Don’t wrap Customer Experience around Sales alone!


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Customer Experience spans the entire life-cycle of the customer. Leaving any part out impacts the entire experience.

Have you noticed how almost all talk about customer experience veers around how comfortable you can make the customer when they buy?

I had a disconcerting discussion with the management team of a company to improve the customer’s experience.  The good part was every person in the room had atleast one suggestion. The sad part was every suggestion contributed to help make the customer’s interaction with the brand memorable while they made a purchase, but not a single contribution on what could be done for the customer after the sale was made.
It’s unfortunate that most companies are blinkered to the customer’s predicament once they’ve closed a sale, which in fact is the period when the customer can help build your brand or destroy it. During the sales cycle if the customer doesn’t like your product or the experience they just walk away. Most of the time the customer hardly notices if the experience is slightly below par, especially if they are bowled over by the product (unless the sales person is particularly obnoxious). The customer has no affinity or allegiance with your brand and doesn’t really care too much about your behaviour, except to the extent that it convinces him or her to buy from your competition. Rarely do they voice their dislike of the brand vociferously.
But once a customer has paid to own a commodity (product or service), they stay with you for a much longer time during which they are now sensitive to the way you recognize and treat them. Every action and word by you is now measured and evaluated. Poor service quality or a sub-standard experience is not acceptable. They are very loud and very vocal, and can do a lot of damage to brand image, product credibility and perception of potential customers.
It is important to provide a great experience during the sales cycle, so the customer is convinced to buy from you. It is even more important to continue providing an equally good or better experience after the sale, so the customer is convinced it has been the right decision to buy from you. We all know how bad a wrong decision makes us feel. We also know the desire of wanting more. If the experience during the sale was good, the expectation is only heightened for what is to come.
Getting this right gives you the most effective marketing tool. And to get it right you need to create a Customer Journey Map that identifies and assists in evaluating the balance of experience, pre and post the sale. Effective strategies and prudently deployed budgets help to drive the experience for the entire life cycle of the customer.
Great experience gets you ardent loyalists that are unabashed advocates of your brand.

Leverage the opportunity.
Customer Journey Map – by @AnnetteFranz

Image: Still from the movie “The Walk”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sunil Panikker
Sunil Panikker is a business consultant specializing in customer service, operations and business strategy. He has honed his expertise over 30 years of experience, working in senior management positions, with companies having global footprints, and responsibilities that have been cross-functional & multi-locational. His blog shares the experience and expertise assimilated from managing customer experience across multiple diverse industries.


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