Converting Satisfied Customers Into Customer Evangelists
The Buzz has featured numerous articles describing the need to provide your customers with compelling showroom and online experiences. There’s no room for average or even simply satisfied customers anymore. You need to surprise and delight. Wow. Exceed expectations. That’s easier said than done. How can you create consistent moments of magic in your showroom and consistently exceed expectations?
The most desired outcome is to have your showroom customers transcend from buying products and services to becoming brand advocates. Few companies have the type of raving fans that would tattoo their company logo onto their bodies ala Harley Davidson or have achieved the same international acclaim as Zappos that founder Tony Hsieh described as a “Customer service company that happens to sell shoes.”
Most companies fall into the cult of uncertainty. Uncertainty is defined as inconsistency that results from lack of processes for consistently delivering superior customer experience. That does not mean those companies don’t do a good job. In fact, many do, but as Shep Hyken points out in The Cult of the Customer satisfied customers do not translate to loyal customers. When you purchase something and get what you want, you are satisfied. That does not make the experience magical. It’s what you expect and simply doing what is expected does not make you different from most of your competition.
A major hurdle to overcome is to admit that your performance may not be equal to your rhetoric. Characteristics of inconsistent customer service delivery include:
- Inconsistent service
- Inconsistent internal processes and communications
- Employees are not sure they know what your showroom’s vision or brand promise is.
- There are occasions of staff dissension or lack of trust among staff members and the company.
- Employees and customers don’t have access to upper management.
- Successful practices are not shared.
- Successes are not celebrated.
- You have the wrong people in the wrong jobs.
- Employees do not believe they are appreciated.
- Training is inconsistent.
- Little to no soft skill training, e.g. how to sell, appease angry customers, etc.
- Performance reviews are inconsistent.
- Employees don’t feel they are part of a team.
- Employees don’t have the authority help customers or act independently.
- There is a culture of indifference and lack of motivation.
- The company is operationally focused instead of customer focused.
Recognizing where your showroom may not be delivering consistent customer service is an opportunity to improve and create more raving fans.