The three essentials of customer experience excellence

Imagine… that you have achieved consistently excellent customer experiences.

  • You will get repeat business.
  • You will get positive word-of-mouth.
  • You will be able to focus on what you get up for in the morning: helping clients
  • Your staff will be satisfied and productive – and staff turnover will be low.
  • Your business will be profitable and flourish.
  • You will be able to invest further in improving your customer experience.

You will have created a virtuous circle.

Here are the three essentials you need to get right.

The core is creating value for your client

This is not just about the value tied to your services such as legal advice, financial advice, a memorable holiday experience. But rather what is most valuable for your client in their life? Is it their time? Is it convenience? Peace of mind? Relationships with their family?

To get an insight into what your client values most, you need to be skilled at taking their perspective. Making time and space to ask your client about their needs, expectations and priorities. What is important to them? Listen for what is said and what is not explicitly articulated. What is under the surface? Check with your client what you’re hearing and picking up. Assumptions are dangerous. Keep an open mind and be ready to be challenged on what you’ve always believed to be true. It’s an exciting and valuable experience.

Perspective taking requires some effort and practice but it is a core skill to deliver excellent client experiences. It’s the foundation on which you build.

Emotions are an integral part of the client’s experience

When we have experienced something, we remember how we felt. And the more intense the emotion, the more likely we are to remember the experience. Unfortunately negative emotions tend to be more intense and linger. Customer loyalty on the other hand is based on emotional attachment. So when we design a service or product we need to think about the emotions the client is likely to experience – throughout the client journey.

Especially in high-touch services you have an opportunity to listen to and acknowledge your client’s emotions. Show empathy. It shows you care. Often people are keen to share their story, a slice of their life. Listening is powerful.

If you understand what is most valuable to your client, you are more likely to be attuned to the emotions they are experiencing and to tailor the client experience accordingly.

Your client experience is only as good as the weakest link

The different parts of the client experience form a chain. And every aspect of the experience counts. And every team counts and every person counts, those working front of house and those backstage. The total experience is only as strong as the weakest link.

Map out the client journey, from enquiry to follow-up. Are there any weak points? Highlight every team’s and every employee’s role in the client’s experience. Which teams don’t appreciate the role they have to play? Where are the weak points? Make sure that everyone is aware of how they contribute – directly or indirectly – to the client experience. And last but not least, make sure you value everyone’s role.

What two actions will you be taking this week to create excellent customer experiences, every time?

Did you like this blog post? Check out my book “The Most Rewarding Way to Improve Profitability — How to create excellent customer experiences”. Feel free to drop me a line to share your thoughts — {catherine} at {}.

Photo by Karl Abuid on unsplash