Q. What is the greatest predictor of business success?
A. Customer Experience – how your customers perceive their interactions with your business.
It’s a bold claim, yet one that is supported by decades of empirical evidence gleaned from innumerable research studies by the worlds leading academic institutions and management consultancies.
In their dealings with your organisation, customers experience an array of individual touch-points, every one of which contains the potential to enhance or diminish their future relationship with your business.
A touch-point, or ‘moment of truth’ as they are sometimes referred to, is ‘any time a customer comes into contact with any PART of your business, and uses that touch-point to judge the quality of your business as a WHOLE’.
As such, everything matters along the customer journey. A customer journey that is one hundred percent experiential. A journey that is a combination of everything your customer sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, and how they emotionally respond to your product and/or service offerings.
So what does your business look like? How do you present your business to the world? What do your premises, people, website, brochures and vehicles look like? What font size and style have you chosen for letters, emails, and business cards? What colours do you use?
What’s the word on the street about your business – what are your customers saying about you? What words do they hear when you answer the telephone? How do your staff greet customers? What music, if any, do you have playing? How often to they hear from you?
What does your business smell like – clean and fresh; or stale and musty? What do your people, your premises, and your products smell like? Do you have clearly understood staff hygiene policies in place? Do you have a chosen fragrance for your business?
What does your business taste like? Do you provide good quality espresso coffee for your staff and customers, or are you still insulting them and their taste buds by serving up the cheap instant variety? Do you spend considerable time and thought getting the food right?
What does your business feel like? What quality is the fabric on your staff and customer chairs and are they comfortable? What’s the best temperature of your premises to maximise comfort and productivity? Do your customer pens work? Are all the facilities you provide your customers easy to use and operate?
How do your customers emotionally ‘feel’ about you? Do they love doing business with you? Do they share their experience with others?
On any given day, there are over 300 customer touch-points happening at your place of business; the key to business success is understanding that every single one of them matters.