I’ve leveraged customer experience strategies within my career for more than ten years now.
I’ve seen companies thrive (some of which I’ve advised), some commit but not fully exhaust the benefits and others that say customer experience matters but do nothing at all.
The latter is paying lip service to actually building a customer experience strategy that will grow your business, build an admired brand and have a competitive advantage against your competition.
Something my friend, Brian Mazza, says rings true in business (and other areas of your life). He says,
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
If you want your company to grow in 2020 you have a myriad of different options:
- You can optimize your SEO to rank first for your respective search queries.
- You can hire a PR firm and increase brand awareness.
- And/or you can host a sales contest within your sales team to increase top-line revenue.
All of these strategies have a time and a place in your company.
But, there is only one strategy that will organically (which happens to be the most profitable to grow a business) help you achieve more profit and other great things…
… that’s having a customer experience strategy!
And, guess what?! It’s going to require an investment of time and money, just like the three bullet points above.
Let’s use an example we’re all familiar with as consumers. Have you ever called a company and have heard the voice recording say,
“Your call is important to us. We are experiencing higher than normal call volume…”
It’s not “higher than normal call volume” when you call repeatedly on different days and hear the same message. This company’s leadership team has made a conscious decision that is negatively impacting their customer experience.
What they should be doing is allocating a higher labour budget to afford more call center agents to ensure 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds or less (this is a common call center service level agreement).
However, the conscious decision they’ve made or what they say to themselves is,
“We can’t afford that!”
This simply isn’t true.
They can afford it, they’re choosing not to by spending that budget somewhere else.
If this is happening at your company, be honest with yourself, you don’t genuinely care about customer experience. You say you do but you don’t. That’s the honest truth!
Why Doesn’t Every Company Have a Customer Experience Strategy?
Just like any financial endeavor, when you invest in customer experience strategies to improve your customer service, user experience, call center and more, the results take time.
If you want to earn more customers quickly you could launch a Facebook ad campaign tomorrow, send people to a landing page and begin converting some of them into customers (not as easy as that but fairly close).
So, what’s the issue with this? You become too focused on customer acquisition and neglect customer retention which is the primary reason why we want new customers in the first place!
To create your customer experience strategy you could do a number of things (three of which are listed later in this post).
The thing with both of these options is that it will take some time to see the positive results of your efforts but, I promise, I’ve been doing this for over a decade, the results will come. And, they will be SUSTAINABLE, which will lead you to success for years and decades to come.
Still Need More Evidence?
You may have heard the name Danny Meyers before. If not, he’s one of the most recognizable hospitality entrepreneurs, owns Shake Shack, bestselling author and more!
He knows what he’s doing when it comes to building a business. Not only that, he’s doing so in hospitality (the same industry that I’m in) which is renowned for being one of the most competitive.
Listen to this Entrepreneur podcast where he says that customer experience has always been his secret sauce.
3 Customer Experience Strategy Questions
As the year gets rolling, I’d suggest asking yourself three questions to identify what customer experience strategies you have the opportunity to create for your business and serve your customers exceptionally.
- Do you have plans to host a customer journey mapping workshop this year?
- Is it taking your customers too long to get in touch with your company which negatively impacts sales?
- When was the last time you updated your company’s customer service training material?
Customer Journey Mapping
If you said no to this question then I would highly recommend exploring this option. If you’re not familiar with customer journey mapping then I’d suggest watching this short video.
The video highlights what customer journey mapping is, it’s value and shares highlights from a workshop I hosted for a dental practice outside of Toronto, Canada.
Customer Service: Service Level Agreements
When I was building my career in my early 20’s one of my first roles was working within the call center of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? I learned that we had a couple of key organizational goals that positively impacted the company’s customer experience: 80% of calls (they received 1,000,000 calls per year) had to be answered within 20 seconds and ALL system-wide customer complaints needed to be resolved within one business day, MAXIMUM.
MY RECOMMENDATION: have a family member or friend contact your company, whether by phone, email, social media or whichever channel you want to improve this year, and see how long it takes for your team to respond to a sales inquiry.
Customer Service Training
If professional athletes and artists must habitually learn new techniques to get better at their craft. So why are our customer-facing employee’s customer service training program static and rarely evolving?
MY RECOMMENDATION: My rule of thumb is to introduce AT LEAST one new module of customer service training and techniques to your employees every three months.
2020 and Beyond
2020 can, and hopefully will be, the year that your company will become more profitable, attain high sales and admiration by developing a comprehensive customer experience strategy.
I know you can do it! You just need to create the plan, after all, nothing changes, if nothing changes.
At the beginning of 2019, nearly one year ago, I had a company called SentriLock reach out to me to host customer service training for their management team. Below is a screenshot of what an attendee had to say about the impact the training had on the company and results!
Are you interested in improving your company culture, employee engagement, and customer experience? If so, my online course, Team Operating System, may be your solution.
Click this link to book a call with me directly to learn if the course is right for you and your company.