Customer experience is the summation of all customer interaction with your business at various touchpoint, over time i.e. whenever a customer encounters your brand, you’ve created a “touchpoint.” This could be anything from a social media post or comment from another customer to a piece of email received, to a television or radio advertisement, call centre response and many more.
It is however, important for every business executive/employee to gain a deeper understanding of customer needs across various touchpoint for the delivery of Service excellence within an organisation.
a. How does the customer receive information about your business, products, services, changes?
b. What sort of information do we put out there to attract and inform customers?
Customers want a professional, timely, accurate, attractive and useful information which projects a good corporate image. And as such you should always create an integrated media plan (Adverts & Publicity, Referrals, SMS, Fliers, Roadshows, Internet & Social media, Branded items etc) that is able to reach the customer in more ways than one.
Through what medium does the customer contact your business for information?
A customer is looking to receive a prompt response to queries. They expect professionalism in business dealings and would always prefer a business that is responsive to their emotional needs (attention, respect & resolution). Apart from having a physical location, it is wise to create multiple channels of communication through which customers can reach your business. Some examples are call centres, email and social media, online contact forms and not forgetting staff members who are somewhat an ambassador of the organisation.
3. Knowledge & Understanding
Who provides the customer with adequate knowledge and a clear understanding of your products/services when they eventually contact your business?
To bridge the knowledge gap, always provide ample information on your website as this is usually the first channel your customer visits. In addition, periodical training and knowledge sharing meetings should be a part of the planned activities for ALL Customer service executives and Sales/Account officers of every organisation.
What are the channels available to serve the customer?
Physical locations, eCommerce website, Phone, Social media, ATMs, POS, Mobile & Internet platforms.
Some of the customers needs during a transaction are speed and accuracy, ease and convenience, availability, notifications and reports. In order to meet the turnaround time (TAT), always aim to deliver without failure.
How is the customer transaction priced and charged?
In some regulated industry like Banking & Finance, pricing/charges are most often pegged in line with CBN policy, Federal rules or multi-party agreement while in other industries, it could be a negotiated pricing or concession.
Taking into consideration these factors, businesses should always disclose upfront the price/charge of a product/service. Also put in place a clear payment, return and refund policy to guide and defend your business from conflicts with customers that is likely to arise.
5. After Sales Retention Strategy
Who manages the customer afterwards?
Are the service platforms always available as promised?
How are issues resolved?
How is the customer’s relationship kept active?
Customers like you and I would only prefer to associate with a organisation that stays in touch especially during anniversaries/birthdays, supports business and personal growth, gives due recognition and rewards for loyalty and innovation that improves service performance which meets the demands of the customers.
To address this need, organisations should endeavour to keep the communication channel open, front-line officers should relationship managers should always reach out to customers by visiting or calling, periodically run promos and reward/loyalty schemes to sustain customers as well as attract potentials and also liaise with the marketing communications unit of its organisation to create tailor-made notifications to felicitate with the customer during special days.
In conclusion, managing service delivery is an ongoing process that takes time and cross-functional commitment because customers’ needs and expectations change over time and the way you meet them must evolve in accordance with those shifts. Thus, beyond administering customer survey, it is ideal to periodically conduct a touchpoint assessment using this simple guide to improve the standard of operation within any given organisation.