Customer experience now reigns as the supreme brand differentiator, with no shortage of data to back it up. An article in Forbes reports that today an estimated 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010. Another publication reports that poor customer experience is costing U.S. companies $136.8 billion per year due to avoidable churn. And according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 73% of U.S. customers say customer experience is the key factor in their purchasing decision.
As a result, companies seek to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty on every level, creating a glut of surveys about experience and emails imploring customers to write reviews. In their earnest intention to capture whether their service has appealed to customers, companies overlook the first and most important question to ask: What do our customers actually value? Is it a quick point-of-sales process? Loyalty points? The ability to speak with a human being when they have a problem? What has the most value to them?
Given that people are quite diverse in their wants, needs, anxieties, and aspirations, that can sound like an unanswerable question. Not at Uplifting Service. We have a very simple, powerful answer: respond to what matters to each customer in the moment. With the right language and skills, your people can identify what customers value and address the issue that matters most in a personal way, often by offering a creative suggestion or an alternative approach that goes the extra mile.
This is a level of service excellence that we call Unbelievable: something customers didn’t expect or even know they wanted – but when they experience it, they are completely won over. The power of Unbelievable can undo any negative interaction that’s come before and guarantee future engagement. So, the more Unbelievable experiences you create, the more you will grow your company, improve your reputation, and reduce complaints, churn, and attrition.
So, how in the world does a company create that level of service exactly when it’s needed, where it’s needed, and do it over and over again, for every customer, every day?
After working with hundreds of clients to train thousands of people in service excellence, we have found that creating these kinds of “Unbelievable” experiences for customers and service partners can start with just one inspired leader on one team: A leader who is creative and driven, who understands the need to abandon scripts, listen, and serve beyond expectations.
Empower people like that to lead their teams (even informally), and you’ll start to drive change exactly where it’s needed, based on a service excellence education and application that team members drive themselves.
Learn our five best practices to adopting this flexible, bottom-up approach to customer experience improvement in our eBook.
Download it here.