Customer Moments

How important is the customer’s experience with your company? How important is it that the customer feels good about their experience? This is one of the most critical issues in business and at the same time one of the most mismanaged moments of business.

Too many treat the customer like a moment, rather than one of the most important experiences. With all that has and is being taught about customer care, why does this happen?

For some it is the result of being overwhelmed. Their day starts with good intentions, but ends up out of control. They start their day thinking about all they want to get done, BUT the minute they enter the business environment they are greeted with “We have a problem.”  From that moment their day is out of control. They emotionally speed up and any event they come face-to-face with is filtered through their emotions.

As the customers arrive, they get filtered through all the emotional garbage that has already happened. The result is the customer just gets noticed; they really don’t get taken care of.

Now, do you think the customer can feel when their presence is an interruption? You bet they can. What do you think that does to them emotionally? They speed up and walk out frustrated with what has just happened.

Why does the customer get treated like a moment, rather than the most important moment in the business process?

For others their entire day is fighting fires. All they do is move from one problem to another. Now, do you think that affects their attitude? What do you think happens emotionally when each person who stands in front of you is bringing you another fire to put out? Would that make most people reactive? Can you see one person taking their frustrations out on another person?

Why does the customer get treated like a moment, rather than the most important moment in the business process?

For some, they really don’t care about the customer. They don’t show up with a caring attitude. This is a job and the customer is just a part of what they have to go through. In fact, their day would be a lot better if there were no customers.

No matter what picture you paint, when the customer is treated like a moment, they go away dissatisfied with their experience.

Have you ever considered what people spend money for?

Why would someone take money out of their pocket and pay another person? Psychologically, there are two reasons people spend money.

Reason #1: To satisfy a need!

What many business owners fail to realize is, this is what gets you noticed. If I do not have a need for your services, I will drive by your business day after day. Oh, I will know you are there, but without a need for your services I just keep driving. BUT, when the day comes when I need your service, I will arrive and our business relationship is about to begin.

Reason #2: People spend money for good feelings!

Many business owners don’t seem to understand the idea of good feelings is really what the customer uses to define the quality of their experience with you.

You can do the greatest job in the world, but if that customer doesn’t feel good about their experience, they will always view it from a negative perception.

Here’s the lesson: Customer satisfaction doesn’t happen at the point of being noticed; customer satisfaction happens with how the customer feels about their experience.

I’ve had leaders express to me their lack of understanding about the behavior of customers. They feel they have done a great job of delivering a quality product only to have the customer seem upset.

What I do is have them go back and walk through each of the moments of touch the customer had with their people. When you deliver a quality product and still are challenged with an unhappy customer, at some point in the customer process the customer wasn’t satisfied. It is at that moment the customer formed their impression of how good you are.

Realize this, you don’t get to define how good you are! The customer does that through their definition of their experience.

How can you be sure the customer is never treated as a MOMENT of business, but is your focus of business?

Make sure there is plenty of time for them!

The #1 thing that customers want to know is that they matter. That is defined by the quality of presence from the person who is standing in front of them. If they feel pushed, if they feel like an interruption, if they feel un-welcomed, no matter how good you are at delivering a quality product, they will not be satisfied. Remember, they want to feel good about their experience.

Organization is designed to take care of their needs.

Two of the most common destroyers of businesses are inconsistencies and inefficiencies. Each of these punish the customer. Each of these create confusion and leave the customer frustrated. When they are paying money for a service and exit frustrated, I don’t care how great your quality is they will not be satisfied.

Manage the moments of touch.

You should know all the critical junctions where the customer connects emotionally with your business. Those are the areas where you must monitor what is happening. It is at these critical junctions the customer will form their definition of who you are and how good you are at what you do. Remember, you don’t get to define how good you are; the customer does that.

Empower your people to make decisions.

If the customer has to wait while your people get permission to make a decision, there is going to be customer frustration. You have to trust your people. You have to treat them like they are an owner. If you can’t, what are they doing there?

Never sacrifice one of your people to appease a customer who is wrong.

Don’t forget your people spend more time with the customer than you do. They have to know you support them when they are right. Hey, if the customer is wrong, they should know it.  Truth is -— the customer is not always right.

Talk all situations through.

A big mistake is when there is a problem and it is treated as a problem. That is the wrong approach. Treat each customer concern as an opportunity to improve your customer care. Situations will happen; use them in a positive way, not an explosion point.

Remember — every time the customer comes in contact with any aspect of your business, they will define how much you care about them.

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