Make 2023 Your Best Customer Experience Year Ever!
Now is the best time to create your customer experience theme for the new year, one that you can rally your entire organization around. Here are some excellent and actionable insights to kick off brainstorming for making 2023 your best year ever.
The great retention. Great companies help people live amazing lives. Great leaders help their employees and customers reach their fullest potential. Great companies inspire team members to forge lives of meaning and purpose. Business leaders who care about and work for their employees—rather than thinking only that their employees work for them—will disproportionately attract people who are hardworking and want to work for them. This is true for both the largest and the smallest of companies. Focus on building a recruitment experience, an onboarding experience, and a world-class employee culture. Stop trying to find great employees; instead, focus on becoming the type of business great employees find.
The relationship economy and the cost of technology. Technology is changing the world, and not always for the better. The benefits it brings to businesses come at a significant cost: weaker human relationships. Strong relationships are vital to customer experiences, employee experiences, and happiness. Focusing strictly on a digital experience will eliminate customer loyalty and emotional connection to a brand. In a relationship economy, the primary currency is the connection and trust made between customers, employees, and vendors. This currency creates significantly more value in what we sell, leading to fewer bad experiences and more positive ones, creating the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
The customer service revolution. Are you willing to make a radical overthrow of conventional business mentality and transform what employees and customers experience? Making this cultural shift will reenergize your customer service team, providing them with fresh motivation. This change produces a culture that permeates people’s lives at home, family events, and in the community?all of which provides your business with higher sales, employee morale, and customer loyalty.
Make price irrelevant. Based on the experiences your brand consistently delivers, your customers have no idea what your competition charges. We all know how great it feels when a company delivers on its promises. There is peace of mind for customers when they can trust your excellent customer service. Better yet, they can’t stop telling others about you—and the conversation isn’t even about price, it’s about value.
CX strong. The companies that will dominate the next decade will be the ones obsessed with evolving the experience they provide to their employees and their customers alike. A team that is highly engaged, happy, and feels appreciated is the most capable of delivering best-in-class customer service, the kind that customers can enjoy only with your company.
URX. Employees must constantly be reminded, “You are the experience” (URX); that it is first and foremost about them and their customer interaction. Websites, iPads, apps, kiosks, and artificial intelligence don’t build relationships, people do. And it starts with building rapport with customers. Employees who connect, instead of merely communicate, create the most loyal customers.
Carpe momento. Industry leaders know that the results of your products or services have the least to do with customer loyalty. Loyalty is created by the numerous micro-experiences a customer has with a brand. Employees must focus on how they can provide a positive customer experience in every interaction. Applying the FORD method (family, occupation, recreation, dreams) can enhance connections with customers, resulting in valuable insight and the chance to provide an even more personalized experience over time.
Give more. The best way to build long-term sustainable relationships is to give more in both your personal life and in your business. We often tend to operate by agreement: You do A, B, and C, and I do X, Y, and Z. However, many people wait to make sure the other person does their part first. What I try to practice and teach my employees is do X, Y, and Z first and throw in W, even though it wasn’t part of the deal. Give than the deal says, more than what is expected. Don’t wait for the other person to do what they promised, don’t keep score, and don’t have a good memory. Don’t remember 3 years ago when someone didn’t do what they said they would.
Become a zero-risk brand. “Zero risk” does not mean you will never screw up. What it does mean is that you create systems and processes to dramatically reduce how often your company drops the ball. Just as importantly, when you do drop the ball, it means that you have incredible recovery systems in place that allow your customer-facing employees to make a brilliant comeback and create even stronger brand evangelists. What was initially a bad customer experience is transformed into a competitive advantage, often resulting in excellent customer feedback.
Create an above-and-beyond culture. Create an awareness of the most common opportunities for employees to deliver truly heroic service for the customer, resulting in an above-and-beyond culture. Define a level of service that empowers and inspires your employees to exceed customer expectations, and in turn, increases customer lifetime value.
Your CX is always on stage. This has never been more true than it is today. The marketing messages your company sends out and the experience your company delivers will be on stage 24/7 in 2023.
John R. DiJulius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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