Are the days of 'The customer is always right' gone the way of the dodo? With literally millions of options, are we now a species of price or does the experience of the customer journey still matter? The above questions plague small businesses every day. With margins at an all-time low, how does a business compete with the Amazon's and Wal Mart's (Asda) of the world?
When thinking about this blog I decided to look at my own spending habits to see why it is I shop at specific stores and if it is priced focused. Interesting enough I found it wasn't based on price. Be it the simple things such as a haircut, dog food or laundry soap, I will travel 20 minutes across London just to return to shops in which I had a pleasant experience with as opposed to shopping at the local shop for the cheapest deal.
But what is the driving force behind it? When running a business, you need to think about many things, but one of the key things to consider is how you would like to be treated if you were shopping in your store/on your website. What is the look and feel, how do you greet new customers? Now being from the states my idea of customer experience is far different than most of my counterparts in the office, but when questioned on a good or a bad customer experience, the bad resonated. So how do you flip that to turn your customers into advertisers for your brand and create loyalty? Simple, just care. Let's be honest, the customer isn't always right, they never have been always right, but you do need to show a bit of empathy to see both sides of a situation before making a judgement. And the customer journey is CRUCIAL, if a person enjoys the buying process with your brand they will tell their friends and family and more importantly they will share with the world via social media. We live in the most connected time in history, and the sharing of information has never been so simple, so remember every customer your engage with can be your biggest fan or your biggest critic.
So now I have a bit of homework for you dear reader, in the comment section below tell me about a good or bad interaction with a brand you have recently. No need to mention by name, but as with anything, honesty is the best policy. I look forward to reading and hopefully finding news shops to explore or avoid.