The internet has changed the way we do business. No matter your industry, the advent of digital technology has likely transformed the way you interact with consumers. It’s also changed the number of choices shoppers have at their disposal. The average consumer is far savvier and selective than they were even ten years ago. This shift has led to an increased awareness of the customer experience. When quality service is the only thing separating you from the competition, curating that experience becomes more important than ever before.
Whether you realize it or not, your customer experience speaks volumes about your values. The moment someone clicks onto your website, steps through your office door, or dials your 800 number, you’re making choices about how they’ll be treated. The impact is felt even when you haven’t been intentional about the way you interact with your clients. Thankfully, designing valuable customer experiences doesn’t have to be hard. Keep these four dimensions in mind as you shape each new interaction:
Every business has stereotypes they must face when setting up shop. Dental offices combat stereotypes about pain and anxiety. High-end boutiques have to overcome preconceived notions about their preferred clientele. Even your dog walker has to measure up to some basic expectations before they can create a valuable customer experience. Managing these expectations and over-delivering is the key to success.
Consider the expectations your average customer has when they interact with your brand for the first time. While you may have some idea of what they think or believe about you, it’s worth digging a little deeper. Do a little research via focus group. Whether online or in-person, chatting with prospective customers about their expectations can help you better understand how to create meaningful experiences that will keep consumers returning again and again.
Finding the Emotion
Making a purchase is rarely emotionless. Even relatively low-stakes sales involve some degree of emotion. Consider your journey when selecting a toothbrush at the store. You may be short on time, frustrated by the number of options, interested in particular colors, confused by the different features available, or bored by the process altogether. While cost, convenience, and brand recognition may all play a role in your ultimate decision, your purchase isn’t purely logical.
When designing valuable customer experiences, it’s important to factor emotion into the equation. Get into the mind of your average consumer. Are they turning to you out of excitement? Hope? Or are they feeling anxious and fearful when they seek out your services? Understanding the emotions that drive your shoppers can help you deliver the exact kind of customer experience they require.
Making an Effort
Effortlessness is an art that very few people or organizations perfect. While the easy, breezy confidence of some brands is certainly commendable, it’s a tough attitude to pull off successfully. That’s because at our core, human beings want to be wanted. To design valuable customer service experiences, you’ve got to keep this principle in mind.
Think carefully about the way you show customers you care. While a polite word or general kindness might once have been enough to demonstrate your empathy, it’s not going to win you any extra points with today’s savvy consumers. Instead, make a concerted effort to get invested in your customers and their motivations. By understanding their headspace, you can often intuit the right way to make an effort. Throwing in a small freebie or waiving shipping costs can mean the world to the right customer!
Execute with Fidelity
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that’s never more true than in the world of customer service. Designing valuable customer experiences often means aligning your intentions with your actions. While you might like to start each customer interaction with a meaningful conversation about the person’s motivations, resources, and emotional state, the realities of business make those discussions difficult sometimes. By adjusting your own expectations and intentions, you’ll naturally fall into a valuable customer experience that fits your brand.
Start by examining the emotions you hope to inspire in your customers. Whether you aim to satisfy, excite, or entertain, it’s important to align your intentions with your strategy for customer service. Next, put yourself in the shoes of the shopper – if you were in search of a meaningful customer experience, what kinds of things might you want? Finally, execute your strategy with fidelity. Your technique is only effective when you actually put it to use!
Partner with MAP for the Ultimate Customer Experience
Once you’ve decided on the kind of customer experience you want to create, it’s time to find partners to help bring your vision to life. MAP Communications offers 24/7 phone answering, call center and virtual receptionist services for businesses across industries. Allow our team to cover your phones so that each caller gets that personalized attention they desire. You’ll rest easy knowing that we work from customized call scripts. They’re the natural extension of the valuable customer experience and brand voice you’ve worked so hard to create.
If you’re ready to give MAP a try, click here to sign up for a free trial!