Businesses have specific goals set (we hope) and daily practices to achieve them. They’ve built and taught a company culture that’s embedded into their employee’s heads. Their sales process, customer service, and marketing/communications have each been built around, well, the company. But what happened to molding your brand around your customers and their experience? What happened to the thinking of (as cliché as it may sound), customer first?
The always-smart words of Amber and Chris brought about this thought with their two varying customer experiences. A synopsis to their stories: Amber gave a raving review about her dentist (and spa) and how they not only treat her as a person, but have done many things to make the idea of going to the dentist, bearable. They’ve built a setting that’s far from the norm, and it works, because the focus is on the people. On the latter side, Chris went on a short rant about his dying Macbook and how Apple forces customers to make an appointment with them online. Problem here was, well, Chris couldn’t actually get on his laptop because of the MB issue. So, he either finds another computer to make an appointment on or go in-store to do so. Online processes are typically fast and seamless, but it isn’t always the best case for all customer issues.
These two stories are on opposite ends of the customer rope but what stuck out to me even more was the thought of – convenience vs. experience.
Your company has goals in mind and probably already has a process in how business practices are performed. You learn from your environment and what is preached in boardroom meetings and company lunches. You’re taught this the minute you step foot in that company. The bottom line ends up being that all projects and campaigns are done from the eyes of the company. Understandably, it’s easy to think that what you and your team have just created is revolutionary and that your customers will see you in a brighter light than before. Trust me, I’ve been there. The setting where a great product is built but specifically resonates with what we see as an awesome feature, and what we deem as convenient – to implement and utilize.
Then something clicked. Why the hell aren’t we thinking about the people who are actually going to be using it? Shouldn’t we focus our product around the consumer, how they use it, and the type of experience they have with our company? Which leads me to the other side of this story:
This word can be had for several meanings but what we’re looking at here is YOUR experience; how you felt towards a certain company, product, or dentist. What did they do to make your purchase or visit not only a success, but also spectacular?
Many of us have had extraordinary experiences like Amber has with her dentist office, though there are still many who have yet to do so. There’s an opportunity for many businesses to differentiate themselves and provide that special experience that most other businesses don’t offer. Something that makes you remember them for their customer care and realizing it comes first with them.
But how do we separate convenience from experience? How are companies doing it right and how can others learn from them?
I’m leaving this one open to you guys. Let me know what you think.