Congratulations, you’ve made a new customer!
But now the clock is ticking…
You have just 100 days to make that customer a lifetime customer.
Customer experience is everyone’s responsibility
People often mistake customer service with customer experience.
But there is an important difference between the two.
Customer service is reactive. It’s what you do when something has gone wrong or when the customer needs someone to help them.
Customer experience, on the other hand, is proactive behavior.
It’s what you do before the customer ever raises their hand or before they are a customer, even.
It’s how you get your customer to develop a deep connection with your brand — a personal connection to you, your company, your product…
Were you born in a barn?
In order to deliver great customer experience, you need everyone onboard.
Your employees, whether they are customer-facing or not, need to have a deep understanding of your customer’s journey.
Without it, the service they deliver will suffer.
To serve the customer is to know the customer.
And that’s why, in 2020, we need to reconsider our siloed departments.
Siloes make sense — you want to group similar functions together for efficiency.
But have you ever needed to engage with an organization only to get perpetually transferred to new departments by a series of employees who’d rather pass the problem onto someone else?
Yeah. It’s awful.
There are a lot of things I would call that experience. None of them are flattering and most of them I’d have to censor.
Your customer deserves better.
The problem and how to solve it
The biggest contributor to this kick-the-can-down-the-road attitude is the way most businesses are structured.
If you look at the bulk of CEOs and senior leadership teams, they came up through sales or marketing — not account management.
And that means what matters in their brains is acquisition, not retention. Which, of course, means budgets go to acquisition, not retention.
Customer experience is, therefore, given its own silo. An underfunded silo. Separate from the rest of the farm.
Structure, budget, and hierarchy are the problem. And if we are going to fix it, something has to change.
Empathy is the great differentiator
If we want to have an effect on any of these detriments to customer experience, we need to start with one thing…
“Empathy is going to become the great differentiator in business.”
At the end of the day, loyal customers are cultivated through human-to-human interaction. It’s personal, not just business.
Or maybe that should read — at the end of the quarter.
I say that because you really only have 100 days to convert that customer into a loyal fan.
And it’s not easy.
The ticking clock
There is a huge hurdle to overcome right at the outset of your first sale.
While you’re high-fiving, smoking cigars, and drinking whiskey — assuming you work in an office from an 80s business movie — while celebrating the sale, your customer is having a very different experience.
They’re alone with sad music playing as their joy starts fading and buyer’s remorse starts creeping in.
And if that image doesn’t put a damper on the cigar party, then you’ll never be able to solve your customer experience problem.
Because it should. You should be there in your customer’s darkest hour.
You should empathize.
The touchpoints that matter
Your customers need a personal experience delivered after that sale. Something that lets them know that their buyer’s remorse is an illusion.
Again, it’s personal, not just business.
There are all sorts of ways you can deliver that personal touch. But one of Joey’s favorites is video.
Video allows you to merge the technology by which everyone today is so consumed with the personal touch it often lacks.
A word of caution though: A cell phone selfie video is going to get a lot more traction than hiring a film crew, a producer, audio engineer, and catering company for the spread.
Your customers want authenticity.
An overproduced video is the opposite — it’s you signalling that it is just business.
You need to know it to deliver it
As you deliver better customer experience and retain more customers, an amazing thing happens.
You deliver better employee experience and retain more employees.
The two are inextricable.
Given that acquiring new customers and hiring new employees are two of the most expensive things companies spend money on, you can’t afford not to retain either.
But it also works the other way around: You need to have the same empathy for your employees as you need for your customers.
You can’t ask them to deliver something they don’t even recognize.
“You can’t ask your employees to create a remarkable experience for your customers if they have no idea what a remarkable experience is. And the bar for customer experience is lying on the ground.”
Take the old cliche: “white-glove service.”
When were you last served with white gloves? For most people, the answer is never.
If you want your employees to deliver great customer experience, you need to show them what it looks like.
Think of it this way, there’s the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Then there’s the golden rule of customer experience: Treat your employees the way you want your customers to be treated.