By Neal McMahon, Regional Sales Lead, Avaya
Today’s consumers are seeking more than a transaction. For them, the experience is what counts, and they want every one of the customer touchpoints to contribute to it being positive. With big companies like Apple managing their customers’ buying process from beginning to end, how can small businesses get in on ensuring their customers have positive experiences that drive brand loyalty? Low prices and discounts always help, but perhaps that model is not sustainable long-term, depending on your industry or niche. One of the keys to keeping loyal customers and gaining new ones is to understand them and meet them where they’re at.
By undertaking customer journey mapping, you’ll be able to delve deeper into how your customers interact with your brand. For example, if you own a restaurant, imagine how your customer’s journey through their experience at your establishment – what is being seated like? How is the menu – does it need updating? How long have your waiting staff been working at your restaurant? What is the atmosphere? How does it smell? It’s not just about the service but about the total experience. Mapping out a customer’s journey can help you get to know your customers better.
Legitimacy of the Customer Experience
The experience economy continues to develop, adjust, and expand. Take a brand like Disney who has “led the way with their top-down approach to customer experience. Instinctively, when brands like this implement strategies that regularly exceed customer expectations, delivering the golden ticket when it comes to customer loyalty and retention, other brands will naturally replicate.
The Customer Who Demands Everything
This experience economy unavoidably leads to the customer who demands everything, placing their own expectations over everything else. They want immediate satisfaction and don’t want to have to wait. Would you term them as a challenging customer? Maybe, however this genre of purchasing mindset is the future, and it’s imperative that businesses wise up and take note. It’s commonplace that most consumers are wanting everything but the kitchen sink. They not only demand the experience but the service or product as part of the package they are buying, favouring brands that can supply the overall experience they expect.
How to Satisfy the Everything Customer
This is no mean feat, however a key factor for a business and its leaders is to embark on this critical feat to ensure that they remain ever relevant in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. They can occasionally want to serve themselves and interact via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, whilst on other instances wanting to have face to face interaction, via a telephone call. Sometimes they demand a more premium style personalised service, however, require that their privacy be respected. Understanding this customer type can be achieved via the use of analytical and AI tools. By zooming in on Key Performance Indicators, metrics, the use of analytics tools, and reporting can assist shrewd businesses in understanding how the Everything Customer materialised and what they really want.
The notion of this customer type may not seem the right fit for you – however, they are critical as part of your audience as they drive both small and large businesses and brands alike when it comes to innovations. By being able to deliver on customers’ expectations, you’ll be in a prime position to garner differentiation to your competitors, as well as wining their loyalty. Also, by viewing business through the lens of experience can encourage brands and companies to be more pre-emptive with the experiences they build.
Customer Experience is The Holy Grail
The experience economy once set out as a theory is now swiftly climbing in the echelons as a key brand goal, known as the fourth infinite step in consumer development, after commodities, goods, and services. Delivering customer experience in today’s marketplace is critical for business leaders as consumers motivate the market and demand a faultless world class service, they also want an exceptional experience of buying from the brand,
To surmise, consider the rivalry between companies like Apple and Google, and the often–good-natured arguments we see emerge on social media. Both sets of customers have strong opinions on the technology brands; Google phone users claim that their operating systems are better, while Apple users focus in on the brand itself and the “elite” status these customers seem to enjoy. Perhaps one brand does develop better products than the other – would it really matter to the loyalists?
A great place to start improving customer experience and employee experience is to move to cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), as it both expands and simplifies your communications options, so you can take hybrid working and team collaboration to the next level.
Neal McMahon, Regional Sales Lead, Avaya
Neal McMahon leads Avaya’s UCaaS sales efforts in the UK and Ireland. With over 20 years’ experience in networks and communications, he is a specialist in cloud technologies and how this can help organisations with new ways of working and business transformation