Do You Offer a Unique Customer Experience to Your Clients and Prospects?

10 Apr
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While companies continue to spend millions (billions?) of dollars to acquire engineering talent and patents to gain a competitive advantage, one asset proves to be extremely difficult to either acquire or emulate: Customer Experience.

Today, it’s easier than ever for competitors to quickly replicate your products and/or services.  If there is little difference between your products/services and your competitors’ products/services, how will you gain a competitive advantage and secure loyal clients? Please don’t say because you have a cheaper price and a better product. Competing exclusively on price only works  for Amazon and Wal-Mart. 

Let’s use Starbucks as an example. The customer experience at Starbucks is a major reason why people routinely bypass local coffee shops and/or fast food restaurants serving similar quality coffee for a cheaper price, to pay an additional $3.00 at Starbucks.  The founding team at Starbucks realized that people will pay a premium price for an outstanding experience.  Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee, it sells experience. It sells a lifestyle. It’s not by accident – it’s all part of the customer experience strategy.  The great companies, including Amazon and Starbucks START with the customer experience and work backwards.

Do you have a customer experience strategy?  I highly recommend you begin thinking about what your customers and prospects experience at each of the touchpoints at your company.  For example:

1)      What happens when a customer or prospect:

– Lands on your website for the first time?

– Uses the ‘Contact Us’ email address to inquire about your product/service

Does he or she receive a thank you and told how long it will take to receive a response?  Do you have systems and training in place to provide an outstanding experience?

– Calls the phone number listed on the website

Human answer? Is your team trained how to interact with clients and prospects on the phone Who do you trust with the first impression of your business?

Voicemail? What’s the message

– Views your social media channels (Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc…)

Asks a question/leaves a comment on your social media site?

  1. Drives to your store and parks his or her car – is the parking lot clean? Are there missing lights in your sign?  What’s the appearance at the store?  How is the person greeted?  What happens at checkout? Is there special packaging?  What can you do to enhance the experience?
  2. Purchases your product or service?  How is it delivered?  How do you follow up? How do you nurture him or her for future business?

There are several things to think about when developing a customer experience strategy.  It’s hard work, but if you want to create a competitive advantage and increase your company’s chances of success in the long run, it’s imperative that you start to think about the overall customer experience at your company.

 

Good Luck!

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