So recently I wanted to redo my LinkedIn page – something that really fills me with horror and that I struggle to do – and I got to thinking about why it is that I do what I do. I dabbled with some ideas until I finally started to question what it is exactly about Customer Experience that I enjoy.
Then it struck me: to me, Customer Experience is all about bringing back the elegance to business. It’s a way of acknowledging that we’ve lost the human element and romance. What was once a deft touch is now ham-fisted and our thinking has moved from the enjoyment of the deal to the processing of meaningless transactions.
And we know that we’ve lost it, that’s why people are drawn to brands that care about their customers’ experiences. Think about holiday destinations – everyone always says ‘oh you simply must go to the market, that’s where you’ll really experience the culture’ – we know that what has kept us together, and drawn in people from outlaying areas, in the past is the simple joy of transacting with each other!
All over the world, there are places where the ritual of the transaction is more important than the transaction itself – talk about knowing and engaging with your customer, we can all learn a thing or two from purchasing from stalls in Morocco!
So yes, back to my point, when I think of my Grandfather and the elegant way he would do business – always cards in a silver holder, never late and always immaculately dressed – I realise that this is what I am trying to do: put the pride and care back into the journey; to make the customer feel special, so that they know how valued their time and business really is.
So what can you do daily to bring back the elegance to business? Small things really, things that I try to do, things that I see my suppliers and colleagues do – after all, Customer Experience is easier to do when you’re smaller, but that’s where it begins and where we can all make a difference:
1. Always thank your customer sincerely for their business – whether it be in person, via a call, an email when sending your invoice or on your till slip.
2. Always be on time for your customer and thank them for their time – after all, it is our most valuable commodity.
3. Wish them well on important dates and events if you know when they are, and if you don’t know, find out.
4. Talk to your customer and find out more about them. How was their day? Where did they enjoy going on the weekend? This is built up over time, but builds in natural loyalty and keeps you connected.
5. Enjoy the transaction – After all, you’ve worked hard on your brand, it’s a part of you and by choosing it, your customer acknowledges your work!