How do I Provide the Best Customer Experience?
There are many factors to be considered when attempting to provide best customer experience, including quality and pricing of products or services, and the degree to which a customer feels comfortable in the service/sales environment. Undeniably, the biggest feature of good customer experience is customer service, which encompasses a policy on the importance of clients, individual employee relations with patrons, types of sales tactics, and methods for handling customer complaints. Giving clients input on the business is also worth considering.
It’s hard to please customers if quality and/or pricing of products and/or services are not reasonable. Quality doesn’t necessarily have to be the highest, but products or services should meet normal expectations. Price should also match quality; a pair of well-constructed jeans lacking a designer label shouldn’t feature a designer price. Similarly, selling a Hyundai® at a BMW® price doesn’t make sense. In all cases, goods or services should meet minimum standards, and anything falling below this needs improvement.
Making customers comfortable in the service environment is another way to improve customer experience. This is achieved through thoughtful architecture and design, attention to temperature control, by making it easy to navigate the location (especially in shopping), and by keeping all facilities thoroughly clean. There are a number of businesses that fail on this last point, and though a few clients may not notice a mess, others will and will report a negative customer experience.
A business' attitude toward customers can greatly improve customer experience. Companies should remember that they sink or float based on how clients perceive them. Adopting the attitude that the customer is worthy of respect, the driving force of the business, and almost always right are important. These attitudes need to be supported by actions that are customer-centered.
All employees should be trained in basic manners, learning to interact with clients in positive and respectful ways. Businesses also benefit by having specific ways to handle complaints, usually by involving management to take care of any extensive issues. In most cases, customer complaints should be resolved, even if there is some doubt as to their legitimacy.
Sales methods are another area of consideration. Businesses may lose lifetime customers when they sell goods or services they do not want. Hard sell approaches notoriously drive customers away if the person ends up with a good or service he regrets purchasing. Sales tactics that focus on creating customers for life sometimes means being honest and not making a sale in the short term. Most people will find that type of customer experience attractive and refreshing, and might trust the business for future needs.
It might be worth using tactics that involve customer input. Many savvy companies give their customers opportunities to comment on what they like and dislike, and the smartest companies use online or physical bulletin board suggestions to make improvements to their businesses. This reinforces to the customer that his views are important and that he has involvement in running the business too, which fosters loyalty and positive feelings.
@pleonasm - I've always found the best customer experience comes when the company treats you like a human being rather than just a number.
It's not always something you can quantify with some kind of customer experience strategy. It's just a matter of employees feeling good about themselves and their position and wanting to help the company, so they go that extra mile for their customers.
@Fa5t3r - I tend to agree with you and I think the customer should be given the benefit of the doubt. But I don't think they are always right. I've worked in the food industry and have definitely come across incidences where you have to choose whether to stick up for human rights or to be accommodating to your customers.
If one customer is being a nuisance for others, perhaps by being rude or bigoted, then that customer should be told off or thrown out. The same goes if they treat the staff very poorly. I just don't think that it's a good policy to grin and bear it, because you make everyone in the vicinity uncomfortable and that includes every other customer.
Don't be vindictive, but don't be a pushover either.
I find that warmth is really the best way to give someone a good customer experience. Even if they are feeling irritable, usually just being kind to them is enough to make them respond in a more positive way.
And honestly, when I was working in customer service, it just made my own day so much better to be cheerful and helpful with the customers. They were nice to me in response, and it was so much better than when I wasn't in a good mood and they weren't as patient in return.
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