Client Experience is how everything happens between the moment a prospect becomes a Client and makes payment, all the way until the product/service they’ve purchased has been delivered in it’s entirety. It should not be mistaken with Client Service, which is just part of the delivery of the product/service.
Let’s look at an example of what Client Experience truly is:
Somebody walking into your shop, finding an item they want to buy, going to the till, buying it and walking out.
Throughout that, there are many things that are part of the experience — how the shop looks, the temperature, the space, the smells and sights, any other visitors, the staff walking by, how the products are laid out and are easy to find, how long the queue is at the till, how friendly the staff are, the checkout purchase. The list goes on.
The key here is that most of these are not major to the prospects decision to buy and many are not normally noticed much at all — but subconsciously, what happens and how it happens gets added up in a little score card in people’s heads. The higher the score, the better the experience is, the more likely they are to return to the store to buy again, or tell others.
This example is of course of a physical store — but Client Experience refers to any other type of business — whether somebody is buying online, over the phone or in store.
Notice with the example the experience has very little if nothing to do with the actual product/service being delivered. Of course, if there is an issue with the product/service then this works against the benefits of the experience — even if the experience was outstanding.
But the better the experience, the less clients are likely to refund or complain about issues with the actual product/service. I’m not saying don’t focus on delivering what you promise and can paid for — hell no! Just recognise that experience can play a big part too.
But that’s not why I’m talking about Client Experience today. You see the real value to any business putting more focus on experience is retention — clients coming back for me, and bringing others with it too!
The sad truth is many businesses don’t recognise the concept of Client Experience, and those that do see it as a pointless cost — And sure, it’s not tangible or something that can easily be measured. But the better the experience is, there will be a measured increase in clients buying more, clients referring more and clients asking for less refunds when things go a bit wrong.
And Client Experience doesn’t have to be costly either — a lot of the experience comes from your team. If the concept of Client Experience can be embedded into the businesses culture, into their blood, they’ll naturally do things that increase the experience and make it better without even realising!
A great first step to getting your team on board with this concept is identifying what it will mean for them — if the experience is better, less clients refund and clients buy more and bring more business in. Profits increase, allowing more job security and the opportunities for advancement and pay rises.
Client Experience is truly a Win-Win for all — But sadly there is too much focus in businesses this day on making the sale. Sure, businesses are in it for the money — absolutely, an undeniable statement of fact.
But actually by focusing more on things like experience, businesses will find themselves making more than if they focus on getting the sale. Stay tuned for a future post where I talk about this in more detail: How To Sell More, By Not Even Trying!
The next step to getting your team on board is to get them to think about times when they were a client for a business and they had good or bad experiences. This exercise will really help the team identify with experience, because as I say it’s not a tangible, physical thing in most cases.
The third step is to give them time to think about how in their job roles they can increase the experience for clients. On this, be prepared for some people to go “Hang on, I’m in the background I don’t even speak to clients — I can’t improve their experience!”.
Every single person on your team, from the sales people, to the cleaners, to IT support and client services can ALL improve client experience. They truly all can, in their own little ways, add to the experience.
If businesses started to focus more on the experience, the lives of it’s owners, it’s team and other stakeholders, and of course the lives of their clients, will all be amazingly better!
What are you going to do to improve your clients experience?
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