One of the greatest customer experience strategic advantages you have is the fact that the human mind makes up much of the information it perceives to make up for the gab in what the human body is able to sense.
Customer experience can often be like magic. There’s no real super power taking place creating great customer experiences. The principles of customer service that create the overall exceptional experience are just “tricks of the trade” or “slight of hand” per se. Maybe tricks is a bad word, there’s actually real intent, thought, and feeling that goes into delivering real customer service. But at the end of the day, it’s all an established set of predefined practices that, when performed consistently and correctly, hopefully enchant the customer and create a sense of loyalty that will keep customers doing business with your organization.
The customer experience magic act
Like a magician’s act, your effectiveness is largely dependent on your performance. Your ability to dazzle the eyes and enrich the senses of your customer audience will prove whether you leave the type of lasting impression you hope to each customer to have. But, like magic, it really only depends on your skills. Your customer service skills are the key to creating customer experience magic.
Alex St. John, creator of the DirectX media platform at Microsoft wrote about the Microsoft gurus that just needs to be able to turn everything they touched into gold. People practically worshipped the ground they walked on because of their ability to deliver impact performances and influence people in whatever way they wanted to. But Alex shares a little known secret that is the key to you mastering the customer experience delivery.
Although we were certainly selected for a set of unusual personality traits none of us really had any superpowers, just a set of learned skills that are not commonly taught or understood.
-Alex St. John, Microsoft
Customer service is like sewage treatment work, everyone believes it’s important and relies on it, but no one wants to do it. That’s where you come in. While everyone is dismissing customer service, you’re sharpening your skills and mastering the tricks of the trade. You customer service skills have never had such a great opportunity to create a lasting impression as they do today. The stage is set, the audience is waiting. All you have to do is show up and perform.
So what are you going to do? How are you going to do it?
8 Questions to guide your customer experience strategy
- What do I want others to get from my customer experience?
- What is the easiest, least stressful way I can achieve this result?
- What do the people I want to influence want?
- What can I do to help them see how I’m delivering what they want?
- What are the biggest obstacles preventing me from getting to where I want to be?
- What are the smallest obstacles preventing me from getting to where I want to be?
- What can I do to deter others from undermining my resolve to accomplish what I want?
- What resources do I have available to today to tackle big and small obstacles in my way?
Our personal goals don’t exist in a vacuum, as Alex St. John reminds. No one cares about what you’re trying to accomplish, that’s just a fact of life. People care about their own interests. Once you understand this, you’re ready to craft a customer experience strategy. Customer experience is ALL about you. It’s about imposing your vision, your desires, and the feelings you want to invoke, but in the customer.
It’s impossible to have a successful customer experience strategy that doesn’t face this realistic fact, that your customers don’t care about what you’re trying to do. They care that their needs, wants, and whatever else they may have in mind at the moment is met. So the secret is to perform the correct actions at the correct time to fulfill the needs of your business, but that account for the current mindset of the customer. In other words, you have to accomplish your business goals at the intersection of some customer-focused, customer-appreciated service action. Otherwise you’ll spend all day giving, giving, and giving, without ever receiving anything in return.
Why executives dismiss customer experience
This is why there’s a big disconnect between customer experience and the business world. Too many customer experience practitioners are drinking the kool aid that all you have to do is create a great customer experience and everything else will take care of itself. Well, it may work for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, but you don’t live life in a Hollywood movie. In the real world, you have to take care of yourself. No one will do that for you, especially not your customers. Your customers have their own problems they’re trying to solve. They have their own issues they’re dealing with. Giving our charity isn’t part of their job description as a customer.
The intersection of business-savvy and customer experience master
As a successful customer experience leader you have to marry the disciplined business-savvy processes and practices that deliver bottom-line results while crafting a customer experience setting that will leave your customers wanting more. That’s the only way to REALLY be successful all around. You can master the art of business, but if you ignore the experience factor, you’ll suffer pitiful customer retention rates and have to horrendously overspend in your up-front marketing to acquire and re-acquire customers. Experience, on the other hand, is the pathway to positive customer relationships, the type of customer relationship that will keep customers coming back, as long you’re delivering what the customer needs, how the customer needs it, when the customer wants it.
So what does this mean for your existing customer experience strategy? Does it change how you’re approaching it? Will you make any changes to how your implement your customer experience given the nature of customer relationships?
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