Those of us in business who rely on a committed and consistent customer base understand that customer satisfaction is critical to business success. However, we live in a fast paced economy where keeping up with daily commitments is a struggle. Finding time to develop the overall customer experience has to often be put on hold. Many business owners may suggest that they provide a fantastic customer experience. Are their customers saying the same?
A personal example: I was recently in the market for a new set of winter tires for my Toyota truck. I had a particular budget in terms of what I wanted to spend but limited knowledge in terms of the types of tires available. I called several tire shops and for the most part the conversations were the same. It comprised of them asking me what type of truck I drove and them immediately recommending me their top selling (or most expensive) winter grip tire.
My last conversation, (and ultimately where I purchased the winter tires) was completely different. This tire expert made a real connection with me. He took the time to create rapport by understanding first what was important to me in making this purchase. He asked questions like “What type of driving do you like to do?” “How much driving do you tend to do on winter roads?” “What is your budget for these tires?” and “Why are you driving a Toyota!” Joking aside, he listened well, showed interest in my needs and concerns and set me up with a tire that I ultimately felt good about. As consumers, we want to “feel good” about the purchases we make.
What was even more impressive was that one-week after I purchased the tires I received a call from my tire expert. He was following-up to make sure my tires were living up to my standards and that I was satisfied with my purchase! Based on my overall experience I now know where I (along with my friends and family) will be doing our tire shopping in the future.
Too many businesses overlook the importance of developing a wonderful customer experience throughout the sales process. This includes developing a strong connection with potential customers through building rapport and following up with them regarding their purchased product and experience. Simple? Yes. Common Sense? Maybe. Execution rate? Very low. Commit to a complete customer experience and your customers will stay truly loyal to you and your brand.