How Do Customers Define the “Experience”?

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 20-07-2007

Heartfelt Teddy

A recent survey of customers by the think tank group CustomerThink tells us what is important to customers when it comes to the customer experience.  The top five responses, in order were as follows: 

  1. Well-trained and helpful employees
  2. Excellent Customer Service
  3. High Quality Goods and Services
  4. Friendly and Caring Employees
  5. Personal Attention (recognition for being a loyal customer)

Some companies utilize loyalty rewards or a points based rewards system, but that only rewards the behavioral loyalty.  I have expressed my opinions about this previously.  Although there is some value in these programs (only when they create real loyalty) most of them are not ran properly nor do they create anything that really rewards the customer in a way that is constructive to building new business much less creating a meaningful experience.  What these programs do not create is an emotional connection. That is the area where real opportunity lies.

Customers are just like other people in that they want to receive personal recognition. Especially for long term loyalty to a business.  Many customers feel they don’t receive anything ‘extra’ for being loyal to a company for ten, fifteen or even twenty years.  Therefore it isn’t enough to just say “thank you” to your customers, it is necessary to express your sincere appreciation for years of loyalty in more meaningful ways such as extra discounts, free goods or some other form of heartfelt recognition.

In a perfect world you want a rewards program to stimulate buying, unfortunately in our world that isn’t always the case.  The most successful people, and/or companies, that can accomplish this in more natural ways will continue to harvest the loyalty based repeat business.  This kind of loyalty comes from recognizing the real value the customer brings to your company and relating that gratitude in a heartfelt, personal and sincere manner.

That’s brings us back to the relationship, doesn’t it?  Sincere relationships create emotional bonds, that kind of loyalty can’t be rewarded with a points program.  Have you “hugged” your customer today?

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