In business today, be it online, in store or in person, we are constantly being told that it is all about the ‘customer experience’. This could not be further from the truth.
But I ask myself: is it my interpretation of what the customer experience should be, or is it the customer’s interpretation of the experience they want from my business?
This is often something we do not interpret correctly. While trying to promote our unique selling proposition (or what we do best), we often fall into the trap of trying to tell the customer what is best for them and not necessarily asking them what they think is best for them.
A great customer experience is when you actually do something to benefit or add value to your customers’ expectations. But customer experiences also need to be in line with the results you are trying to achieve for your business and importantly, yourself as an individual. Blending the two and understanding how to deliver these is the challenge. If you really want to achieve this you need to start understanding your customer by trying to be that customer. Furthermore, you have to want to understand what is most important to them.
Delivering and improving your customers experience is a mindset that should be embedded not only in your thoughts but most importantly, in all your processes. This is so vital because we become so busy with the details of the day, we can easily forget this. We must not forget that this type of mindset is not a ‘set and forget’ process, but rather, something you challenge and review as often as you can.
So, you may ask, how do I achieve this? One way to start may be by looking at your strengths and weaknesses. Consider how to improve on them in a simple and effective way. It is very rewarding when you find a way to improve on the great things you do, and even better if you chip away at the things you do not do so well. A simple example might be how you or your staff members greet your customers. The feel and vibe of your store and how happy your staff are.
Customer experience or satisfaction is and should be a measureable concept, not just something you decide and judge on how you feel. To do this you may wish to create a list of questions that you can easily ask your customer that allows you to compare customer to customer.
You may wish to ask:
- “ Good to see you again. What brings you back?”
- “Thanks for visiting our store; when will we see you again?”
- “We appreciate your business. I would love to know if you would recommend our business to someone else?”
Having a process, and understanding and measuring your customers’ experiences level of satisfaction can improve your bottom line and make life more exciting. So don’t forget to ask: “Whose customer experience is it?”.
This article was published in the February 2019 issue of Flowers magazine, an award-winning Australian publication focusing on the whole of the flower supply chain from breeders to retailers.