First, I want to make it clear that customer experience is not just about improving your website and making it easier for your customers to get what they want. It’s a much more holistic effort. The real power comes from its ability to change the way your customers think of you. Experiences rooted in genuine care for the customer win every time because they feel like they’re interacting with a brand that cares about them and one that is on their side. Your ability to generate loyalty through this ends up making you far more successful because there are fewer people looking for alternatives, at least for the majority of your audience.
What is customer experience?
The American Customer Satisfaction Index describes the anatomy of CX as the interaction a customer has with a brand or business that leaves them with a specific feeling; that feeling influences their thinking, and their thoughts, in turn, affect their behaviour towards the brand or company.
At the heart (pun intended) of Customer Experience (CX) is the heart of your customers, how they feel and equally, it is your heart towards your customers. Do you care for them? In my view, there are two critical components to CX as a competitive advantage, and the first is having the customer at the heart of everything you do, caring for them as humans. The second is pro-actively managing expectations.
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In the past, organisations were concerned with delivering shareholder value because customers depended on the organisations. However, little information was publicly available, and getting information was difficult.
Enter the Internet Of Things and the Global economy, and suddenly Customers have access to information. They get to choose whom they buy from, they get to scrutinise the organisation to determine if their values align, and they have the power to make or break a business. So it’s no wonder organisations’ focus has moved from delivering shareholder value to providing customer and employee value.
CX as a field is relatively new, but it’s increasing. Organisations are encouraged to think about their customers more systematically to ensure long-term competitive advantage. I believe that CX is more than an event; CX Management is not just about efficiencies and standardisation resulting from good CX.
I believe true CX is about genuinely caring for your customer. Rule #1 – Treat others as you want to be treated. This rule is as old as time, but it has stood the test of time and remains the centre of human interaction.
When organisations dehumanise their customers, reducing them to a number, they remove the ability to apply Rule #1. For example, consider the lamb chop you had for dinner; before it landed on your plate, it was born to a female lamb who cared for it, and then the farmer sold it to the butcher who slaughtered it and sold you the parts. If that lamb were the farmer’s pet named Lamby, it would have had a different fate.
When you connect with your customers, you start caring for them. You take the time to get to know them. You are curious about their hopes, dreams and desires. You consider their fears and concerns. And you think about how you can add value to their lives to help them achieve their goals. This is the application of Rule #1. This is also where the gold comes from; when you dig deep and connect because you care, you notice things. You realise what their motives are without them saying the words. So you get it, you understand. Understanding creates profound insights that lead to significant innovations and market dominance.
Your understanding leads to a solutions-driven approach to creating products and services because you care about them and how it impacts their lives. So, organisations that are still stuck on delivering shareholder value as their priority will likely not exist too far into the future.
If it seems like I’m gushing over the idea of customer experience, that’s because I am. A great customer experience is essential to any business. You might have the best products, services and employees in the world, but without a focus on improving your CX, you’ll lose in the long run.
If you are following Rule #1 in your business and you feel like it’s time to take it to the next level then it may be time to bring in an expert. There are many qualified CX people out there these days. Find one whom you resonate with. If you resonate with my approach then book a Simple Momentum Strategy session to explore how I can help you build the business that transforms your life and create raving fans from your customers who come back on repeat!