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How a Small Episode at Starbucks Taught Me an Important Lesson in Customer Experience?

I am still roaming in the United States of America, and I am actually gaining rich experience. While I was in Ohio State Highway, USA, I saw Starbucks and decided to pick my coffee-on-the-go. After placing my order, and collecting my cup, I decided to stop at the popcorn store just near the Starbucks, in the same mall, where I was roaming. It so happened that the person heading the popcorn store was unavailable; I decided to wait for a while. In the meantime, a person from Starbucks came to the store, asked me for my order, handed me a pack of popcorn, and asked me to pay $0.99. I was a bit surprised, as the board said the popcorn pack is for $1.99.

However, the person admitted that he was not part of the popcorn store but, seeing me wait for such a long time, he decided to offer his services here. The computer showed that the price was $0.99 and he could not charge more than that, as a result, and he really did not want me to have a bad experience, as a foreigner in his land, so he took it upon him to make sure I got what I wanted without having to wait for a long time.

When I walked out of that store with the coffee and popcorn in hand, I realized two things- Starbucks indeed has trained its employees a lot about customer delight, and this man really was a gem of a person to have attended to me despite not being a part of the store.

The main intention being- they did not want me to leave with a bad impression of the country on my mind.

This set me thinking of some of the obvious things about customer service and gaining a delightful experience. I would like to share my thoughts with you here, and probably help you further how you enhance customer experience in your company.

Customer Experience Should Be Your Brand’s Focus

I realized how important it is for a brand to ensure that the customer walks out of their store happy and satisfied. Every little thing that they do is to make sure that the customer is delighted with what they offer.

As a customer, I realized that I did not hate lines that much or it did not really bother me waiting for the guy for a while but, when I received the delightful experience, I walked out with a smile.

What this really means is that a customer will wait without complaining, at least some of them would but, if they are not made to wait, then they will make sure to repeat the experience to everyone they know, and turn out to be loyal customers of the brand.

A good brand will always make sure they can resolve issues that people are facing as soon as they can, so that the customer does not really face much trouble.

What we as customers are looking for is a channel free experience. Yes, we don’t want to be limited to a single channel to raise our woes or make sure our voice reaches them.

Customer delight and experience is what really matters at the end of the day, and it is what helps you retain your customers.

So, how exactly do you work your customer experience, and how do you aim to achieve it?

Here are a few things that I believe you can do that will help boost customer experience.

Ways to Boost Customer Experience

A customer uses various touch-points to connect with the brand, and there are multiple ways in which the customer interacts and builds a relationship with the brand. For instance, my relationship with Starbucks began with the on-the-go coffee cup that I have always loved. It just got better with the services that they offered to me, and the similar experience they built across the different touch-points.

» Map your customer’s journey: You should understand your customer’s journey across the various touch points, both pre and post sales, to understand how they interact with your brand and what they expect. This will help you get data on the customer interaction, which helps build insights related to their journey. Most often, we consider only the pre-sales part but, it is equally important to consider the post sales aspect of the journey. The touch points will lead to the experience the customer has been given throughout the journey, and what they feel about the brand. For instance, I feel really good about having coffee at Starbucks because they not only offer good service, but also value my time. this is what you need to make your customers feel at the end of the day.

» Auditing the customer experience: When you plan to improve the customer experience throughout your company, it is important you consider the different departments within the organization that offers the customer experience. These departments will offer maximum insights into the customer’s needs and expectations. For instance, the marketing department works towards acquiring more customers, and they can tell you what the customer’s want from the brand in your niche. The sales department works towards filling in the gaps that exist in customer relationships. Finally, the different teams aligned should listen to the woes of the customer and provide feedback. The customer service department works towards solving the problems faced by the customers. Issues will be best known from this department, and you will know what is expected out of you in order to improve the experience.

» Strategize with clear focus: You will need to try new initiatives to keep improving customer experience. I believe customer experience is more about strategizing based on the insights, than just working your way through trial and error. You should understand what changes are needed, and how best you can work them up in your company. You may face resistance from within the company when you start working on the changes, depending on what kind of changes you need. However, if you believe the changes are necessary, make sure you implement them in time.

» Address the needs: When you are making changes, make sure to attend to the customer needs. yes, like not wanting to wait for the person to come and give me the popcorn was the need of the hour for me, there are several needs posed by the customers for your brand. You need to conscious of these needs, before you distribute the customer experience data and insights that you have collected, to the relevant departments. You need to firstly address the needs stated by the users, based on your research of their needs, insights collected and the obstacles you believe they are likely to face. If there is an issue with your product or service, make sure you address that too. Improve any quality issue that you believe your customer might have, and it will help improve the overall customer service. You can even increase the upsell opportunities that you may have by reaching out to the customers at the right time with the right products or services. Chances of re-engagement and conversions increase as a result.

Summing up

What I have mentioned here is all about the ways in which insights related to customers can help you improve customer service. For this, you need to connect with them across the various touch points, and make sure that the different touch points are seamless and in sync with each other.

However, one size does not fit all, which is why you need to work on improving your customer service, by personalizing the methods to suit your needs. I have experience in not just enhancing customer experience, but also understanding what it means to enhance the overall experience and how best it can be achieved without going through trial and errors.

If you want to discuss the need for customer experience further or, want me to help improve how customer experience works for your brand, connect with me via email or phone. I will be more than happy to connect and help you further you company’s customer experience.

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