“One of the profound lessons I have learned is that customer satisfaction is a moving target. You can never declare victory.” J.D. Power III, Satisfaction – How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer, February 2, 2006
What drives a memorable customer experience? The answer to the question has many answers and has been studied for decades. Recently, Super Office blogged about 37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2021, all of which were generated by multiple sources through multiple studies.
The reality of a memorable customer experience is simple; connect to the emotion of your customer. My term is “customer enchantment.” Customer enchantment offers customer moments that build positive emotion.
Organizations can be intentional in developing ways to bring moments of emotion to every customer such as delivering an awesome birthday gift to your door right on time, or a perfect grilled cheese sandwich with the exact amount of crunch and gooey goodness.
However, real lasting positive moments come from interacting with people while creating amazing experiences that embed themselves in memory and then, turn into stories we share with everyone.
If everything about an organization supports making your business a winner, it’s up to every individual to take responsibility for creating enchanting moments and taking the necessary steps to achieve personal connections that...enchant.
The five steps anyone can follow to R.E.A.C.H that enchanting moment aren’t difficult, but do require some effort.
RESEARCH: Know your customer’s needs, perceptions, and behaviors.
Gain as much understanding and knowledge about the person right in front of you. This doesn’t include stalking on social media, yet understanding what every type of customer expects of your company. Know why customers reach out to you for your product or insightful advice. Understand what is truly behind their need, what they do with what you offer, and how they make decisions about who or what to choose.
EMPATHIZE: Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Understand the journey they take with you.
Take the journey that your customer takes when interacting with your organization. Walk the path from beginning to end. Buy your product or service anonymously, feel the feelings you have at every step of the process. Appreciate where you experience the highs and lows of that journey every customer takes with you. Come out from behind the curtain and take in the show.
ALIGN: Research + Empathy = Aligned Behaviors.
The moments you create are a result of the research about your customer coming together, with empathy, for the journey they take with you. Bringing together data and empathy allows you to make adjustments in customer experiences that bring out the best in what you offer, in ways that customers appreciate and admire.
Have you ever gifted what you thought was exactly the right thing that would give someone an ear to ear grin, only to find out they are allergic to those strawberries that were coated in Belgian chocolate, delivered in the most romantic setting ever? That’s when research and empathy fail to align and an opportunity to enchant misses the mark. Do the work to align, test the alignment and keep adjusting until the experience is on point.
CONNECT: Build connections with your customers and each other.
You’re almost there. You’ve done the work to understand your customer, built empathy for the journey they take, and designed the ideal experience. Now, make that critical connection to the individual. In personal settings, an authentic smile that tells your customer you are genuinely appreciative of them. In virtual settings, ease of interfaces draws customers closer to you. The small details of the relationship make an incredibly huge difference in building the opportunity to enchant.
HELP: Empower, train, and resolve problems.
Whether your business is a one-person hot dog cart at the beach or a Fortune 10 global conglomerate, helping your customers through their journey is about having the tools available to do exactly that. Empower customers to help themselves, provide opportunities to allow them to learn about how best to use the product or service they asked you to deliver. Most importantly, take every step imaginable to resolve issues a customer may experience. Never let an opportunity to resolve a problem pass. Quick and complete issue resolution build memories that last a lifetime because they happen “in the moment” of greatest need.
R.E.A.C.H out for enchanting moments at every opportunity.
Bob Caruso is an accomplished business leader with a track record of building high performance teams through empowerment, innovation, and creativity as a senior executive in the Aerospace industry and with multiple professional services firms. As a practical problem solver that focuses on outcomes, his operating style delivers real value quickly. He is a dynamic keynote speaker and published writer on the topics of customer and employee engagement.
To learn more about R.E.A.C.H, contact Bob Caruso at: firstname.lastname@example.org.