Astonishing Customer Experiences

I Should Have Thought of That!

If you often see a new idea that impresses you, and you think, “I should have thought of that!” I agree with you. Yes, you should have thought of that. You should have spent more time thinking about how you can do things better. You should be spending a lot more time thinking about what we can do better in our companies. How we can do better for our customers, how we can do better for our employees, and yes, how we can do better in our own lives.

Actually, spending even just some time thinking about how we can do things better, would be more time than most of us are spending right now, which is next to no time at all.

With all the meetings we have in our companies, how many are dedicated to finding ways to better serve our customers? How many meetings are set up and held, with the express purpose of brainstorming to find ways to provide better service to our customers?

Most companies have regular status meetings, regular operations meetings, regular quality meetings, and of course, ad hoc meetings called on the fly to solve a particular problem. We all hold  these meetings and more. But, let me ask you how many times do you meet with your team just to sit down and talk about how you can provide a better experience for your customers? A meeting where you not only talk about how you can improve what you are doing for your customers, but also try to come up with ideas for doing even more for them as well.

Here are some discussion ideas for your next Delighting your Customers meeting:

  1. Review and make a list of all the times you come in touch with your customers
  2. Take a look of how those touches are working right now. Things like:
    1. How you answer the phone.
    2. How you send out a proposal.
    3. How you contact the customer when there is a problem or an issue.
    4. How you stay in touch with the customer so she will know where her product is at all times.
    5. How you ship the product.
  3. Now take a look at them from the customer’s point of view.
    1. What does the customer hear when he calls your company? Does she get a live person or one of those terrible phone systems that shouts, “We don’t care about you.” In her ear?
    2. What does the customer see when he gets your proposal? Is the proposal clear and easy to read? Does it have exactly what the customer wanted you to quote and in the way he wanted you to quote the project?
    3. When there is a problem, does the customer feel that you contact her immediately or too late? Or you do not contact her at all? Does the customer feel you are on the level? That you are always telling her the truth? Are you a credible and reliable supplier?
    4. When the customer opens your package, what impression does that package itself make? Is it easy to open? Is everything there? Is it all in order? Is the count correct? Is all the paperwork there? Is it neat and tidy and properly packaged?
  4. Now review every one of these items, and talk about how you could do these things better. Not only better than you have been doing them, but better than anyone else in your industry could do them.  Better than anyone in any industry is doing because when it comes to customer service we are competing with the entire world. We are competing with all of the great customer service companies of the world. From Disney to Nordstrom’s.
  5. Let your team brainstorm, and come up with ways that your company can be outstanding when it comes to giving your customers the best experience anywhere. Remember there are not bad ideas, even an idea that seems impractical might be that germ of an eventual great idea in the making!

But the point here is to bring the customer to the table. Spend time, very intentional time, focused on the customer experience your company is providing. Chances are very good that if you even spend only one hour per week focusing on this you will eventually improve the attitude of the entire company where everyone will be trying to come up with new and ingenious ways to make your company truly outstanding when it comes to a great customer experience.

When that happens, you will be talked about. If your service is exceptional enough your customers will start talking about it and telling people about how smart and lucky they are to be working with a company like yours. In the end you will become, dare we say it, Legendary! It’s only common sense.