- Do you know what it is like for your customers to interact with your organisation and to do business with you?
- Do you know how they are treated during each stage of their interaction and where, how and when they connect with your people, your premises, your call centre, your telesales team, your website and your social media platforms etc?
- Are there situations where your customers need to queue for service, hold on the phone, wait for online feedback or a response to their query or complaint?
- Do you understand how they feel towards your organisation during their end-to-end experiences with you?
- How aware are you that anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of your organisation, however remote or virtual, it is an opportunity for them to form an impression?
If you are not sure of the answers to all of the questions above, perhaps it is time to learn about your organisation from the customer’s perspective. Customer surveys, complaints, compliments, feedback both formal and informal and their ongoing relationship with your company can provide you with some indication, certainly. But to truly understand the efficiency (or lack of), effectiveness, value and value-added, quality of service and reliability of your customer practices, processes and procedures, requires you to become your own customer – to wear your customer’s shoes for a day.
This process is also known as customer journey mapping – and it requires you to consciously map every step of your customer journey and to experience it yourself with your organisation.
There are three main customer interaction elements to be considered when understanding this.
1. Consider how you create your customer’s expectations with the promises you make through your mission statements, marketing communications, corporate communications, promotional activities, website and social media use etc.
- What exactly do you promise?
- When do you promise it will be delivered / can be used?
- Where do you promise to deliver this – via what channel?
- How do you promise to deliver it – swiftly, transparently, professionally, with truth and integrity?
- Who do you promise will deliver it?
- What level of customer service do you promise to provide?
2. Consider the quality of the human contact between your customers and your people at all levels remembering first impressions are lasting and you only get one chance to create a good first impression.
- What image do your employees present?
- Are they fully knowledgeable about your products and services and do they know how to sell them, based on matching your products to your customer’s needs?
- Are they professional in their manner and behaviours towards your customers?
- Do they treat all customers with respect, dignity, privacy and integrity?
3. What image do you present to your customers through your physical premises, car parking facilities, reception areas, distribution channels, collection depots, retail outlets etc.?
- Your Security Personnel – are they considered integral to your customer’s experience and how do they treat your customers?
- Are your premises clean, attractive, customer structured, brightly lit, inspirational in terms of merchandising and customer friendly?
- What percentage of space do you allocate to your customers versus your staff?
If you are unsure of the answers to these questions, become your own customer for a day and test every process, procedure, physical and virtual interaction your customers could have with your organisation and identify any gaps which need to be addressed.
You will be surprised at what you will learn!
Connect with me for a quick chat if you would like to know more about how to best walk in your customers shoes! I would love to have a virtual coffee with you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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