Only one of them loves you, trusts you to buy what you recommend, buys more than the others and sings your praises to all their friends. You wish all your customers were like this but on average, they are only about 20% of your customers. They are the 80/20 rule: 80% of your profits from 20% of your customers. But what about the other 80%?
It’s impossible to reach your company’s full growth potential without a written, tactical, Voice of the Customer (VOC) strategy as part of your business plan’s daily operations. Without it, any success or growth you’ve experienced is average or slow and limited by assumptions and luck. VOC growth of just 5% can increase profits 75%.
What is VOC and what is a VOC Strategy?
- Voice of the Customer is what it sounds like; customer feedback. It’s collected through surveys, reviews, phone calls, focus groups, etc.
- VOC Strategies are defined goals with actionable plans to reduce customer pain points and improve their “happiness” in doing business with you. Goals vary but the basic tactics are: Why you’re collecting the data; who will collect the data and how; measuring the data; interpreting the data; reporting and communicating the data and to who; reviewing areas to improve; prioritizing improvements; developing tactics to complete the improvements; sharing completions and successes. Repeat. Every day. Never stop.
Customer Experience (CX) is often mistaken as customer service. The easiest way to explain the difference is: Customer Service creates a Customer Experience.
- Customer Service is the human, digital and physical interactions pre-through-post-sale. How easy was the sale? How quickly did you help the customer?
- Customer Experience is the emotions triggered by those interactions and every other “touch-point” with your company. Loyalty, trust, caring are examples of emotions.
A touch-point is every point-of-contact the customer makes with your company and industry and begins with their moment of need for your service. This is followed by the moment the customer becomes aware of your company. An ad, online review or referral from a friend could be positive or negative. That triggers an emotion. Other examples of touch-points: Your phone system, parking, payment methods and certainly every person in your company even if they are not customer facing. The janitor isn’t customer facing but the interaction with a dirty bathroom creates a poor customer experience.
There are three primary drivers of CX: Continue reading “Service already great? Then improve their happiness.”
The only way to know why your customers love or dislike you or know how to give them exactly what they want to make them happy (not what you “think” makes them happy) is to ask them.
How you ask them is crucial.
Some surveys are for marketing and sales and are important. Improving the customer experience requires questions targeting exactly that. They are designed to find out how to convert a “passive” customer into a “Promoter. A Promoter is a customer who loves doing business with you and is actively engaged in promoting you to friends and family.
Here are 10 questions to ask every one of your customers.
Never Promote THIS Person to Management
Have you ever wondered how someone got into a leadership role?
Quite often, a person is promoted to management because it is the next growth step or to reward them for exceptional performance of their job.
This alone is simply the wrong criteria to promote anyone.
The Titanic was too big to turn quickly and the same applies to companies as they grow larger. Changes become slower, harder, more costly, timing consuming and disruptive when policies and procedures need to change.
Adopting a customer experience strategy, preferably at start-up as part of your business plan is essential to building and maintaining a customer focused culture. Its impossible to deliver an exceptional customer experience without a customer driven culture.
The larger the company grows without a formal or stalled CX Strategy , the more effort, time, and money it takes to reverse the mindset of employees and the profit killing effects of bad customer experiences. Continue reading “Customer Experience Strategies, How and Why”
Have you ever seen an angry customer who becomes even angrier because they’re not getting what they want? It’s an emotional storm, a tornado that pulls everyone into its funnel, including any customers who are watching.
Those watching feel awkward and just want to leave … not a good thing for your business or an exceptional customer experience . The angry customer may have started out rational but has lost control of their emotions and more often than not, it is company policies that turn them and the situation into this nightmare. Continue reading “Be the Chief Hug Officer and Hug Your Customers”
Here is a teachable moment about how Massage Envy banned a customer as a result of using a gift card to pay for a massage.
I saw a post on Facebook and Debbie, the customer, offered to speak with me on the phone after I commented on her post.