Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience

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Maxims like "The Customer is Always Right" and "The Customer is King" are the bane of experience designers. While I don't disagree with the sentiment, the problem is that their all-or-nothing approach to the customer experience leads many business owners to the incorrect conclusion that they must trade meeting business objectives with being held hostage by irrational and impossible demands from customers. The result is an ambiguous, half-hearted attempt to be "customer friendly" - while never creating a remarkable (and truly memorable) customer experience. This webinar will provide you with practical, actionable ideas for creating a remarkable customer experience for your organization.

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  • We all know about companies who are celebrated for having remarkable customer experiences… Companies like Zappo’s, Amazon, Apple – there are countless books about how great their experiences are, but precious little advice about how to create your own remarkable experiences – especially on a budget.So today I’m going to talk about the secrets to creating a remarkable customer experiences. And these are things that you can put to use in your business right away.
  • So let’s talk about the secrets… and there are really just 4 guiding principals. A remarkable customer experience is clear, it’s consistent, it’s capable, and it’s nice.Clear. Consistent. Capable. Nice. So let’s talk about each of these and look at some examples.
  • First we’ve got clear. And when we’re talking about a clear experience, we mean an environment where everything is simple, straightforward, and uncluttered.
  • So one way we make an experience clear is by looking for opportunities to reduce friction. What I mean by friction is anything that gets in the way of getting things done. Obstacles. Barriers. Hoops…And here we see an example of friction. This is at the parking garage of the shopping center near my office. You can see there’s so much friction to getting out of the parking garage, that they’ve gone through the trouble to create a note – complete with highlights! – to explain how to use this piece of technology. And notice that the highlights don’t even match up with the color. “Wait for the green light” is highlighted in yellow.
  • This is one of my favorite examples. We were leaving – I should say trying to leave – Ikea one day, but were confused about how to get out of the parking lot. We find a lot of these points of confusion when customers are trying to navigate business processes. You can’t complete task A, without completing task B, but you can’t complete task B without C, which depends on completing A. When we eliminate these points of confusion, we improve operational efficiency, profitability AND customer satisfaction.
  • All we know about the person who sits at this desk is what you see here. But we can draw a lot of conclusions, and they’re mostly not positive.When interior designers speak, they talk about carefully editing a room. And what they mean is that they’re deliberately choosing each item in the room and where it’s presented. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and it doesn’t have to reflect only one style. But it does have to be thoughtful and purposeful.We’re not just talking about interior design and clean desks. We’re talking about other things – websites, marketing materials, product design, packaging….Even things like how your employees dress. There’s a guy in our Houston Chapter who owns a high end moving company. He differentiated himself in a saturated market by breaking the stereotype of the poorly dressed, fat, sweaty mover by putting all the folks who work from him in a uniform of dockers and a collared shirt. They look professional, and as consequence, his company looks more professional too. And it’s more appealing to high end clientele.
  • So our second principle is consistency. Consistency is all about managing the expectations of the customer. You want your customers to know that their interactions with your company will be friendly and easy, every single time.
  • When the customer can see and understand your processes, it’s easier for them to value what you do. And then they know what to expect.Now, I just got back from a speaking engagement in Ireland. While I was there, I visited the Waterford crystal factory and went on their tour. The great thing about this tour is that you could engage directly with the artisans. You could see them working, and they’d show you what they were working on. And as a result, as were walking out, one of the people in our group said “after seeing how hard they work, I feel like we need to buy something.”The point here isn’t that you need to have a tour, but that it’s okay for customers to see you work and how you work. It helps for them to understand what it is you do and why it has value.
  • It’s important that everyone in the organization is accountable for consistency.At EO member Jay Pifer’s company, Evoke photography and video, staff participate in a program called “Above & Beyond” where they’re challenged to do something remarkable for a customer. Each week, the studio manager collects written accounts from everyone about their weekly “Above & Beyond” moment. For example, since parking near the studio is challenging, an employee might move their car so a customer can have a parking space near the studio. More recently, when staff discovered a bride’s grandmother had died, they sent a print of a photo they’d taken of her during a recent session.
  • Our third principle of customer experience is capable, and by that we mean that employees have both the knowledge and training, as well as the empowerment to solve customer problems.
  • When customer’s interact with your company, they don’t want to jump through multiple hoops – navigate their way up the seniority ladder – to find somebody who can solve their problem. They want to immediately engage with a person who is capable of helping them. Rackspace support is a great example of this. At any time of day, you can pop up a chat window and interact with a systems engineer who can handle nearly any kind of administrative request. They’re all technically competent and empowered to make decisions so that support is no longer an ordeal.It’s so easy, it can be done by chat – which has routinely has some of the worst customer experiences out there.
  • We don’t just want to solve problems, and be reactive all the time. Being proactive can be beneficial too. Here’s a great example from a grocery store in Waterloo, Iowa. On the marshmallow aisle they’ve got the other ingredients for smores just next to the mashmallows. I’m sure that’s helped their bottom line too.
  • So finally, we’ve got to be nice. And really, when we’re talking about being nice, we want to interject a bit of humanity and empathy into our interactions with customers.
  • We should treat customers as we would dinner party guests at home. That means making sure they feel comfortable and welcome. This example is from a doctor’s office, and these are just three of the seven sternly worded notices framed and mounted on wood in the waiting room. (I couldn’t take a picture of them all without being too obvious.) It won’t be a surprise to you, I’m sure, that the experience in the patient room and with the phone systems and with the staff is no different. These notices set the entire tone for that office, which treats patients as a burden that must be tightly controlled and thwarted.I doubt any of the staff greet their Thanksgiving guests with as much hostility as we see here.
  • It’s the little niceties that make the experience memorable. It’s the things that are done that don’t have to be, and the care with which they’re executed.A couple of years ago, I stayed at the Houstonian Hotel here in Houston, which was the home of Bush 41. I already knew The Redmond Group, the company that owns the hotel, stresses guest experience to its employees. But I was completely surprised when I found that even the extra toilet paper in the cupboard had been wrapped in tissue (it didn’t come that way) and tied with a ribbon.
  • And finally, it’s okay to be playful. A lot of companies think that they must trade playfulness with professionalism - and it doesn’t have to be that way.There’s a huge number of email newsletters companies for us to choose from. Mailchimp differentiates itself not only offering superior features and quality, but also with its light and playful tone. And they don’t trade professionalism in the process; when you talk to their staff they’re eminently capable. Despite their playfulness, they have a reputation for being the least spam producing platform.
  • So all this is building up to the fact that remarkable experiences build trust, and trust is what builds relationships and seals deals.
  • Trust.Here is Bob, a car salesman. Arguably, the least trustworthily profession on the planet. And yet, Bob is the #1 salesman for his brand in the U.S. Why? Because his customers trust him and are loyal to him. We’ve bought three cars from him. Why?He’s clear. What kind of car you want? … Ok, the retail price is X, I pay Y, so this is what I can do.He’s consistent. You know exactly what you’re going to get. He’s the same way with each car we’ve bought from him.3) He’s capable. Bob not only knows his cars, he knows how to work the car company bureaucracy to take care of his customers. Whenwe bought our last car from him, there was an error in the computer that was going to cost us a few hundred dollars more. But Bob was a bulldog in hunting the error down and correcting it .4) He’s nice. He’s not charismatic, but that’s not the point. He understands we’re busy, so he schedules appointments for us to select a car and sign paperwork. And he tells us in advance how long we can expect the appointment to last. He doesn’t waste our time, and he ensures we have everything we need while we’re at the dealership.
  • So, using these four principles – clear, consistent, capable, and nice – conduct a customer experience audit in your organization to determine whether your experience is remarkable, of if it needs improvement. Be sure to look at the experience of both new and existing customers.
  • It’s good business to create a remarkable customer experience.
  • Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience

    1. 1. @normalmode sSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    2. 2. Clear Consistent Capable Nice © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    3. 3. Cultivate a business environment where everything is simple, straightforward, and uncluttered © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    4. 4. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    5. 5. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    6. 6. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    7. 7. Expectation that everything is going to be friendly and easy every single time © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    8. 8. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    9. 9. Jay Pifer, Evoke Photography & Video EO HoustonSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    10. 10. Employees have the ability and are empowered to solve customer problems © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    11. 11. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    12. 12. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    13. 13. Be human. Be real. © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    14. 14. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    15. 15. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    16. 16. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    17. 17. Remarkable experiences build TRUST © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    18. 18. Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.
    19. 19. Investigate your experience, for new and existing customers © 2012 – Normal Modes LLC. All rights reserved.Secrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer ExperienceSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience
    20. 20. @normalmode sSecrets of Creating a Remarkable Customer Experience

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