People keep telling me how great the customer service is at Rivet & Sway. That’s awesome. We’ve emphasized delivering phenomenal customer service since Day 1, so it feels good to get that validation.
But I prefer if people would use the term ‘customer experience’ instead of ‘customer service’. In my mind, the customer service function is just one facet, albeit a substantial one, of the overall customer experience (CE). When we brought both MouseDriver and Rivet & Sway to market, we launched with the explicit understanding that we wanted to create the absolute best CE for our customers. In other words, we wanted to make sure that whenever they interacted with our brand, our customers would have an experience that would more than exceed their expectations.
So what does that exactly mean? It means that at all points through the customer purchase lifecycle, including packaging and post-purchase, you should focus on what you can do to surprise and delight your customers. In the simplest terms, it really means putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, thinking about how they feel and what they really want, and doing everything that you can to make your customers happy.
And CE isn’t just some ethereal term that you throw around during weekly meetings and vendor conference calls. It needs to be internalized and felt. It needs to be a rallying cry for all employees. And most importantly, it needs to be measured. Someway, somehow, the CE has to be measured, at every touchpoint. Without the mechanism to measure how you’re delivering on your CE, you’re flying blind. And you’ll selectively choose the more favorable insights that you’re receiving instead of truly listening to the negative ones. After all, it’s much harder to face and accept negative criticism.
And what’s the best approach for delivering an exceptional CE? I could talk for hours on this topic, but at the highest level, there’s pretty much 4 things you need to do in order to begin building the best CE possible:
- Know Thy Customer: Yes, obvious, but do you really know them? Do you what their needs are beyond just needing your product or service? Do you know what they like, how they think, where they live, etc.?
- Customer Lifecycle Map: You know the typical customer lifecycle funnel? Map that sucker out and identify every single point in which a customer will interact with you. Whether it’s advertising, customer service, random emails to the CEO, CRM emails, retail storefront, a vendor meeting, a tradeshow, a follow-up survey…anything you can possibly think of. Map it out. You’ll be shocked how many different ways your customers can interact with you.
- Improve, Iterate and Delight: Define how you can surprise and delight your customers at each touchpoint that you’ve mapped out….using all that deep knowledge that you have on your customer. And don’t stop there. Continuously iterate on the experience, with the sole purpose of absolutely delighting your customers. And trust me, you’ll know when you delight them.
- Measure, Measure, Measure: Figure out ways to define and measure the CE at every customer lifecycle touchpoint. Maybe it’s Click-Through-Rates during the Awareness lifecycle. Or the time between a first visit and trial. Or maybe it’s even NPS or some kind of Word-of-Mouth Index. Just come up with something that you can measure…that makes sense of course…and is actually actionable.
I’m a HUGE believer in delivering experiences that invoke emotion, that stand for something, that deliver real value and that leave customers in awe. It’s these types of experience that generate raving fans who will not only remain loyal to you, but will also tell everyone else about your greatness. And there’s nothing sweeter than authentic Word-of-Mouth. Authentic Word-of-Mouth allows you to acquire high value customers (larger LifeTime Value) and a much lower cost (lower Cost per Acquisition). It’s the Earned and Owned Media that are the lifeblood of any strong brand!
Questions, Comments, Concerns? Please let me know.