The latest Customer Experience Survey run in the US at the end of last year by McKinsey shows that Americans are generally more satisfied with their experiences today than pre-recession, although this can in part be attributed to rising consumer confidence.
The article concludes that happier customers have a higher lifetime value for a company and highlights several areas for businesses to consider in order to increase satisfaction.
After reading the report I was inspired to take their ideas and exp and them into three lessons that could guarantee increased customer satisfaction for all organisations. This is what I came up with:
Consistency boosts satisfaction
The article refers to consistency across contact channels, but I believe it goes much further than that. Customers need to underst and what we are offering in order to find it a – hopefully regular – place in their lives. If we frequently change packaging, distribution channels or communications from one year to the next, as often follows management restructuring, they can become destabilised.
They will then be forced to work, evaluating how these changes impact their current habits and perceptions of the br and. As we are all creatures of habit, living on auto-pilot in many areas of our lives for much of the time, changes force us to reconsider our choices, which can perhaps lead to the decision that the offering no longer has a place in our lives.
Lesson 1: remain consistent to the br and equity and personality that should have been clearly defined, in every way the br and interacts with its customers.
You can’t control everything
Customer confidence and satisfaction are said to be closely linked, especially in transactional industries such as airlines, hotels and retail. Whilst this may be true, I believe that br ands have an essential role to play in giving customers the confidence they need that they have made the best choice. What a br and st ands for in the hearts and minds of its audience can be influenced and thus we do have control over the confidence our customers have in the product or services we offer.
If we do not meet their expectations every time, again they may start to re-evaluate their choices and could decide to switch supplier. Br ands give customers confidence in the choices they make, as well as a guaranteed level of quality and reliability, but this needs to be reconfirmed every time they experience it.
Lesson 2: control everything that can be controlled to ensure that your customers’ experience is of the highest level possible, and every single time, of course
Know what matters
P&G are well known for speaking about the first and second moments of truth; the first being when a shopper sees the product “on the shelf” and the second being when the product is actually experienced. With the rise of the internet and the use of search engines, many br and interactions are now taking place between a customer and a br and long before the product is ever seen or experienced; Google has named this the “Zero Moment of Truth”.
All these moments of truth are important to underst and along the path to consumption, but more important still, is their relevance for each consumer when making decisions about which br and to choose. Every experience with a br and builds towards that final, or repeated, decision and any interaction can negatively impact the decision if the customer is not totally satisfied.
Lesson 3: don’t assume all your customers are the same, even if they have been chosen following category segmentation. Ensure that you get to know them well enough to underst and what are their preferred choices along their journey and which steps are the most important for them to be satisfied.
To sum up the findings of the survey, experience impacts every br and and category choice a person makes, whether positively or negatively. Perhaps one of the most important challenges that marketers must face, is that whereas it can take many positive interactions for a customer to finally make the choice to purchase a br and, it may take just one negative experience to make them forget the br and or worse to eliminate it from their consideration set forever.
With the never-ending increase in choices that most customers face today, it is the whole br and decision journey that needs to be considered when looking to satisfy them. That is the only way to guarantee complete customer satisfaction.
Which is the most defining moment for your category to get right, zero, first, second, or somewhere else along your customer journey? Please share your experiences here.
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