In a world filled with options, be it where to buy a product, or to get a ride to the airport or even to find a significant other, Customer Experience (CX) is one of the most powerful components to creating customer loyalty. Using CX as the guiding principle for how you sell your product or service will help ensure you’re not inadvertently creating C-Exes.
The truth of the matter is customers are willing to switch, if even partially, because of a bad experience. It’s no longer enough to offer the product or service, you have to woo a customer to your site. You have to wow them while they are on (and off) your site. And finally, you must win their preference to return.
There’s little dispute that Amazon is best in class at living this methodology, and the results to prove its value, too. They clearly have the customer at the forefront of their innovation and value how they can make life easier by focusing on the human aspect of the shopping, purchasing and using experience.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
How to Woo:
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful” – Jeff Bezos
How many people have you told about Amazon’s purchase and receive in one day or even same day? Or how Waze can recommend gas stations, coffee shops or even a bank on the way to where you’re going? Or about the ease in finding a pair of shoes from the millions of options on Zappos?
Whatever it is that is important, innovative or impressive to a customer is what they will tell someone about. When that happens, you are creating advocates. And who couldn’t use a few more advocates to spread the good word about the great impressions your business has made?
How to Wow:
"In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts”. – Jeff Bezos
Knowing what your customers want and how you can make their lives a little bit easier is the key to wow. Technology can implement the solution to help your customers, but knowing what is important is the most crucial aspect.
If Waze didn’t know that their customers wanted coffee or might need gas on their way to X, they might not have built and opportunity to “Add A Stop”. If Amazon treated each purchase as a one-off instance, they might not have built the opportunity to “Subscribe & Save” or offer reminders to repurchase. Wow is truly about focusing on the customer and enhancing their life by making their routines a bit easier.
As an example, let's look at the task of picking up dogfood. I would start off by going to a pet store convenient to where I was at the time. Then haul a 30lb bag of dogfood to my car, lug it up my stairs to the front door, and drag it inside. I dreaded the errand and if given the choice, I would opt to clean my bathroom instead.
Then, I realized it could be bought within seconds, and delivered to my door almost faster than I could convince myself to lug it from my car to my front door. All this and at a better price than pet stores, too!
Amazon has made my life that much easier and for that I am not only appreciative, but wowed and loyal. Staying focused on making the customer’s life easier and happier wows customers and keeps them coming back.
How to Win:
Wining customers is to say that they not only advocating for you, but they are returning to you repeatedly. Because consumers have become accustomed to switching when the product or service isn’t meeting their needs, this is a key measure of loyalty success.
Bringing new consumers into the funnel is great and you should be focused on that, too. But a true measure of how well you are doing is by understanding the lifecycle of the consumer and how well you have retained them after their first visit. The data can tell you the stats, but customer service is a great way to gauge success. The customer experience does not end after the transaction is complete. Customer Experience and the desire for a customer to return to you is also dependent on the post-transaction – usually handled in Customer Service areas.
Whether you focus on a hassle-free return experience, or having a highly-trained staff to answer and address all needs satisfactorily, there is no doubt that Customer Service is a key component of the overall Customer Experience and how you win at customer loyalty.
Learn more about improving your customer's experience at CX Talks this October in Atlanta, GA sponsored by Macquarium.
Amy is a Client Partner at MQ with 12+ years experience helping clients like Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific, Cbeyond, and IHG with their customer acquisition, retention, & loyalty efforts.