This episode with Yanique Grant will be the first solo episode after doing 38 interview based episodes and we will be sharing with you some tips, nuggets that we have collected over the last 38 weeks of releasing 38 amazing interview based episodes. We want to give a shout out to all of our guests locally and internationally that has come on board to support and share the wealth of knowledge that they have shared and we are amazingly inspired by each and every person that we have come in contact with as a result of starting this podcast
Today Yanique will talk about customer experience and some of the different opportunities that exist for a businesses going forward in 2017, what are some considerations that they need to take into account. Whether or not a business plans for it, your brand provides a customer experience to your customers; customers collect experiences throughout their journeys with your brands, regardless of your effort investment or intent to deliver cohesive and satisfying experiences. It’s important that your brand and your advertising and your marketing that they are cohesively connected and they are all singing the same song, we’re all on the same page, singing the same verse at the same time, singing the same chorus at the same time because if not, that’s where the disconnect occurs.
People base their decisions based on what they experience and hear about your brand, every experience you provide to your customer can provide encourage or discourage, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy and for those who are familiar with the book Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffery Gitomer, you would know that if a customer leaves satisfied from your business, that does not guarantee that they are going to remain loyal to your business and so because of that, you have to consistently deliver on quality experiences, if you’re not, then it’s quite possible that the customer will switch and customers these days have choices.
The Internet has given everyone the opportunity to do their research before they come into your business. They go online, they go to your website, they go to your Facebook page, they look at what other customers are saying about your business, if they ask their friends and family about your products, they read reviews, they are fully informed at least by 60%-75% statistics say, before they even interact with a member of your organization, so with all of this in mind, you have to consistently deliver on whatever it is you’re advertising that your company is going to deliver and that is seamlessly what your brand is all about. People like to have simple experiences, that’s the reality. Yanique stated that she loves to go to a business that when she walks in, she doesn’t need to try and figure out what the business is trying to offer, what should she do, where she should go, she knows exactly what to do and where to go.
They have this index called The Global Brand Simplicity Index and in it, it talks about what simplicity is. Each year this company called Siegel and Gale, they survey thousands of consumers from around the world as it relates to evaluating hundreds of brands and how the brands deliver on their experiences. Simplicity by definition is freedom from complexity, intricacy or division into parts. This is the definition by www.dictionary.com and it is freedom from deceit or guile, sincerity, heartlessness, naturalness. People want to do business with companies that it’s very easy to transact business with them in all the channels that they provide service through whether it’s online, whether it’s face to face, over the telephone; it’s a seamless and a simple process, a simple experience.
According to the 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index, simple to the consumer in 2017 means being clear, it means being human and it means being useful. It’s is powerful and if those are the 3 things that simplicity means, it means that in everything that a business does, they need to figure out, “Is this process clear, is this product delivery or service delivery human and are my consumers valuing this experience as being useful?” because if you’re not meeting 2 or 3 of those options, then you are loosing out on all of the money you are leaving out on the table for not creating that simple experience for customers, so we cannot implore enough why it’s important. It is so important as well for your brand or people that interact with your brand to recognize that you are real, a lot of companies say in their marketing advertising that, “We are offering quality service, our customer service is the best, we take care of you.” They use all of these endearing terms that when you listen to the advertisement whether it’s on TV or on the radio, you feel a sense of emotional connection, however, when you go to the business and have the interaction – it’s a completely different experience, so your brand is what people feel and say it is, not what your brand believes or says it is, “Perception is reality to the person that perceives it”, this is a popular quote that she gives in all of her workshops all the time. A lot of people believe that service delivery or the service that they offer is based on what they feel it is and it’s not what you the company feels it is, it’s what the customers says it is, it is their feedback, it’s their perception that matters, that’s what determines whether or not you’re a great or a good company, so your brand is owned by the customer not you, it is created and fashioned in the minds of your customers and prospects. You are what they think you are or what they hear from others, sometimes people form a perception of a brand just based on what their husband says to them or what their girlfriend says to them or what their co-worker says to them, they have never interacted with the business before but they are basing their thoughts or giving feedback to other people based on what someone else said, with that in mind, you have to remember that your brand is what others say it is. What your brand does is more important than what it says, action speaks louder that words and because body language is 55% of the communication process, it’s so important that your leaders, team members, everyone is walking the talk, your brand will be ultimately evaluated by it’s customers and what it does for them, not what it says in the ads, emails or on its website, so again, if your marketing is not congruent with the actual experiences that your customers are having, then at the end of the day, it’s not what you believe your service experience is but is what your customers are actually experiencing.
Brands that cannot retain customers, they just won’t win in this world that we are living in, if you are not able to really recognize that the customers that you have currently are your gold mind, those are the ones you need to be nurturing and ensuring that they’re satisfied, ensuring that they want to come back, so that they can go out there and be evangelists of your business, then you lose right there, as said before, it’s money you’re leaving on the table, so your brand, acquiring customers is a costly activity, it requires you to go out there and tell people what you’re about and spend money to woo someone that you really don’t have a relationship with, rather you could be nurturing and building up existing relationships and having those persons woo people you are trying to get because it would be an easier sell because that customer who you’re trying to get would be persuaded by someone who has had an experience with your business and the acquisition of that new customer would be based on what that existing customer shares with them.
Brands that cannot motivate their customers, to share positive sentiments will ultimately diminish the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. The aim is to ensure that when your customers leave your business, they feel like they’ve just done business with the best company on earth, if you cannot absolutely say that, then it means that there is room for improvement. People trust each other more than they do brands and word of mouth is a powerful force for improving awareness and consideration, that’s why social media is so powerful, there are all these brands out there that basically, you can go online and you can read up about where you’re going and what kind of experience to anticipate, you can even get a rating and so if your customers are not speaking positively about your business, even if you have the most upgraded building, the best uniforms, the mission and visions on the wall, state of the art technology, state of the art equipment, machinery, if the experience is not congruent and people are not leaving feeling like they are valued and appreciated, then you are definitely going to experience a diminishing return in the long term.
Your brand can’t be all things to all people, customers have different needs, expectations and values so the better your brand can understand and reflect these through focus, segments, personas and personalization, the more powerful the experiences it can deliver, you have to know who your customers are, what’s your marketing segmentation, who represents that 80% of your business, what 20% of your customers gives you 80% of your business and how can you have those 20% become evangelists of your business so that you can continue to increase on that percentage. It’s a work in progress but it’s possible, it’s all about making that experience very simple.
You listen to your customers to understand them, marketers spend a lot of time and money studying what gets people to buy too often and sometimes they ignore what gets them to be satisfied, loyal and willing to tell others, listening is important in the whole customer experience process and the voice of the customer programs are essential to defining and measuring customer experience performance. When you hire someone like Yanique to train your team members or hire her company to do market research, it’s very hard to see a return on investment the following day and that’ what a lot of businesses fail to realize that customer experience is a very tangible measurement and because of that, it’s so important to continually be engaging and hearing from your customers because if you’re constantly getting positive feedback and recommendations that you get from customers are actually improving on them and customers can see that their feedback is not just being put in a box and no one is taking it into account but they are actually using it to make changes, then that’s when you see repeat business over and over.