Seventhman Blog

  1. How Do You Create a Great Customer Experience?

    "brand value"As promised, here’s part two from my previous post on Customer Experience.  This time, I will be writing about lessons I have learned in understanding what makes my customers tick.  Why is this even important? If you want to take real steps in improving your business and your bottom line, you have to go beyond what your company has to offer and take responsibility on delivering not just a great product – but that Wow! experience as well.  Just as I have mentioned how maintaining a consistent experience is the greatest challenge of them all, we still find ourselves stuck in our own way of doing things that we refuse to see past our mistakes and step in the shoes of our customers.  We forget that each person is different and each customer interacts differently with our brand.

    Not All Touch Points are Created Equal

    If there’s a top rule in Customer Service, it’s summed up in two words: Be Nice.  There is a reason why I propose that customer satisfaction metrics be revamped.  Here’s the thing: While big data on customer experiences collected at various touch points may be helpful in portraying a graph on consumer behavior, not all touch points are of equal value.  Let’s say we have two customers, one inquiring by phone and the other, by email.  While both touch points answer to your customers’ needs, they don’t define the same expectations that spells the difference between customer delight and dissatisfaction.  Their expectations can also be shaped by other factors like previous experience with your brand, your competition and so on.  CEOs can’t deny that customer experience is crucial in collecting, quantifying and analyzing data – Truth is, they don’t really appreciate the value of doing so, especially when CRMs are becoming more complex and costly these days.

    Customer Experience Lessons for the Fearless

    If there’s one truth about those who are not attuned to their customers’ experience, it’s FEAR.  There is this fear of what user data may reveal when you change gears and lead a customer-driven business.  To those who are holding back, here’s an eye-opener:

    Lesson #1  Everything is Linked

    Customer experience doesn’t only happen at touch points with your sales, marketing or customer service teams.  There are those that happen after sales and word of mouth can also indirectly impact customers’ decisions.  All they have to do is Google your brand online.

    Lesson #2  You are What You Deliver

    It’s all about delivering your promise across the entire customer life-cycle.  Negative experiences can easily kill your brand value.  Before you know it, all those bad reviews about your brand piles up – turning future prospects off.

    Lesson #3  It’s All About the Culture!

    Leaders, be a perfect example on how to delight customers.. and the rest will follow.  Don’t expect your front liners to put the customer first each time when you don’t do it yourself.  How can you align your business goals to your employees.. and eventually, your customers?  It’s high time to build customer experience into your brand.

    Lesson #4  One Size Doesn’t Fit All

    Making your customers happy don’t have to cost a dime.  Sometimes, it’s those little words that count – like saying ‘Thank You’ for their business.  For the same reason that you have to ditch that call script, customer experience should always be authentic and personalized.

    Lesson #5  Less is More

    I’d rather have the right data than a clutter of information that can overwhelm both your team and your customers.  How can you make customer interaction simple?  For example, you can reduce wait time of a customer in an IVR queue and make it faster for them to reach you with a few buttons.  Your customers love it easy and simple.

    If there’s a cause for concern, it’s this:  Customer dissatisfaction is real and thanks to online tools, customers are empowered to share their bad experience with others.  The challenge now is to take customer experience from just a mere buzzword, a slogan.. to real, actionable goals.  For what it’s worth, I’m sharing these lessons to raise your awareness.

    Are you willing to elevate customer experience and commit for the long term?

  2. Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    "customer satisfaction survey"‘Ask and you shall receive’ is a popular adage that many businesses might have failed to channel.  Sometimes, when you’re not sure where your market is heading, all you have to do is ask your customers about it.  A few spontaneous questions can lead to valuable insights on how you can understand your customers so you can quantify what’s useful and what’s not.  This is where the art of customer satisfaction survey comes in.  But, can it really predict your business success?

    Measuring Customers’ Perceptions is the Key

    For your customer satisfaction survey program to be effective, you must focus on measuring your customers’ perceptions.  It’s a no-brainer that customer satisfaction is directly proportional to brand loyalty and understanding your customers’ sentiment may be a bit tricky in the beginning.  When done correctly, you can monitor your relationship with them, so you can improve overall customer experience with your brand.  This is why it is absolutely important that your survey reflects what your respondents really care about.

    Dispelling the Customer Survey Satisfaction Myths

    Take note that a traditional survey can work for.. or against you, and it doesn’t have to do with innovation at all. Unlike popular beliefs, getting the feedback of your customers is not a luxury metric for large businesses.  You don’t have to shell out big bucks and spend lots of time in conducting a large-scale research, thanks to online tools these days.  Another fallacy of these types of surveys is that the more questions you ask, the more info you’ll get.  It will depend on the quality of your questions, no matter how short your survey is.  When you ask it right, you can actually produce not just a report; but using the data to come up with results, like making fixes to your products or service offering.  Still, just because you’ve asked doesn’t mean answers will come pouring.  This is why it is important not just to ask, but to give your customers a true means of sharing their feedback.

    Going Beyond the Usual

    If you’re looking for new ways of doing business so you can stay ahead of the game, you have to go beyond the traditional survey setup and simply deliver on your brand promise.  Besides, no two customers are alike and their behavior can be misinterpreted if you focus on feedback alone.  Customers may not always tell you when they’re happy about your brand but when they’re not, you need to keep your eyes and ears open.  And with the amount of information available to everyone these days, one bad word about your brand is like a nuke exploding on the Web.  Satisfaction may not mean loyalty at all and building a lasting connection with your customers is what makes a whole lot of difference.

    The only question now is: Will fixing the problem lead to a satisfied customer?