Want your customers to adore you but you don’t know how to make that happen?
As small business owners, we often focus on marketing and sales in order to draw people in, but once the sale is made or we get the client, we stop thinking about the customer in a real way. Our interactions become less personal, and more about the transaction.
The solution? Focus on the customer experience, instead.
In the FMC course 28, Customer Experience: How to Do It Right, we learn from expert Jeannie Walters, founder of 360Connext. Jeannie runs the global consulting firm that specializes in the cornerstones of customer experience: Customer engagement, employee engagement, and connections. She’s been focusing on the stuff for 20+ years so you might say that she knows a thing or two about it.
What is the customer experience?
There are a lot of different ways to think about the customer experience. People generally think of a survey for feedback purposes, or they think of customer service, which is entirely different. These are very reactive areas. Customer experience, on the other hand, is proactive. You essentially want to think about the customer’s perspective and design your business in a way that leaves your customer with the best experience they’ve ever had.
That leads to loyalty. Which leads to referrals.
And the best part? Your customers become your advocates. So instead of someone saying, “Yeah, your business was good. You did what I expected,” an advocate will say, “I love your brand; I’m going to tell all of my friends about you and I can’t wait!”
You know who does this poorly? Airlines. You expect them to be awful, even though you do business with them daily. You know who does this, and does it well? Costco. People rave about them and tell their friends. And because this happens, Costco doesn’t have to spend much on sales and marketing. Word of mouth does it for them.
That sounds better – how do I do that?
In this course you’ll learn:
- All the stages of the customer experience, including:
- Awareness – This is where a person’s first discovered you. They may have walked past your store, or heard you give a talk, or driven past a billboard where you were featured.
- Consideration – This is the stage at which a person may think, “Hm. I might have a need for this thing.”
- Selection – This is where comparison shopping happens. The customer’s beginning to think, “How would it be to be a customer there?” The Google searches begin in earnest.
- Buy – This is where business owners tend to fail, surprisingly. Not because someone didn’t buy from you, but we tend to think our work is done once that purchase button is pressed. There’s so much more to do at this stage (and we’ll tell you how).
- Onboarding – The first 90 days are crucial to a business, especially if you want to familiarize a customer with a service or a system that you’re implementing.
- Why “I” statements are so important.
- How to become more about interaction, and less about transaction.
- Why you need to add moments in the customer experience to make them easier and effortless.
- How to lessen the business speak, and stop thinking about that neverending sales funnel.
- …and actually have customer loyalty go UP in a crisis!
But as a small business owner, I’m doing everything! Isn’t that enough?
The mentality that many small business owners have is that they’re doing all the work – they’re generating leads and selling and invoicing and on and on. We feel like we’ve done all the work. So by the time a customer buys from us, we sorta feel like the customer should take the product and run with it. And we know we’ll send a follow-up email, so if they have any questions, we can just answer it then.
Not exactly. Reassurance in this area is key. When someone buys from you, how are you responding? Do you thank them, but still talk about you and your product? They are looking for the reassurance that you promised them while you were wooing them in the sales process. They want to know that they are going to get the value they’re anticipating. Think, for example, about the confirmation emails you get from Amazon. It’s a simple thing. You order something and Amazon tells you exactly when it’s going to be delivered. That’s one less thing you have to worry about. And in doing so, you know you’ll go back to Amazon because they’ve reassured you just by that one simple e-mail.
By thinking about and valuing the customer experience, we take the time to think about what we are going to do and how we are going to deliver the best possible experience to our customers so that they’re not just loyal, they’re advocates. Unfortunately, customers are loyal …until they’re not (RIP Borders Bookstores). So it’s in our best interest to really keep the customer in mind – not as a sales target – and to be absolutely proactive in figuring out how to get them what they need.
Ok, I’m ready to tackle the customer experience the right way.
If it seems a bit tricky to flip the switch from the owner perspective to the customer’s experience, don’t worry. Jeannie and Jill will walk you through their top tricks n’ tips to make sure you have customers who are not only satisfied by their experience with you, but they rave about you and tell everyone they know.
Jill knows you can do it. Jeannie knows how you can do it.
Get your pencils sharpened to take notes in the workbook. Then don’t miss this wildly helpful video course. And after you’ve watched the video, practice some of the suggestions in our forum!
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