The 6 things customers really want - Part One
After 25 years working with local, national and international businesses to improve the customer experience, and having analysed tens of thousands of customer comments, research and complaints, I believe any business can deliver a great customer experience, increase sales and cut costs by making sure they deliver 6 things that a customer really wants.
The first, and arguably the most important, is MAKE IT EASY.
This may sound obvious but what does it mean?
In my experience it means looking at your business through a customer’s eyes (it’s normally valuable to talk to customers or someone who doesn’t know your business well so their thinking isn’t blinkered by their knowledge of your products and processes)
1) Start by listing all the things that a customer may want to do with your business – for example get some information, buy a product or service, make an enquiry, renew or change something, track an order, have a problem resolved.
2) Then think about how they would want to do each of those – how do your customers want to interact with you – online, in person, by phone. Not only that, what channels do they want to use for each reason you have already listed – is a single channel appropriate or would they want to use more than one? For example, a customer may be happy using your website to get information and buy a product, but they may want to talk to someone if they have a problem. They may want to see a product before they buy, or talk to a salesperson.
3) Then compare your processes – for each reason a customer would interact with you, draw out how they can currently do that – see if there are any issues. For example, could a customer use your website to get information about a product, order it online and track their order – or do they have to phone at any point? How many customer touch points are there – the number of times they have to do something.
4) Where you see that a customer has to make more effort than absolutely necessary, change the process – make it simpler, with as few touch points as possible and an obvious route for the customer to take
5) And finally – tell customers about the change you have made – there is no point making a change unless you show your customers that you listen to them – and, by telling them, you will also get more feedback which will help you make further improvements, giving you more sales and less complaints or queries.