Category Archives: Customer Experience
Have you ever had to click on the above image? You know, those automated boxes that prevent “bots” from spamming their site whenever you make a purchase, download a file, or subscribe to their email newsletter.
It helps to allow the digital experience to qualify better organization-to-consumer relationships and minimize organization-to-automation drain on their resources.
This “Confirm Humanity” process is quite necessary today, but what is more necessary in today’s world is the need to actually confirm humanity when it comes to customer service in the digital realm.
A recent study on customer service showed that it is the new battlefield of differentiation for marketing, yet it will be spread across multiple platforms to reach customers. The challenge with the multi-channel service is that between online, mobile and social media portals is that there is huge challenge to confirm humanity at every interaction.
It’s not enough to deliver a digital experience across several channels but to ensure that each customer feels there is both a human experience and human connection.
The anti-bot checkbox helps confirm humanity to the company, but how is your company confirming humanity to your customers?
Just because a channel is hosted online does not mean there cannot be a human experience behind it. Many ways to confirm humanity exist on those digital channels such as:
- Video introduction, interaction, of confirmation of subscription or purchase
- Having an intuitive design for customer experience
- Creating a Zappos-like instant chat or call center culture
- Showing politeness and thankfulness on confirmation screens, pop-ups, and weekly newsletters (versus the standard “Thank you for your order.”
- Ensure the end-user experience is smooth, intuitive, stable and built with the customer, not the company, foremost in mind
- Use psychology and behavior patterns to be more intune to your customers tendencies, needs and expectations
- Personalize their service using smart AI and allow the customer to personalize their experience as well
- Humanize your brand image – even the most tech and industrial companies do this such as Rackspace
- Get your customers to be engaged through your channels, whether building raving fans or deeper community online
There are myriads of ways to confirm the humanity of your company to your customers. While customers continue to gravitate to online channels, they are still people who want to be valued as people on the other end of the transaction. making your digital experience a great customer experience by infusing more humanity will determine your success in this area.
Oh, and one more very important thing. Make sure everyone in your organization confirms humanity by displaying care and great service attitudes as well. Most companies are still sorely lacking in this area. No matter how many multi-channel services you offer, the interpersonal customer experience is always about people, and starts and stops here.
I made a quick trip into a well-known retailer this week and was appalled at what transpired immediately when I entered.
One manager, walking towards me, looked right at me and kept walking. A second manager, just past this first, looked at me as I made eye contact with him, stared at me for about 2 seconds, then promptly turned and walked away.
No greeting. No “Hello, Welcome to…”. No focus on the customer experience at all.
If one of their competitors, small business or large, decided to up their game and greet their customers at the door and ensure even a small level of engagement throughout the store, they would put this established location out of business.
Customers want to feel acknowledged. It’s the basic tenet in many studies of behavior. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs addresses this in both the Belonging and Esteem levels. Hyrum Smith, of Franklin Planner fame, expresses this in the Needs Wheel of The Reality Model.
And yet many many leaders fail to model this basic behavior.
That’s why even a little focus on the customer experience will enable an organization to crush it and create raving fans.
When the focus is on either the bottom line, getting the job done, or surviving through the day, your customers feel it and are likewise impacted. Even elderly people with dementia or diminished senses in a nursing home sense when they are treated poorly or ignored.
Making your customers and those you cater to feel engaged always makes the difference.
If you want your leadership and your organization to stand out, and to crush it in a day where customer experience is largely lacking, then make them feel special and create even the smallest of differences in their experience.
Because that’s what you want when you are a customer. It’s one of our basic needs.
Companies have a funny way of justifying that they are better than what their customers say they are.
If you think that’s off the mark, check out the online reviews of companies and see their responses back to the customers. Or any public statement when it comes to an incident such as a recall, injury, or other negative issue the company is involved in.
These answers vary but all have the same root political spin to them. At the core of their responses, the infamous line usually appears:
We pride ourselves in delivering the best experience to our customers.
And that is also coupled with another phrase touting the company’s (relative) success up until that point:
We have had thousands of satisfied customers…; We have succeeded in the indsutry by…:
And quite frankly, responses like these are lame, pathetic, and serve no good to that customer or any other customer.
All a customer simply wants is their needs and expectations met or exceeded.
Your success does nothing for the customer with a complaint.
I have seen many companies and individuals offer excuses for delivering on poor service. The following are some actual responses from these organizations and professionals:
- Away taking awards trips (and focusing on self rather than making sure customers are tended to)
- Busy in meetings all day (customer feels they are not the prioirty)
- We’ve made xxx amount of money in the last year (that is not helping the cusotmer today)
- We just landed a major account (and ignoring the smaller accounts)
- We’re crazy busy around here (showing you’re disorganized and can’t control your business)
- We’ve never had a problem before (totally irrelevant to the situation)
If the customer cannot feel connected to you, then you are not a success in their eyes. They are the only ones that truly matter and failure to take action to meet their expectations or to take accountability for dropping the ball will have a negative impact on your business. Sustained excuses and touting your ability to deliver when it’s really not there will have far-reaching damage on your credibility as a leader and an organization.
It’s said in the restaurant industry, “You’re only as good as your last meal served.” A better phrase would be “You’re only as good as the customer you just served”. Nothing you’ve done in the past, even the prior minute, matters.
The only thing that matters to the customer is what you do for them while they’re standing in front of you.