In a world where every customer is valuable, putting the customer at the center of your business can have immediate and compound benefits. One such company is AmEx, which changed its focus on customer experience from a cost to an opportunity. By investing in the development of its people, improving processes and making other leaps, AmEx was able to increase its customer retention by 400 percent. In the process, they expanded into other sectors, such as travel and entertainment.
In large organizations, Customer Experience is often provided by different departments and groups. In a small business, there are only a few people responsible for customer interaction. In a large company, multiple groups or departments are involved, each with different functions. Some departments may directly interact with customers while others may interact with them indirectly. For example, marketing and sales work directly with customers, while engineering, finance and legal create processes and products that affect the customer.
The customer experience is not just about products and services. It also includes interactions with people. The customer needs to feel appreciated. They don’t want to be pushed into buying anything. A well-designed product and service will not make you stand out in their minds. A sales pitch, on the other hand, doesn’t create a lasting connection. By focusing on the entire process, the customer experience is the key to continued sales. For this reason, it is imperative to make the most of it.
Identify the key areas of responsibility for customer experience. Creating a customer-focused culture helps employees identify key areas for improvement. For example, a team responsible for collecting customer-facing data should have a diverse range of responsibilities. In a small business, this approach allows for quick and easy comparisons between customers, regardless of where they work or what they buy. In a large company, Customer Experience is often split among many departments and groups.
Customer experience is the essence of sales. Even if you have an amazing product, if your customers are frustrated and confused, your efforts will be in vain. An over-the-top sales pitch doesn’t create a strong relationship. In addition, a customer who feels ignored or has been neglected is unlikely to return. If you aren’t delivering an exceptional experience, your customers will. Intuit’s example illustrates that the customer experience is the ultimate competitive advantage.
The Customer Experience of a company begins with the entire process of dealing with a customer. In a large company, this may mean the entire sales process, from the time a customer first inquires to the final purchase. Ideally, a customer will be able to buy the product with little to no effort. However, in a small business, it will be impossible to create a strong relationship based on a single interaction.