to know them.  That involves what they want when they enter your business, i.e., finding out what they need, what made them come in, in the first place, not present them with something that is not wanted or tell them that it’s over there!  

Be friendly

Make them feel wanted, show them that you are there for them.  Welcome them, and this can be done by making eye contact, the use of warm words, greetings, making them feel comfortable whilst there and that they are important. Customers like to feel valued. 

Provide Value

Giving your customers a “wow” experience does not mean raising your prices.  This should not have to cost more.  Give them the value – your customers must see the value at the right price.  

Always look at improving – never stop

Always consider various improved ways to enhance their experience.  Don’t do what you have always done. Consider the feedback you get from your customers.  They are telling you something and this is crucial to you being successful. 

Consistency is key

Whatever the customer experience is that you have developed, ensure that there is always consistency as this is the magic to gaining return business. 

Use technology as leverage

Technology is great, but use it to boost the experience, not create it.  Too many bells and whistles can lead to distractions for your customer.

Appreciate your customers

Show them your appreciation.  This may be as simple an act as holding the door for them when they leave.  

Always say “Thank you” 

These may all seem simple, but do you know if your employees are doing them? 

To start this easily, make the sales process as simple as possible. 

Clearly marked pricing and taking the time to answer their questions will assist them greatly with their decision-making process. 

Whatever your business is, create the experience you want your customers to have and by starting with this simple process, more complex ones can be implemented along the way according to your company’s mission, values, and goals.