Good to have you back! Good to have you back!
Last week we focused on the customer experience. We also looked at three major factors that influence a purchase. This week, I’ll be giving you a few more practical scenarios that put these points into perspective. Back to Heidi.
A Customer-Centric Atmosphere
I watched a well-trained shop attendant help Heidi relax by sharing a joke; thereby making the buying experience fun. Heidi was impressed by her product knowledge and advice on suitable colours and accessories. But more so, she was impressed with the way she was being treated: as someone special and important. The shop attendant asked useful questions, listened intently and displayed an understanding for Heidi’s needs. Once again, we have another occasion of a Happy Heidi.
Something else I notice is how Heidi’s mood is affected by the lighting, the colours, the textures and the music around her. These factors play a role in modifying price considerations and help drive her emotional intent to extremes of either a shopping spree, or a quick exit.
The Social Aspect of Making a Purchase
Let’s now watch Heidi go shopping at the organic produce markets—a short event she frequents on Tuesdays and Saturdays. She goes there to enjoy the social engagement with like-minded people, which is something she won’t find anywhere else. I watch her face light up when she is cheerfully welcomed into her favourite restaurant by wait staff who are visibly happy to see her again. It’s not surprising to learn that Heidi spends more on these occasions. This may explain why she prefers websites (nothing more than an online representation of a shop) where she can read the testimonials of others. These reviews help her form a decision on whether or not she should buy.
How to Make up for an Occasional Lapse in Service
I’ve also watched Heidi tolerate a lapse in service from a business with which she has a good relationship. No business can be perfect all the time. But your business needs to be exceptional most of the time, so that when you DO lapse in service, you can quickly recover Heidi’s goodwill. Your goal is to keep her as an advocate for your service-dominant company. An ability to quickly and enthusiastically resolve Heidi’s problems will help drive your levels of Customer Engagement sky high.
How to Create a Family of Advocates
While managing the Nissan Motor Parts Division in Australia, I would regularly utilize my lunch hour to take over the customer service desk. While there, I would hear firsthand about the problems our customers were having. On one occasion I had a distraught family almost in tears—their carefully budgeted travelling holiday on the verge of being shattered. They needed fuel pump for their vehicle which would take a week’s delivery from Japan. How would they enjoy their holiday without a car? But tears turned to joy when I gave them my top-of-the-line company car to use until the fuel pump was flown in. This turned a disaster into a family of advocates. In addition to this, my customer-centric approach was visibly demonstrated to my staff.
Make More Money with Happy Heidi
Remember the importance of loyalty. By decreasing your customer defection rate by as little as 5%, you can double your profits. Why?
● Loyal customers are repeat buyers.
● Loyal customers are likely to spend more with you.
● Loyal customers become your advocates and reduce your advertising expense.
● It is between four and nine times cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to gain a new one.
So as we’ve seen, smart business people around town treat Heidi like gold. In a tourist town, it’s so easy to serve people on the basis that they are only there for a week or so—and then quickly replaced. But these people go back home with their memories and share their experiences with others who are likely to visit Bali. They can be advocates or critics, and are sure to share their stories on Trip Adviser and Facebook.
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep Business Builder Community Pte Ltd
Singapore ACRA Business Registration Number: 201424522Z
80 Kitchener Road #09-09/10 Singapore 208539