What Customers Really Want Ezine April 2010


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What creates customer disconnection - few questions we can ask ourselves.

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  • The need for organizations is to create ‘an inviting place’ for their customer, whether in person, on the telephone or online and how they provide choices to the customer to satisfy the needs. ‘Creating Positive Customer Experience’ is inspired by Scott Mckain’s book ‘What customers REALLY want’. We would like to share with you some key points that help us to build positive customer experience.
  • These questions help us to introspect. It also identifies areas that can cause Customer Disconnections. It helps us to empowers our team members to act like “intrapreneurs” to satisfy the customer. And thus, helps to tear down the barriers to exceptional customer service.
  • Customers are looking for people who take responsibility for their actions. So, if you hear the problem and you take care of the problem, the customer can be very forgiving. Relationships are the essence of customer service. We can get the edge by developing a strong relationship with our customers. Never take that relationship for granted! Customers want a connection that transcends mere transaction.
  • The business needs to be focus on what the customer really wants. We may have the best of the product/services, but if our customers opt for our competitors product or service, we loose out on the customer loyalty and of course the business. We should never loose the sight of this Goal – creating positive experience for the customer at all levels of interaction.
  • This is what is commonly felt. Scott Mckain says –most organizations face these challenges. Hence to revisit our interactions with the customer, gives us new insights to what the customer really wants. Each of these points have been discussed in the subsequent slides.
  • A simple example will help relate. Let us look at the Air travel that you & I often experience. It all starts at the check-in counter, we collect our boarding passes, send the Luggage, if any, after scanning and proceed for the next step. Complete the process of Security check, await announcement for boarding. Feel like being ‘dumped’ in the bus to reach the aircraft. We then board the flight. An airhostess, most often, with the plastic smile welcomes you on board, ,you settle into your seat for the onward journey! All of this is so mechanical a process that the we really don’t expect or feel a “positive experience” . Nothing changes even when you disembark! Once again, you wait for the luggage, sometimes endlessly! You look around, may not find anyone from the airlines, who can give you a response or offer some help! One feels like being processed – customer processing and not really customer service! Now recollect those situations where things would have been different and you were left with a positive feeling ! Did you consciously or unconsciously contribute to their business, share a positive thought with friends/ colleagues? We have then contributed to the positive Word of Mouth (WOM).
  • Whitney Tilson a columnist writes : “ Consistently delivering an exceptionally positive customer experience is the key to long term business success in any industry. Doing so,however,is extremely complex and difficult. Yet once achieved, it can feed on itself, creating a virtuous cycle and in becoming a powerful competitive advantage – one that can be very difficult for competition to match.”
  • Question to ask ourselves : Does your organization really know more about your customer than your competition does? Once caveat : Use the knowledge with subtlety and restraint.
  • Sounds like an Oxymoron! Empathy must be a part of the ‘Corporate DNA’ When the organization not only accepts it but also makes it a matter of high priority, it is then “Systematic Empathy” Now, which customer wouldn’t want that from the place they do business?
  • Organization focus upon their own products and services. Two basic reasons for this are: It’s easier – Respond with facts and figures. We are in control of Marketing , Sales We’re desperate – Stimulate sales This does not mean forget the product! The key is to have a customer focus . Every step of the way as it relates to the product – design & marketing. The higher the level of customization, the more emotional impact the product or service has on the customer.
  • Lets ask a few questions : What amount of time does the sales person spend listening to the customers versus talking to them? Do we need to test the product / services knowledge of all team members regularly? What specific steps do you take to prove to your customer, that you care about them?
  • Relationships aren't subject to ‘closing’. True relationship has reciprocal loyalty.
  • The highest level of customer interaction and loyalty is when the customer becomes your “advocate”. They become promoters of your business for you! Ken Blanchard, the management guru, uses a term “ Raving fans !” It doesn’t matter how many new customers you are bringing in the front , if you are losing more out from the back!
  • Constant repetition of an identical experience reduces connection and sensation about the experience. Unless we create a strategy that keeps the experience fresh, we are sowing the seeds for disconnection. Ask yourself and your colleagues the Strategic differentiation questions on the following : Difference – US Vs COMPETITORS Programs to prevent frontline employees from becoming bored Prevent “loyalty fatigue” - Provide variety
  • Wall street Journal – March 22, 2004 stated – “when one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing, customers notice. And they aren't pleased.” When the Customer perceives lack of coordination, confusion usually results. Sometimes confusion in the marketplace is intentionally generated by our competitors.
  • Innovation is a risky business. However, by not pursuing a course of creativity, you may be dooming yourself. Every leader should understand that there are inherent – and often overlooked – dangers in pursuing the course of imitation. So does that mean we stop innovation?
  • Aristotle said there are three principle approaches or means to persuasion in speech. 1. Ethos : an appeal based on the character and credibility of the presenter. 2. Logos : an appeal through the argument of the apparent truth of the matter being presented 3. Pathos : an appeal to the emotions of the audience
  • We have seen the reasons for customer disconnections, Also tried to explore & help you to introspect what could be ways that you may want your team to bring about Positive Customer Experience. The following are the books we used to bring you this quarter’s eZine : What customers Really want by Scott Mckain The Nordstrom way to Customer Service excellence by Robert Spector and Patrick Mc Carthy
  • What Customers Really Want Ezine April 2010

    1. 1. Creating Positive Customer Experience
    2. 2. Questions we can ask ourselves <ul><li>What do we stand for? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the qualities that make our organization unique? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we see ourselves? </li></ul><ul><li>How do our competitors see us? </li></ul><ul><li>How do our suppliers see us? </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Listen to the customer </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the customer’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize knowledge of your services & products </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest & sincere </li></ul><ul><li>Create a lifetime experience </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a positive working relationship with vendors & suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Become a source of new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Service the customer not the project </li></ul><ul><li>Take responsibility </li></ul>“ Must keep in Mind”
    4. 4. The Goal makes a difference! Our goal should be to provide what Customers really want. So, we can create increasingly higher levels of customer loyalty
    5. 5. Customers REALLY want <ul><li>Compelling Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal Loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Product Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Endless Prospecting </li></ul><ul><li>Sameness </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Status Quo </li></ul>Business Supply
    6. 6. What Customers REALLY Want: Compelling Experience What Business Supplies: Customer Service The First Disconnection
    7. 7. The Truth is… <ul><li>Organizations often do not consider that there are three levels </li></ul><ul><li>of customer interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>The 3 levels are: </li></ul><ul><li>Level one : Customer Processing </li></ul><ul><li>Level two : Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Level Three : Customer Experience </li></ul>
    8. 8. What creates Customer Experience?
    9. 9. Elements of Customer Experience <ul><li>Superior Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of which specific customers have what individual preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only know their product and/or service desires and needs, you know their individual preferences as well </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>Systematic empathy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Its is more than just talk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionary meaning – “ ability to identify with and understand another persons feelings & difficulties” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a meaningful display that you “feel their pain” – and will take steps to assist them in its resolution. </li></ul></ul>Elements of Customer Experience
    11. 11. <ul><li>An obsession for sensation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does your organization think “Customer” whenever you make a decision or establish a policy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the Customer feel better served than expected? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does your organization create a perception of value received – making the customer feel good about doing business with you? </li></ul></ul>Elements of Customer Experience
    12. 12. Elements of Customer Experience <ul><ul><li>Have you made your business one big customer experience department that expands your business, cross-sells and secures new business? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you treat your customers as if you were going to see them every working day for the rest of your life? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And …. That at the end of each visit, the customer would decide to buy something from either you or one of your competitors? </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. What Customers REALLY Want: Personal Focus What Business Supplies: Product Focus The Second Disconnection
    14. 14. Customers do not buy the product They buy what the product will do for them Questions to ask Is there Empathy and Passion for the customer at all levels in our organization? Are the engineers / shop floor/ back office folks in our organization as committed to the customer as the sales team?
    15. 15. Service delivery (Four Steps to Personalized Service) <ul><li>Evaluate your current customer experience </li></ul><ul><li>Make it predictable </li></ul><ul><li>Step it up ….. Build momentum </li></ul><ul><li>Its all about details…. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Some examples… <ul><li>Product Manufacturing - Mass customization </li></ul><ul><li>Tailored Customization - Personalized wedding invitations </li></ul><ul><li>Pure Customization - Architect’s design </li></ul><ul><li>Pure standardization - Pencils, Paper clips </li></ul><ul><li>Segmented standardization - Bread (white, rye) </li></ul><ul><li>Customized Standardization - Paint & Upholstery </li></ul>
    17. 17. What Customers REALLY Want: Reciprocal Loyalty What Business Supplies: Endless Loyalty The Third Disconnection
    18. 18. Relationship Building <ul><li>6 stages of </li></ul><ul><li>customer interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Suspect, </li></ul><ul><li>Prospect, </li></ul><ul><li>First time buyer, </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat customer, </li></ul><ul><li>Client, </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate. </li></ul><ul><li>6 pillars of </li></ul><ul><li>relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Trustworthiness </li></ul><ul><li>Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Caring </li></ul><ul><li>Citizenship </li></ul>
    19. 19. What Customers REALLY Want: Differentiation What Business Supplies: Sameness The Fourth Disconnection
    20. 20. <ul><li>How is your current customer experience different from what it was a year ago? </li></ul><ul><li>How much interactivity is built into the customer experience? </li></ul><ul><li>To what degree does everything look the same as it did a year ago? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a “ what's new?” section anywhere for your customer to access? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you communicate these new approaches and special offers to the customer? </li></ul><ul><li>How often do your conduct a SWOT analysis of your organization/ department / SBU ? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask these Strategic differentiation questions </li></ul><ul><li>1) WHO, 2) WHAT, 3) WHEN, 4) WHERE, 5) WHY, 6) HOW. </li></ul>Food for thought !
    21. 21. What Customers REALLY Want: Coordination What Business Supplies: Confusion The Fifth Disconnection
    22. 22. <ul><li>Many times, we inadvertently create confusion among our </li></ul><ul><li>customers and prospects by… </li></ul><ul><li>1) Overwhelming number of choices </li></ul><ul><li>2) Incongruence between promotion and practice </li></ul><ul><li>3) Technology Vs Human touch </li></ul><ul><li>4) Inability to execute at Level one creates disconnection at </li></ul><ul><li>higher levels. </li></ul><ul><li>5) Technical communication presented to a non-technical </li></ul><ul><li>audience. </li></ul>The Fifth Disconnection
    23. 23. What Customers REALLY Want: Innovation What Business Supplies: Status Quo The Sixth Disconnection
    24. 24. <ul><li>Customer wants you to “WOW” them </li></ul><ul><li>The approaches to persuasion in speech needs to change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logos – most often the course taken by technical professionals as they communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethos – well received by many who expect the opinion and recommendation of a skilled professional to be of value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pathos – To be compelling , we must connect with the emotions of employees, customers and prospects. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jack Welch, former CEO of GE said – “ innovation is of great value – but there is a far greater value on the people who share and execute these ideas in ways that engage the customer.” </li></ul>The Solution…
    25. 25. So where do we begin? Jim Collins in his book Good to Great says – “ good is the enemy of great”