Many of us are involved with customers in one way or another. If you work retail, you see them all day (hopefully). If you work as a freelancer of any sort, your clients are your customers. If you volunteer at the local chamber, the people who enter the door are your customers.
Mike Wagner from White Rabbit Group is rather an expert on Creating Great Customer Experience. Mike is a dynamic speaker and I had the opportunity to hear him speak at the Central Iowa Tourism quarterly meeting. Following are some great ways to help your organization create a great customer experience gleaned from hearing Mike speak.
Managing Customer Focus is harder than it sounds. It becomes hard when you try to do it day to day. Your instinct is to be autocratic. However your staff can’t just be doing what they’re told. You need to make the interaction participatory. There are three dominant styles of managment. They are:
Patriarchal Management: I own you, you work for me. This style operates on fear – and people will only work as hard as they must. There is no extra, no care, no fun in this style.
Paternalistic Management: We’ll take great care of you. People become teenagers and bosses become parents. We all know how well that works!
Participatory Management: We’ll both take ownership and deliver great customer experience. When your staff feels it can be a part of something, it creates a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
What is at the center of your organization? Employees, mission statement, products? Nope – those are all self centered. The correct answer should be Right Customer Experience.
Now determine who your right customer is. Define what a successful customer experience looks like. Spend some time on this exercise. Who do you want buying from you? Who do you want using your services? How would that look?
Once you’ve done that – you can now create the Right Customer Experience.
The idea is to create a chemical memory. You want your customer to have an actual change in their brain –so they never forget the valued experience. So how do you create this chemical memory?
Difference: Design it into the experience. Surprise people, don’t do the same as everyone else. Life is really like high school, the different people get noticed. If you are doing the same thing everyone else is – people are not going to remember you. You don’t want to fall into the crap bucket – that’s where everyone who is doing the same thing goes into. You want to be different. Find ways to be different.
Relevance: Must be different and relevant at the same time. It means you are touching a deeply felt need. Become radically committed to the study of answers. Find out what people want – and give it to them. Study trends, listen to what people are telling you. Make sure your product, service, conversation is relevant to what they want.
Three books Mike recomended you read are:
Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie
Game Storming by Dave Grey
Emotional Design by Donald Norman
Mike can be found on twitter @bigwags. Websites are www.whiterabbitgroup.com or www.michaelcwagner.com