Why is a Focus on Customer Experience Critical for Success?

In my last blog we talked about the first part Customer Experience, mainly what is meant by it. For that we defined a need for Empathy, Quality, Personalization, Channels, & Metrics.

For this next discussion, we are going to define why understanding the customer experience is critical for success. We will also identify three ways to determine which customer experience is desired.

Why is a focus on customer experience critical for success?

I believe you can tell at this point that the customer experience is critical to success.  However, let me give you a real-life example from my life to bring this to life.  In 2010, I was in the market to buy a new car. I always had a desire to buy an SUV and now was the time. So I visited a Honda Dealership here in town. As soon as I walked through the door I was greeted with a friendly face. I explained my need and was directed to a sales associate.  The sales associate listened to my needs never once pushing me into something I didn’t want. After a few test drives, I found the SUV I wanted. It was a Honda Pilot.

My payments were not exactly where I wanted them, but I got the SUV.

Getting a Call from the Dealership

Fast forward to 2012.  I was traveling back from vacation with my family and I received a call from the Honda dealership. The finance advisor advised he could get me in a newer SUV for lower car payments. I will admit I was skeptical at first. However, it came out to be very true when I got home and arrived at the dealership. I decided I wanted a different color car and chose the burgundy color SUV that was on a lot in another part of the state. The dealership had the truck delivered to their lot, but what they did next I had never experienced.

I was provided with a loaner SUV. They then took the 2010 and 2012 Pilot to the Audio Radio shop where I had my remote start installed in my 2010, and got it moved to my 2012. They also moved everything inside the 2010 and placed it in the exact same spot in my 2012. When I returned to the dealership all I had to do was sign a couple of papers and drive away. In 2020, I was once again in the market for a car. Who do you think I went to? That’s the right, Honda. Once again, they didn’t disappoint. I received some great loyalty customer discounts and drove off with a truck I LOVE. I tell you this story to emphasize the importance of the customer experience.

The experience created for customers will either keep them coming back for more, or have them running away to someone else. My loyalty to Honda is due to the wonderful customer experience I have consistently.

How to approach determining the desired customer experience?

How do you go about identifying the type of customer experience you desire for your customers?  Here are some ideas as this is not an exhaustive list.

  1. Ask them – nothing better than hearing directly from the customer the experience they desire. You can do this through surveys, focused groups, or interviews to name a few.  This data is powerful.
  2. Research – determine what experience customers desire by reading reviews on similar products/services you offer. For example, if you provide consulting services, look at other consulting websites that offer similar services and read reviews.  You can learn from others
  3. Customer Journey Map – a customer journey map tells a great story of the customer experience from the initial interaction to the final interaction to secure the product/service. Creating a customer journey map will open your eyes to what is the current experience and where you may want to change certain aspects of the experience.

For my next article, we will dig a little deeper into the customer journey map. We will look at how, when done correctly, it can be a powerful tool helping you to understand and improve the customer experience.

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