What is customer experience?
Customer experience is the sum total of all interaction between a customer and a supplier.
It includes the quality and reliability of products and services, how quickly a customer receives attention, the attitude and behaviour displayed towards the customer, the promises a supplier makes – and whether they are kept – and indeed if the customer is helped in extra ways to make his life easier.
It is a mix of the physical, what is done and the emotional, how it is done.
The quality of the experience is always judged by the customer and that judgement is always relative to the customer’s expectations.
Why is customer experience important?
Despite a mountain of evidence which links customer satisfaction and profitability, great customer experience is relatively rare. For every John Lewis, First Direct or Pret a Manger there are at least ten BTs, NPowers or Ryanairs.
But it’s not quite so simple as to say good service equals good profits and bad service equals bad profits.
BT, NPower and Ryanair all feature near the bottom of every customer satisfaction table going and are highly profitable – so what’s the problem?
The problem is that bad service has damaged these organisations. Bad service destroys reputations, costs money and harms staff engagement. And all of these are bad for the bottom line.
BT and NPower can mask the effects of bad service because their customers have extremely limited choice. And Ryanair sells on price and its profits are boosted by its notorious and unfair extra charges.
So if you are fighting for customers, and don’t want to compete on price, talk to Customer Plus about the benefits and practice of delivering great customer experience.
How to deliver great customer experience
Every business will tailor its approach to its customer and competitive landscape however the guiding principles are constant:
- Great customer experience begins at the top and requires the understanding and commitment of senior executives
- Customer experience works inside out so start with employee engagement
- Customers are emotional and how they are treated is at least as important to them as what they buy
- The quality of customer experience should be monitored and service problems should be recovered quickly and learned from
Working with Customer Plus
Customer Plus follows a simple three step approach:
- Discovery – research and intelligence to understand our clients’ problems and opportunities
- Development – co-creation of plans to fit our clients values and resources
- Delivery – creative and effective implementation