Customer Experience is Branding – Part 2

In the last blog, “Customer Service is Branding” I wrote: “The more work required of customers, the less sales return you will realize.”  Let’s add to that: “If your customer has a bad experience, you’ve wasted your time and money to get them in the door, and then you have opened yourself up to brand damage.”  Customers are the reason we are in business, and they are in control – make it a great customer experience for them!  To explain this point, I’d like to share Part 2 of some good and bad customer experiences, and the results:

AD – Be able to deliver to get my money, and earn repeat business.

I saw an ad in a Macy’s catalog in the Sunday paper, and went online to order.  The sales prices weren’t listed, so I called the phone number listed on the website.  After ten minutes of being interrogated about the ad, and continually being put on hold, they made it sound like they were doing me a favor by honoring the advertised price, and finally placed my order.  At the end of this lengthy process, I provided the 10% code that was promised online, but since it was a phone order, I could not use the code.   The agent put me on hold again, and then offered a store 15 miles away that I could drive to and pick up to buy at the advertised sales price, along with the 10% off.  She stated that she could also provide their phone number, and then asked if I had a few more minutes to complete a customer service survey.  I politely said that I didn’t think that would be such a great idea.

Results: During the time I was on hold, I found the merchandise at a better price, completed the transaction, and found a new business to replace them.  Not only did they lose money, but they wasted their time, and my time.  On top of that, they offered a cumbersome solution which I’ll definitely remember the next time I think of this brand.

CAR WASH – Make problem solving easy for me, and I’ll be back.

I went to a car wash that offers a discount if you get your gas tank filled.  While the gas was filling, an employee looked at my windshield and offered to fix the crack at no charge if I had insurance.  It was simple; they will give me a free car wash, and call the insurance company while I’m waiting for my car to be washed.

Results: Not only did I get a free car wash, but they solved a problem, and provided value added services.

WEBINARS – If you send three emails, don’t you want me to join in?

I signed up for a webinar, and they sent three emails to remind me to join in with a link.  When I clicked on the link, the error message said: “Sorry that link is not valid.”  On top of that, there wasn’t any support number to call, or any further emails.  If they had focused on getting the link right vs. sending emails, this could have been avoided.  In addition, if they had monitored the situation, and seen that no one had logged in, they could have sent an immediate email to enable us to join in since I had blocked that time out in my schedule.

Results: I don’t trust, or like that business.

So, instead of running out the door each week to try to meet new customers, how about putting on your customers’ shoes and walk in them for a week to see what work you can reduce.  How can you improve your systems to provide the absolute best in customer service in the most friendly, and efficient manner to create customers for life, AND generate referrals!

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