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Blog

Jan 06, 2016

Create an Excellent Customer Experience

woman using a smartphone enjoys a superior customer experience

As a consumer of products and services, can you really tell the difference between a good experience and a truly excellent one? Well, depending on the situation, it’s likely that most people can.  But, for brands to deliver a truly excellent customer experience, the bar is constantly rising.  The evolution customer expectations can be partly attributed to access to and use of technology.       

Technology is changing the way excellent customer experiences are defined

There is no doubt that technological advancements have changed our lives for the better.  Technology has enabled us to be far more connected to each other -- and to our favorite brands -- than ever before.  You could say we are living in a real-time world without borders.  With the internet and mobile technology it is almost effortless to buy goods and services – even without leaving your home.  Likewise, consumers can voice their likes and dislikes just as easily.  And they are. 

In the ideal world, dissatisfied customers and raving fans would express their comments directly to the company.  While many consumers do in fact contact a brand to share their praise or disappointment, a growing number of consumers are taking to the internet to comment, post, blog and tweet about their feelings, and completely bypassing the classic customer feedback channels such as toll-free numbers and contact us pages. 

One failed customer experience can create a tidal wave of negative publicity

Companies who truly care about delivering a customer experience that exceeds expectations have always had to worry about negative word of mouth advertising.  One failed experience – for whatever reason – could not only cost a brand a customer but the unhappy customer was likely to share the negative experience with family and friends.   Historically, the impact and reach of the negative word of mouth was contained within the physical circle of relationships that the consumer had.  But today, the game has changed.  Now brands have to be concerned with what has been coined as negative “word of mouse” or “world of mouth” advertising as a result of easy and convenient internet access.

This new free flow of communication has given more power to the consumer.  It’s hard to argue that this is a bad thing as it’s forcing many companies to step up their game and provide even better, more consistent brand experiences.  Interestingly, this can also be a huge positive to many companies.  Brands who desire to achieve the best competitive advantages are now taking the attitude of “making lemonade out of lemons.”  What does this mean?  Well, as consumers are online commenting, blogging, posting and tweeting about their negative experiences, there is an opportunity for companies to so impress their customers to the point where they are willing to comment, blog, post, and tweet about their positive “wow” experiences!  This positive word of mouse can pay huge dividends to companies that deliver the truly outstanding customer experience.

So, what is your company or contact center doing to provide a truly differentiated customer experience? What processes and procedures do you have in place to get your customers to become true brand ambassadors and raving fans?  This level of success doesn’t typically happen by chance.  A well-defined, internally communicated and regularly monitored and measured customer experience strategy must be in place.  Without a customer experience strategy, it’s far more likely that your customer experiences will be perceived -- at best -- as simply good…no better or no worse than the competitor.  But with a clear customer experience vision that fully understands the changing landscape and consumer behaviors, supported by the right people practices, training, processes and technology, your customers will see and feel the difference… and are likely to become brand loyals and sing your praises to the world!

 

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