By Micah Solomon @Forbes | Jan 4, 2016
1. The customer experience as you think of it internally doesn’t exist. (That’s your experience, not the customer experience.) Customers don’t care about your org chart, your process map. In the customer’s eye there are no company divisions, no chain of command, no such thing as a subcontractor who “doesn’t really represent our brand.” Everything they see, they see from their own perspective. This, and only this, is the customer experience.
2. Customer engagement is everything. While serving customers–fulfilling their stated needs–is absolutely crucial, it’s not enough to ensure loyalty. There needs to be something else, something emotional, that involves the customer, that makes a connection with them. Think of the way a movie engages an audience, or how this DIY Christmas Tree engages lonely travelers at this hotel during the holidays.
3. A great customer experience, once you put it together, isn’t going to stay that way on its own. It requires continual work, reinforcement, entropy-fighting on the part of your organization at all levels. This is why some great organizations devote 10-15 minutes every single day, at the start of every single shift, to talk about their customer principles. Because otherwise those principles are going to be compromised. Sooner, rather than later.
4. It’s essential to streamline, hide, or eliminate the transactional parts of the customer experience, if you ever want to delight your customers. The Apple Store customer experience is designed so that registers, receipts, owner’s manuals, and so forth are out of sight or even nonexistent. Because they not only don’t add to the customer experience, they get in the way.
5. Customers today are speed freaks. You need to become one too. Remember this: a perfect product or perfect service, delivered later than the customer expects it, is a defect.
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