Do You Want to be Loved by Your Customers?

 

This week’s ICSA Blog is provided by our Guest Blogger and former ICSA Conference Keynote speaker, Jeanne Bliss.  

Jeanne has authored several outstanding books regarding the customer experience including: “Chief Customer Officer”, and “I Love You More Than My Dog!”  You can follow Jeanne’s Blogs here: Jeanne Bliss.

Do you want to be loved by customers?

Imagine customers in their lives. Get to know them. Understand what is important to customer and obsess about the moments when you intersect their life. Then deliver something that makes those moments better. With your actions, show customers that you make decisions with their point of view in mind. When you do, they’ll buy more from you and tell everyone they know.

Beloved companies won’t operate from the middle of the road of indecision and non-commitment. Beloved companies spend their days (and nights) obsessing about how to be there for customers on the customers’ terms. They imagine customers’ lives. And they think and rethink how they will conduct themselves so they can constantly earn the right to customers’ continued business.

Companies that understand that it is emotions that bond them with customers obsess about getting to know who their customers are and what they desire. When a company taps into these emotions and desires, they open up a world of possibilities that can capture the imagination of their business. And that leads to uncommon decisions that separate them from the pack. It grows their business.

Remember, the everyday company is selling cups. The beloved company is supporting parenthood.

So, what are your thoughts in this subject?  Join the conversation and share your comments!

Comments

  1. I LOVE the concept companies “constantly earning the right to customers’ continued business!” What a great thought! Too many companies assume the person who buys from them today will buy again tomorrow and do little if anything to earn that continued business.

    Thanks for a great blog Jeanne!

  2. I agree, it’s one thing to provide the product but it’s another to package it to meet the customers’ specific needs. Consumers want to know that a company cares about them and their needs. Going the extra mile to demonstrate your concern for their everyday needs and wants will take customers from loyal to advocate. Word of mouth is the strongest way you can gain new customers (and keep the current). Think how your company can retain loyals and have them become advocates!

  3. This is a great perspective. Service providers need to keep the customer at the center of everything they do. It is all about adding value to our customers at every interaction.

    • Ford discovered this years ago when we set up an 800 number as part of its “No Unhappy Owners” initiative. Ford understood that a customer that is satisfied with overall service after the sale will likely remain a loyal vehicle buying customer for a very long time. Customer care agents were empowered to do everything possible to keep a customer happy and resolve a problem; even at the dealership level. Sadly, some companies have lost track of the important lessons learned by programs like “No Unhappy Owners” almost forcing their customers to endure a much too long number of IVR choices before being able to reach a live agent empowered to resolve an issue and retain the good will and loyalty of the customer. Fortunately, there are also many companies embracing true “customer care” and benefitting from the rewards that a loyal, repeat customer almost always can bring.

  4. These are all excellent comments and thoughts. I’d like to drive this just a little further. All too often we think of the customer experience as the point of contact. But its not! Example…

    I went to the grocery store the other day and walked through the first set of doors to the place that houses all of the shopping carts. There were four carts in there and not one of them was “drivable.”

    It was a brutally warm and humid day and I had to trek back out to the parking lot to find a usable cart. I was NOT happy and as I walked back into the store, in my mind, this told me the store really doesn’t care about me as a customer.

    The point here is that I did not interact with anyone from the store, and yet this WAS a clear customer touch point and this business created a terrible customer experience. I won’t go back. Period!

  5. Kelly, George and Errol (and of course Bill!),
    I’m so glad that this message resonates with you!

    It’s so hard sometimes for the front-line to understand the higher purpose they have in intersecting customers’ lives. This frequently happens because they aren’t given perspective on the entire experience– just relegated to their individual tasks.

    There is an opportunity at that moment to change someone’s day! The more leaders looked at service folks in this manner, as “customer rescue artists” — the more things might change and improve for them and the customers they serve!!

    Jeanne

    • So very true Jeanne….often these are lower wage employees…and the company does not invest in them to let them know of vital their contact with the customer really is. I think that’s because the company doesn’t realize it!

      Thanks for being a strong voice in the customer experience world and for carrying the battle to executives who need to understand the vital importance of managing the customer experience at EVERY touch point!

  6. Jeanne, despite the fact that I teach the relational skills that enhance an employees ability to connect with customers, I must say that the type of interaction you describe only happens when staff feel personally stable, loved and cared for themselves. “Feed your staff or they’ll eat the customers.”

    • “Feed your staff or they’ll eat the customers.”

      I love that Dick! Thanks for joining the conversation!

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