Customer service through face to face and telephone interactions is one important way of affecting your customer’s experience. Technology has enabled companies to connect and to interact with their customers, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can track interacts across many channels such as social re-targeting, web-chats, social media.
To create exceptional customer experiences that matter to your customers, you must understand your customer’s wants and needs and their particular preferences. You must become in-tune with your audience so you can influence their decisions by fulfilling their precise wants and needs.
There are three stages in the customer experience lifecycle:
If you do not follow these stages, then your customer relationships may go into decline rather than renewal as the diagram demonstrates.
The introduction stage is the research and development, pre-testing phase. When I worked for an innovation consultancy I learnt that customers were our best creators. The earlier you can involve your customer in the design process the better your product will be in fulfilling their specific needs in a competitive environment. This has many benefits:
You understand the profile of your customer fully.
You develop early adopters and potential influencers.
You can survey and capture data that may inform/improve the customer journey.
Along with refining the product you can create the targeted launch and marketing campaigns.
The better able you are to understand every stage of the customer journey the higher the initial adoption, conversion and repetition and retention levels.
The better you are able to understand the customers journey and decision-making process, the better you are able to match their experience expectations.
Growth is sharing the love, amongst your employees and your customers. This phase is successful when the vision and the principles embed in the culture of the company. This can be delivered through training and mentoring; constant communication of the vision and values and a thorough demonstration of the principles practiced at all levels of the company. Always do right by your customer, because good customer service can turn a one-time customer into a lifelong advocate and influencer. The lifetime value of a customer is significant. Create a constant feedback loop to engage your customer in feedback. Make sure your customer knows you are listening so be exceptionally responsive to their problems.
McKinsey surveyed ‘70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated’.
Customers have become more empowered hence the importance of measuring and monitoring customer experience. Maturity is the loyalty stage. Companies have a tendency to take their customers for granted and lose focus of their vision. Continue to measure and monitor the ROI from delivering exceptional customer experience into the maturity stage to remain focused. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one method of collecting and benchmarking customer experience.
Customer want to feel appreciated and deserve to be rewarded for their continued support. After all, organisations that have optimised engagement have outperformed their competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth. If you get the three stages of the customer experience lifecycle right and invest in delivering exceptional customer service experience, your customers will experience a renewal of love for your product and continue their support.