The Customer Experience: How To Wow Your Customers (PART 7)
TRANSCRIPT: Alright, simple lesson number three. Focus on convenience. Convenience is actually good customer service. You know how I know that? Because inconvenience equals bad customer service. If you are not sure what this means, think about this, think about Amazon or Zappos and their return policy, they make it super-easy to return anything, any time, no questions asked, you can return it and you are done.
They are not accusing you of things, they are not making it inconvenient, they won’t make you jump through a lot of hoops to return it, and because of these easy returns, even places like Walmart now make returns easy. They don’t ask you a lot of questions, they don’t treat you like a criminal, they make it convenient, and convenience means simplicity.
Ask yourself as you look at your business, “Can anyone easily do business with us?” Is your website, let’s start there, is that convenient? Is it intuitive? Is it intuitive for new visitors? You’re at your website every day, you ‘re at your website multiple times throughout the day, you know where things are, but if I came to your website as a brand-new customer, could I figure things out? Could I find the things that were important to me and the things that are important to you? What about the in-store experience? Convenience by the way does not mean speed.
Think about brand-new customers, think about new customer onboarding, we call it. Is it crystal clear when I walk into your business how I can do business with you? Or is it like this, is it a bit murky? If this was my first time, can I quickly navigate to where I need to go to spend my money with you?
See, that’s what’s important, whether it your service drive in a car dealership, whether it’s a restaurant, a coffee shop, whether it’s a hotel, can I find the area I need to go to spend my money? If I can’t, we’ve got to make it convenient. We’ve got to put up signs, we’ve got to show him. Front desk is this way in words that they understand. If it’s not convenient, and I become frustrated, I will almost certainly never return.
See, these little hurdles and hassles for first-time customers, it can be gigantic. They may never give you another chance. You know how to navigate what we call customer onboarding, when a new customer comes into your business. You know how to navigate that, but does a brand-new customer know how to do that?
Think about 7-Eleven stores. If you’ve never been to a 7-Eleven store and you walk in for the very first time, could you figure things out? Yeah, you really could. A five-year-old kid could figure it out in 7-Eleven. The shelves are pretty low so I can see all the way around, I can see that’s where the sodas are, beer, there is the coffee over there, and oh, look, right in the middle there is the cash register. I think I got this figured out. I wouldn’t be confused about where to go.
How about the car dealer at the auto service drive? Do I know where to go as soon as I get there? Do people come out and greet me right away? Do I have to go figure out where to find somebody? Also other service providers like doctors, dentists, hair salons, especially you need to figure this out. People when they are coming to you for the first time, they are not sure about what they are supposed to do and they are on edge because you are going to be doing some service to them, whether it’s medical, dental or just your hair and nails.
For example, let me give you example. When you visit a new doctor’s office, this can often be an excruciating experience because the little things like having to answer the same question over and over again on different forms on the same visit, how about not knowing where to sit in the exam room. If they have areas that are cordoned off for other things, I’m not really sure where to sit. How about not knowing where to go after the exam?
This happened at our newest doctor’s office as I got done with my exam and I opened the door to the exam room, they said, “We’ll see you later.” It was a maze getting back there. They knew how to get back there, I didn’t know how to get back to where I needed to go, so I was walking around kind of aimlessly looking in other rooms. It’s probably not good for those other patients, it certainly wasn’t good for me.
Map out in your business how any new customer, might first encounter you online or offline and then how they can do business with you, and enter your business as a brand-new customer from every possible angle and ask yourself, “Boy, can I figure out where people need to spend their money? How they can spend their money with us?”
We’ll talk about convenience by the way, think about these hurdles and hassles, think about self-service. See, up to half of today’s consumers prefer self-service options at the retail level. They really do. Although it’s not about speed, almost 75% of today’s consumers think the number one thing companies must do is value my time.
Now some of you are too young to remember a time when we didn’t have ATMs, automated teller machines. You know what, we used to stand in line at the bank when we needed cash, we’d stand in line, we fill our withdrawal slip, we’d stand. It was a terrible experience because we didn’t feel, even though how nice they were at the bank, we didn’t feel that they valued our time because we were standing in line. You put in the ATM, now they value my time, now everything is convenient.
When you think about convenience, definitely think about automation. I know there is this whole thing we got even more personal with people. No, they don’t want you to be more personal, they want you to be better. They want you to be good, they want you to be convenient. I want you to automate more, not automate less.
Think about like the cable company when they have an Internet outage, all the answers should be online. Any question I might have about how a current outage on my cable company’s internet should be online, but it should be in a mobile-friendly site because we all have smartphones and that’s where I’m going to go to try to find answers. Information is power to your customers. If I can find the information on my cable company outage and all the information right there on my little screen, and it says, it’s going to be out for 45 minutes or it’s estimated or it’s this or it’s that, information is power.
If I feel like I’m in the dark, then my anxiety will grow, but if you can solve my issue on the small screen for me then I don’t have an issue, my issue goes away. Now if you are going to automate and you are going to put things online and answers, it should make sense and it should be intuitive, it should be easy. It’s not a customer service issue if I can easily solve it myself, but when you make me call the cable company to find out about the outage, is it really out? How long is it going to be out? I speak to somebody in another country.
No offense if they are in another country, but they don’t have any answers. They don’t know what the heck you are talking about, and all they how are these lines they are supposed to, “Yes, Mr. Stauning, we understand.” It’s frustrating, blah, blah, blah. No, they don’t understand. They are regurgitating something that some idiot wrote out for them, some person who thinks they are a customer service expert. They are not solving my issue, they are not getting me answers quickly.
Automate, show me the answers quickly online, let me find it for myself. Think about this when we talk about convenience in automation. I don’t know if you had a flight delay because of weather, but if you are a member of the Rewards program for your airline, often times you can rebook that flight immediately on your cell phone. If I had to rebook a flight canceled due to weather and I can do it intuitively and easily, I’m fine.
If I can do right on my cell phone and be done, I’m fine, but maybe call some number and sit on hold for just 10 minutes and my skin is crawling, this is called getting out of your customer’s way. We need to start doing that if we want to provide good customer service that people love. It’s about convenience.