It continues to amaze me that the sentiment still rings true in the consumer-empowered age.
Why is it that almost every time we hang up the phone with a customer service rep, we feel flat? Despite the profiling technologies, the predictive analytics technologies, the customer databases that companies have at their fingertips, it is still insanely hard for them to provide a breathtaking experience. Why?
I think it is because a lot of times companies are missing a key ingredient to business success – human passion.
Sadly, it not only isn’t built into companies’ culture and business mentality, it isn’t built into companies’ incentives and business objectives.
The only way your company will build lasting relationships with your customers is if you provide amazing experiences at every touchpoint with that customer. And the only way to ensure that is to employ people who are passionate about what they do and about serving their customers. Only passion will prompt them to go extra mile when the customer needs it most.
In this column I have already discussed the importance of employees as brand ambassadors and why a company is only as extraordinary as its people. I talked about the fact that for most customers it is about little things, about a human touch. It also only takes a small act of caring to turn a negative opinion around and create a brand advocate for life. And advocates are the ones that bring additional business revenue through word-of-mouth. The Retail Consumer Report, for example, states that 85% of consumers are willing to pay 5-25% over the standard price for the products from companies that deliver superior customer experience.
How do companies provide superior experiences? They give people an opportunity to engage with them. Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking a single question. One simple question can do amazing things for brand affinity.