Thank you in advance for reading my blog, it’s always interesting to see people wanting to learn more about someone else, what they do and why.
My name is Ian Sadler, married to Nicky who works at the well-known York company, Aviva. I have a stepson Sam who is studying music at Leeds Conservatoire to be the next Hans Zimmer! I’m a big fan of walking currently, I feel the lockdowns have encouraged us all to get out into the open spaces of our local areas to learn more about it and recharge the batteries. We need it!
For the past 30+ years my role has been about Customer Service, doing it, managing others to do it, and partnering with others to appreciate it, deliver it and understand the importance of the customer and your team. Without a good team and paying customers, you don’t have a business.
Since 2011, when the acronym for Customer Experience (CX) appeared, we were already delivering good to great service, but what is CX and why bother?
You and I, each and every day will interact with businesses who we may use, or may not. Typically, two very simple things need to happen as a given:
- It works
- It’s easy to do
How often have you encountered a delay in being able to get hold of someone on the phone, by email, or finding a member of staff when visiting a venue? We all live in a world of instant delivery and therefore there are no excuses for not being easy to do business with.
In your own businesses, no-one is judging you against your competitor. They are comparing you against the best experiences out there. Ritz Carlton, John Lewis, Disney, First Direct, Apple, Amazon etc.
You may be a business which has existed 100+ years, your widgets are the best widgets in the world, or you have the best valued product or service. All of these are good facts, but what impact does this have your future customer? The one who might visit again, the one who might tell others about you, the one who might spend a little more.
The customer perception is your reality and I regularly use this image to explain what happens each and every day.
The person on the left seeing 4 (see picture below), is the business owner/the team, they think business is going well. Customer numbers might be up, the team is working OK together, and profits are good.
However, the person on the right seeing 3, is you. You’re the customer who’s using the business but feel a piece of the jigsaw is missing. One, two or many more things went slightly wrong. Or in other words, there was room for improvement. What impact of these small things, will it have on your business in the future?
When you think about your customer, remember it isn’t about what you do or how you do it, it’s about how you make people feel. Perception is king.
What we have learnt from brands we love
In my role, I love providing insight and solutions to help motivate teams and support business development and growth. To share 6 things, we know from customers of the brands I mentioned earlier, these are important to get it right for you:
- Be reliable
- Be friendly
- Be helpful (go the extra mile)
- Be easily contactable
- Provide a seamless process
- Deliver on your promises
Are you achieving all of the above? If you are, then is your online feedback a fair reflection of this?
Measurement is important, but integration is essential
More and more businesses understand the importance of gaining feedback from customers. How many times have you been asked to complete a survey this week?
I can think of many customers who are still upset at that piece of negative feedback they received 5 years ago. But what is it you do today to understand how your customers feel? And then what happens?
Please do ask for feedback by verbally talking to customers, use digital survey systems, insight6 offers one for £50 a month for 3 months. Or run focus groups with your customers and team. Whatever the feedback is, you must use it.
I would encourage whether feedback is good or bad, use it to motivate you and your team to keep doing what’s right. Where customers highlight opportunities to improve, look at the touchpoints during the experience. Have you mapped your customer journey in the last 12 months?
Delivering a positive customer experience is easy, people make it difficult as we create processes and systems which pulls against this:
“Putting the customer at the heart of your business”
The next time you make a decision about your business, put a chair next to you. Imagine your customer is sitting in it, or better still let a member of your team act as the voice of the customer.
The aim is to make sure whatever decision is being made is for the benefit of the customer. If it isn’t, then more than likely, it doesn’t need doing.
We care about, and partner with businesses
We work with attractions, farm shops, hospitality, legal firms, opticians, retailers, plus much more across the UK and Ireland.
We specialise in helping you to retain customers, gain new customers and sell more!
If you would like a no-obligation chat, I’d be delighted to speak to you.