This week’s blog by ICSA President Bill Gessert asks the question, “how would you improve the customer experience from a real situation he faced about a week ago. Read the blog and Join the Conversation with your response and thoughts!
Quickly, complete this statement: “The goal of every business is to…”
I’ve asked this question of hundreds of executives. Here are some of the most frequent responses:
- Make money
- Make a profit
- Become the leader in your market
All excellent answers, but not correct. The goal of every business needs to be simply this: to get and keep customers. Without doing this, you are not going to make money, profits, achieve growth, or be the leader in your market. Without getting and keeping customers you have no chance of achieving your financial goals and objectives.
So how do you get, and more importantly KEEP customers? Clearly everything you do needs to keep the customer’s experience in mind. From here, I could take this blog in a million different directions. Because this is a blog and not a book, I am going to focus on touch points…when a business touches a customer and has an opportunity to succeed or fail to create a positive experience.
Let me share a personal experience from just a couple days ago. I was at our local grocery store to pick up a few items for a nice bean salad to take to a BBQ. With less than $18.00 worth of stuff in my cart, I headed to one of those self check out stations.
But I hit a snag when the pineapple I had would not scan for me. Thank goodness there was an employee right behind me also in line with a couple items. “It’s not accepting the barcode on this item,” I said to her as a question of what to do. A blank stare was the response I received. “Can you help me?” was my next question. “No.”
At this point, to be completely honest, I seriously thought about just stuffing that pineapple into the bag without paying! But I knew that was not a good karma option. So instead, I tried again with this question, “Do you have any suggestions?” With that the employee pointed in the direction of another employee and said, “She can help.” It gets better (or worse really) from here.
I walk over to that employee and with all the best karma I could muster I smiled and said, “Hi! The scanner is not taking this barcode. Can you help me please?”
Without one single word, she took my pineapple spears, walked to the check out station, entered some kind of super secret pineapple spear code and boom – accepted. With that she walked away without saying a word.
Customer experience. The focus of all business is to get and keep customers.
My negative customer experiences with this two minute event included the following touch points:
1. The barcode not working (yes, this is a touch point, and it failed to create a positive experience)
2. The employee behind me – her entire response to me was wrong. She should have been able to help, and if not, she should have responded with something like, “I’m sorry your having trouble with that. While I am not trained to handle this, I can go get that woman over there for you and she can help.”
3. The pointed to woman. Not one word. Not one smile. Not one acknowledgement of my “pain.” Not one positive customer experience.
You are a customer experience professional. If this was YOUR grocery store, how would you turn all of this around? If you were responsible for customer experience at this store, what would you do to insure that this never happened again?
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