Most companies have some sort of verbiage on their website that speaks about how important providing quality customer service is to them. They talk about how their service is top-notch, A-1, best-in-class, etc. And, this used to be impressive and convincing, but the time for that has passed. We've entered a new age.
We've entered a time when people expect experiences - and consistent ones - from your brand. It is no longer acceptable for one customer service rep to give one answer and someone else gives a different answer. This is where processes and procedures come heavily into play and can be a lifesaver for your brand.
It might seem like slight-of-word or semantics, but brands really need to make the shift from a service mentality to an experience mentality. Think relationship, not transaction.
Consider how you're treated when you shop at Nordstrom. When you purchase something, the clerk walks around the counter to personally hand you the item you've purchased. No one ever reaches over a counter at Nordstrom to hand you your shopping bag - at least they shouldn't. It's simply not the Nordstrom way. When you ask someone where something is in Nordstrom, they walk you directly to the item. There's no pointing and saying, "Over there." That's part of customer experience at Nordstrom. As are their signature blue shopping bags and gift boxes.
Compare this to your experience at the local corner store where you're told that vitamins can be found, "In the back on the right," and where your bag rips before you can leave the store with your item.
You might be inclined to think that this is about a price point. It's not. In fact, price point is the sad excuse many brands make when they want to explain away their poor customer experience.
Don't fall into this trap. Brands that offer products and services at lower price points should not focus any less on creating an experience, and in fact, they should focus more. Because an experience is about the totality of what your customer feels when they do business with your company; from how they are spoken to, to your return policies, to the cleanliness of your public restrooms.
The whole point of this year's Net Promoter conference is to take a good, hard, honest look at where your customer experience program is headed. Is it helping you to do swift business in this day and time of creating stellar customer experiences or does it have you stuck in the dark ages of transaction-based customer service?
If the former, come to the conference to see how you can learn from the best about how to make it better. If the later, well, I'll see you there