Every single day, there are an immense amount of transactions that are facilitated between consumers and businesses. Furthermore, consumers are able to pick and choose the businesses they want to shop with and support based on personal experiences or preferences. Most people would agree that consumers choose to spend their money where they feel valued and appreciated. In fact they may even pay a higher price point for a product just because they are certain to enjoy the experience they will have with that specific business.
When looking at business trends, it is apparent that customer service has evolved over time. It is no longer about just providing a perfect, uninterrupted service only during the time of interaction, but rather actually creating unforgettable moments that leave a lasting impression on the customer.
To stand out among the crowd, businesses must place a higher emphasis on this evolutionary idea of creating an ‘ultimate customer experience’ within every transaction. Businesses that go above and beyond to create an unexpected, powerful, and highly memorable experience, are bound to have happier customers and a higher customer retention rate.
Businesses that are mastering this idea are creative in curating customer experiences and, furthermore, are empowering their team members to be a part of them. In many business operations, it is not always the business owner who is having a face-to-face interaction with customers. Therefore, enrolling team members and employees to help create positive customer interactions is key and also helps improve employee engagement and performance.
For example, some companies allot their team members a specific number of freebies or giveaways to pass along to customers each week, month, or quarter. Let’s say a customer walks into a restaurant, and the server notices that he or she seems to be having a rough day, the server may choose to offer a free dessert or include a “50% Off Your Next Meal” coupon with the final bill. This seemingly small gesture leaves a lasting impression on that customer; a powerful and memorable moment that the customer will not forget.
I’ve had the opportunity to recently interview a handful of high performing agents around their thoughts regarding “customer experience” and what it means to their respective sales teams. What I found was that most did not define the customer experience. Rather, what they described were elements that make up the total customer experience – sales interaction, customer service, and customer care.
Sales interaction is the process and facilitation of aiding a customer with the acquisition of a particular service or product.
Customer service is the advice or assistance a company gives its customers.
Customer care means how well customers are taken care of while they interact with the brand.
Customer experience is the total journey of a customer’s interactions with a brand.
So why does knowing the above matter?!? Well, knowing that “Customer Experience” is a hot buzzword in our industry today, in which element of the total experience do you find your team excels? More importantly, where do your team’s deficiencies lie? Are you fantastic at facilitating the sale but poor with customer service? Or does your team provide great assistance to its customers but not treat them well enough to warrant future referral business? The industry has never been as competitive as it is today, and providing a top notch customer experience is a must. Find your opportunities to improve and attack! Doing so will separate you from the pack.