Any interaction a customer has with your brand is part of their brand experience, especially once they have stepped foot through your front door. It’s make or break now – will the experience create a loyal customer, and an advocate of your business, or will they leave so disappointed that they immediately turn to social media to express their dismay? These tips will help avoid the latter!
A great experience at your business’s location requires great people who have received adequate training. Finding ambassadors of your brand, those needle-in-a-haystack employees who just rave about your business and are positively exuberant about the level of service they provide can be hard to find. But those are the employees who are going to give customers the type of experience that they want to write a review about and tell their friends about. Good, well-trained employees can’t be understated. WestJet is well known for getting customer service right. Check out this story of a WestJet pilot buying pizza for stranded Air Canada passengers!
Getting your employees to be advocates of their employer is not easy. But rewarding employees properly is a good start. That means paying them well, and also providing some sort of incentives for providing a great customer service. It doesn’t have to be monetary – verbal acknowledgement and thanks from an owner/manager can go a long way when it comes to workplace motivation.
The importance of employee training cannot be said enough! If you have offers or specials running, ensure your employees are aware. This is one of the largest problems we come across at GetintheLoop – the customer goes to a business because of a promotion or special that they have seen, but the employee is unaware of it, which can lead to embarrassment all round, and a negative experience of the brand.
Embed in your employees a sense of “What else can I do to enhance or improve this customer’s experience here?” The drive for exceptional customer service and experience has to be company wide, from the very top down. Everyone, not just customer-facing employees, must be on board. Again, it comes down to every interaction the business has with your establishment. For example, after an amazing night at a hotel, where you were treated like royalty, you realize you were overcharged for the night. You call back and speak to someone in the office and are told it was your mistake not theirs. This negative experience can undo every great moment you experienced the night before, and according to a survey conducted by American Express, you’ll be more inclined to tell others about your negative experience that your positive one. “While 46% of American consumers say they always tell others about good service experiences, an even greater number say they talk about poor service experiences. In fact, 60% said they always share the bad ones, and they tell nearly three times as many people (an average of 21 people vs. 8 people).”
Similarly to customer service, the types of sales tactics used can have a huge positive or negative impact on your experience. I can provide my own experience of shopping for a new car as an example. I knew I was going to be subjected to the “hard-sell” but I wasn’t prepared for how much. One dealership offered me $500 as a trade-in value on my existing vehicle and tried to hide other fees within the quote. I felt completely taken advantage of, being a woman shopping alone. Another dealership, where I actually ended up making the purchase, offered me $4000 trade-in value and told me up front that they would not pressure me into anything I didn’t want to do – and they kept their word. The two experiences were polar opposites, and influenced entirely by the sales tactics used. I will forever hold a negative view of the first dealership, and would never recommend them to anyone.
Finally, the business’s physical environment will play a huge role in the customer experience. In BC, there is a hotel/spa resort called Sparkling Hill, where Swarovski crystals are everywhere. Literally everywhere. Most people go there just for that experience of extravagant luxury.
Everything from the decor to the lighting, to the music being played becomes part of your brand, and contributes to the overall customer experience.
Ultimately, creating an exceptional customer experience for every person and at every touchpoint with your brand will naturally lead to more customers, and more loyal customers.
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