Companies spend millions of dollars on big-data market research in a bid to unravel the mysteries of marketing. At the same time, negative customer experiences persist, with devastating results – as of 2012, 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience, while 60% said they would pay more for a better experience. What gives?
The short answer: Companies are not seeing that it’s the small things that affect consumer behavior the most.
Meeting Higher Expectations
Customers nowadays have higher expectations. The market is saturated with millions of companies fighting for overlapping market segments, and the customers know this. They are bombarded by advertisements displaying the same products in different manners day in, day out. When they fork out money for your product or service, they expect it to be good – that’s a given. What makes them come back for more is the experience that goes above and beyond the basic product or service – above the average, and no less.
And it’s the small things that can create the wow! in the customer experience.
Going the Second Extra Mile
Some companies know this well, and perform extraordinarily. Take the American fast food chain, Chick-A-Fil, for example. Cheryl, from Service Untitled, describes customer service at Chick-A-Fil as such (bolds are mine):
It’s not the extra mile of service franchises bring to Chick-fil-A; it’s been described as the second extra mile. It’s where new franchise owners can take up to a year to come aboard. They have worked in the restaurant, gone through countless interviews, involved their families in the business, and identify with corporate values. All Chick-fil-A’s for instance, are closed on Sundays as a day of rest and prayer. While it’s not mandatory to be Christian, all owners must have demonstrated a special passion, humility, and genuineness Cathy finds mandatory.
When other companies are going the extra mile in customer service, what’s the next logical step? The second extra mile, of course – and clearly, people are noticing it at Chick-A-Fil. The Chick-A-Fil brand has gone a level above the rest – and once a customer has experienced such amazing service, it is hard to go back to the same, old, average service that is usually seen in other places.
And Customers Will Start Talking (In a Good Way)
We all know how bad customer service can make internet waves. When customers get the short stick at any company, they not only get angry, they get even online by spreading the word to everyone and anyone who will listen – and that is a lot of people on the Web. But imagined if the internet worked in your favour?
First, though, you have to give them something to talk about – and the best way to do that would be simply to exceed their expectations. People love to spread good tidings on the Internet, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, or even blogs. Go out of your way to create a good experience for your customers, and you can be sure that they will pass on a positive message.
The Cherry is Cost-Effective
Obtaining big-data is expensive, and hard to obtain. You would do better, in a far shorter time and with less costs, by focusing on the small things. With the power of communication technology, you’ll be surprised at how far that small gesture can go in impressing potential clients.
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