What makes you and your business stand out? You deliver great results and your customers love you. But what about the people who are not part of your world yet? The ones who haven’t even joined your email list, or your free community group?
You might think customer service begins once someone has started a relationship with your business. But people can often have made their mind up about you long before that.
Brand and CX expert Victoria Taylor was our speaker at July’s LinkingOut Club and she had lots of great advice for how to give people a good experience. Victoria was the winner of Best End-To-End customer experience design consultancy in 2020 and described her work with brands as asking, ‘how can we be better?’ A question we can all benefit from considering.
Rather than focus on customer service, look at what you are doing to create customer experiences. A key difference is that customer service is reactive but customer service is proactive. You need to actively put actions in place to create good experiences.
Victoria said: “Customer experience encompasses everything. It covers every interaction, every process, every sale, every conversation. It is everywhere.”
Victoria discussed 3 fundamental areas you need to think about when it comes to creating customer experience:
- Points of entry
Here’s what you need to be doing in your business to create the experience you want to be known for.
People are going to share their experiences of you with others, whether they are customers or not. That means whenever people come across you, it matters that you make them feel valued.
Victoria said: “Make people matter and your brand will matter to them. Brand begins before somebody is a customer.”
And by doing this, you immediately stand out because there aren’t that many brands reaching out to people and having conversations with no agenda.
Victoria said: “We always hear [about] customer journeys. The problem with customer journeys is that they are very brand-centric rather than customer-centric. We use a journey to determine or plot out a behaviour we hope a customer will follow to get to an endpoint.
“The reality is most customers aren’t going to follow that same journey. We’re all different.”
What can we do about that?
Focus on moments.
Those tiny slivers of experience when you do something which leave a lasting impression. Something out of the ordinary that will stand out when they think about their day or are asked for a recommendation.
An email is a moment.
A social media post is a moment.
Victoria said: “It’s really important that in those moments, we’re creating really impactful experiences.”
How many moments do you have available? 20,000 a day!
How can we create these moments? There are many opportunities, but one Victoria spoke about was The Pre-Experience.
This begins before someone is a customer, from the moment they interact with you on digital media, for instance LinkedIn, or are on a call with you, or meet you face-to-face. These are all points of entry to your business.
Victoria said: “Imagine a department store full of doors on different levels, there are escalators going in at different levels, there are doors on the side, doors at the front. These are all points of entry. If the experience at any of those entry points is bad, it might as well not be an entry point at all.
“Visualise that department store. These points of entry are a great place to create moments.” Here are some of the entry points Victoria suggested you might have.
Those are a lot of places where someone can make a first impression of your business and you need a strategy for each one.
Victoria’s advice is to “protect each point or close it”. She said there is nothing wrong with asking people how they experience you so you can improve what you do.
Remember, a good attitude + good pre-experience = good people experience.
And keep asking, ‘how can we be better?’
If you would like to know more about creating moments in your business then read Victoria’s e-book, Points Of Entry Strategy: Unlocking People Experience. You’ll find it on her website www.victoriatayl.uk/freeresources. Connect with Victoria Taylor on LinkedIn.