In order for your business to thrive in today’s world of frenzy, you will have to reinvent your idea of what that customer experience really is. If you want to go after that customer, guess what it WILL cost you.
I do not think companies were lazy in how they treated the customer. I think that lack of competition brought business to your front door out of need and necessity. The customer had few choices. How many times have you walked into a store, business or office and get frustrated with the person trying to help you? Frustration due to lack of help or product knowledge. Or worse, that blind stare as if to say, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Most companies could get away with hiring entry level employees at minimum wage and part time hours. The mentality of just putting on the company shirt and find your way. After all, the customer will end up buying from us because we are the only service area within miles.
Customer experience will cost you either the customer, or hiring at a higher paying positions with someone who really cares about the job they are doing.It cost more when you hire a person with thee gift of serving others, and the ability to learn the product knowledge in your company. Competition is at the finger tips of every consumer of the goods and services you offer. If you are a large company with branding and a name, you hit social media running strong. You were the leader because long before social media you had a brand presence. Broadcasting all day long your deals, and links and online bargains. Broadcasting is not working anymore.
The consumer is now your friend, your foe, and you media voice. Online media is now being questioned across all platforms. Companies thought it was a good idea to hire that entry level intern to be the voice of their brand. Really, when you have such a great product and business the brand speaks for itself, right? Until one day you wake up, your boardroom is filled with money savings employees who know nothing about relationship building. Nothing about being social, because they sit in front of a computer all day. They never worked face to face with the end customer, and so broadcasting continues and your company is now white noise.
If you are strictly an online business that does not require to interact with humans, this post is NOT for you. Carry on.
The customer is still paying your bills, paying for your staff, and allowing you to reinvest in products, goods, or services for your company. How do you make the customer experience real? Is there a real person on the other side of you business? Is that still important? The answer is simple. If you are losing ground on profits, and building business, you may want to look to the two people who make your business happen. The customer and the face that represents your brand.
I challenge you to take your entry level employee, the one who smiles ALOT. The one who shows up on time. The one who asks ALOT of questions. Invite that person into your next corporate meeting and seat that person next to the CEO. Then present a letter that reads something like this…
In the past several months we have noticed your interest in knowing more about how better to serve our customers. We love that you ask ALOT of questions to better understand our products and services. We appreciate that you show up on time and ready for work. We also appreciate that while at work, you smile at all our customers. We know life can be hard, but you keep your hard at home and service our customers with a smile and product knowledge. Starting today we are adding $2.00 per hour to your hourly rate.”
I was a very young business owner with a company that quickly grew into a million dollar company. I did infact raise many of my sales staff and write similar letter. Staff that stayed with me for years, and took excellent care of our customers. Even when competition moved in down the street, and then moved to the web. It cost me an extra $360.00 a month to raise up one single employee by $2.00. The moral among my sales team, and the customer service piggy backed off the other. You see, customer experience started from within the company. Did it cost me? Not when you look at the ability to serve our customers. What companies do not realize is it is costing you customers,when you live in past of being the only one out there. You are no longer that BIG brand that once owned the internet.
Customers have the choice at their fingertips. As much as you can make it real, service with a smile, and create a culture among your staff that they have value. It’s a win/win for both company, staff and equally important, your customers. What is your customer experience costing you?