It’s The Customer’s Experience That Counts
Just having a great product or service is not enough. Sure it’s the thing you have to have but how you deliver that product or service is the key – it’s the customer’s experience that counts!
In the book ‘Moments of Truth”, Scandinavian Airlines boss Jan Carlzon talks about his business:-
“Last year, each of our 10 million customers came in contact with approximately five SAS
employees, and this contact lasted an average of 15 seconds each time. Thus, SAS is “created” 50 million times a year, 15 seconds at a time. These 50 million “moments of truth” are the moments that ultimately determine whether SAS will succeed or fail as a company. They are the moments when we must prove to our customers that SAS is their best alternative”.
Success will go in our competitive world to those who recognise that:
- The customer is your biggest asset
- The customer pays all salaries, wages and dividends
- The customer will go where s/he receives the best attention
- Your business must be your customer’s best and first choice
The simple idea has underpinned all great businesses in the past, but its secrets are now being sought in all corners of commerce and industry. It has become the great driving force in all ambitious companies. ‘Putting the customer first’, ‘making the customer boss’, is now seen as the route to gaining the competitive edge!
We are living in the ‘Age of Service’. For thousands of years most people in the western world worked on the land. For the last two hundred years we have earned our living largely in manufacturing, making goods to sell. Now, the majority of workers are involved in service businesses, no longer making goods but rather doing things that other people will pay to have done. Continually, as we shop, travel, seek entertainment, use banks, buy insurance, move house, take holidays, eat out, visit garages, take legal advice, have goods repaired, employ builders or decorators, use libraries, health services and so on, we are experiencing Customer Service. We are all experts on it; we all know the difference between good and bad service when we see and feel it.
All businesses, whether providing products or services, now have to pay very close attention to an increasingly aware and choosy group of people who have the power to make or break them – their customers! As such, the thoughts and feelings of the customer need regularly to top the board room agendas of any business seriously committed to success.
There are a number of factors that define good customer service. List these factors below after considering:-
As well as your product or service (which just has to be good), your customer’s experience is defined by
- your people
- your physical environment (the packaging)
- your practices (how easy is it for our customers to do business with you)
How can you improve your customer’s experience? Make a list using the factors above and include ways to measure each factor so you can know when it has improved.
Obsession with the customer experience is the single most vital factor in business success. The main priority for your business, as in any business, must be to win and keep the customer. Failure to do so simply means no profits, no growth, no jobs, no business!