The City of Helsinki operates public recreation facilities to serve over half a million residents in the area, and have done so for decades. Helsinki is unique in that its inhabitants have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature on land, at sea and on islands on foot, by bike or in a boat. You can go fishing, enjoy a sauna and spend the night surrounded by nature. There are not many capital cities in the world where you can be strolling down the street in the city center and be so immersed in nature.
Customer experience is a term that has been added to the public lexicon steadily over the past 15 years, and is more quickly becoming a staple for new and established companies looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets. For good reason too. 64% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. And companies are taking note.
Imagine this: You’re doing everything you can to grow your business. You’ve redesigned your website, you’re sales team is working hard, and you are indeed getting new customers. But your customer churn is through the roof, and you don’t even know if your customers are satisfied. What’s worse, you’re running out of ideas and your investors are looking for a reason to keep the cash flowing. The issue is that you’re not thinking about the big picture because you’re too focused on individual systems and interactions. You’re not thinking about customer experience. What the concept of customer experience forces us to do is look at a customer’s entire perception of your brand as a fluid and evolving thing – shaped by each and every interaction they have with it. Let’s look at the true cost of bad customer experiences.
If you want to build a customer experience strategy, it needs to be built on strong foundations which are robust enough to evolve and change with your business without needing to be rebuilt from scratch. Your strategic planning, program governance structure, and change management efforts go a long way toward building your success.
It’s a great time to shop online. Supply chains are becoming more efficient, shipping methods are getting cheaper, and now more than ever people from all corners of the world can have their favourite products shipped straight to their front door. Amazon is taking advantage of this more than any other company in the world at the moment, and there’s no sign of them slowing down.
The eCommerce Customer Journey encompasses all of the different touchpoints where a customer interacts with a company, product or branding online. These touchpoints include marketing, user interfaces, payment, delivery and the quality of the product itself. By understanding your customer’s journey fully it gives online retailers the opportunity to adapt to customer trends and develop a service that is completely tailored to their own customers.
A customer journey map is an essential tool that affords companies the opportunity to understand the state of their organization’s customer experience by outlining points at which their customers interact with their brand. By creating a detailed map of customer interactions and touchpoints with an organization, customer feedback can be compiled at each stage and relevant action can be taken to improve the overall customer experience.
What Is The Customer Service Gap?
The customer service gap, and in particular the customer expectation management gap (outlined by Parasuraman et al, 1985) is a model that encourages companies to address the difference between their customers’ expectations and management’s perception of the quality of customer service.
Two surveys are sent out at the same time, one to the management team of CompanyX, and another to their customers. The aim of the survey is the same for both recipients, to ask “What standard of customer service do you expect from CustomerX?“. Management return with an average of 9/10, whereas the customers say 4/10. This could be for a multitude of reasons (which we will get into later) but ultimately the issue remains that there is a perception deficit for CompanyX, which if not resolved will cause future loss of customers to competitors with higher standards.
Angry customers can be loyal customers too… Well, not if they stay angry.
Just because a customer is irate or frustrated with your company right now doesn’t mean that they will not be a loyal customer in the future.
We’ve all been there; Your phone mysteriously stops working when you need it the most, so you borrow your friend’s phone and when you call customer service you are placed on hold for 50 minutes listening to the same song over and over again. Most of us have had at least one similar experience and in that moment you decided that you’ll never use that company again.
Not focusing on customer retention and customer service can actually be extremely costly to a company. According to the White House office of consumer affairs, ‘it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one’
Thankfully moods change and opinions can be swayed if issues are dealt with correctly. Businesses that lead the pack in customer retention and customer service often do so by developing company-wide customer experience strategies.