The total customer experience has come center stage as a critical element in marketing and customer retention. Successful program managers know that the products and services we provide are about our customers—not about us. In order to be successful, we need to understand who our customers are, what they want, and how we can best provide it to them.
It is ALL about the customer and the customer’s experience.
Following are some key elements in creating a customer experience management orientation in your organization:
- Get everyone on board.
It is not enough to have customer service training for your staff. In an organization that truly values providing a positive customer experience, top management needs to understand the needs of the customer in a very direct way. Program planners, marketing staff, sales staff and customer facing-staff must all be on the same page in terms of thinking “customer first” in every decision that is made. For top management, it is especially important to understand the link between the customer experience and the bottom line.
- Customer focus.
Providing a good customer experience is not an activity. It reflects a culture that is shared across an organization that puts the importance of the customer first and recognizes that the customer is the most important asset you have. Protecting this asset then becomes the top priority for everyone. Make sure every member of your team understands how their work affects the customer’s experience with your organization.
- Create a Map of the Customer’s journey.
Everyone in your organization should share an understanding of how customers experience your program. Staff should come together and brainstorm all the points of customer contact (touch-points) within your organization. As trainers at the Disney Institute, noted for meticulous customer care, say, “Everything speaks.” Seemingly small details may have a critical impact on how your customers experience your program—from the cleanliness of the restrooms to the lighting in your parking lot—everything speaks. Thus, customer touch points do not mean just contact via phone or at registration or online, but everywhere your customer comes into contact with some aspect of your program. This would include social media, email, your print promotions, your registration process, the speed of your website, the completeness of staff knowledge and ability to answer questions quickly and accurately, your refund policies, your approach to handling complaints, the convenience of the formats you offer, the times your classes meet, the condition of your meeting spaces, and more—as well as the quality of your courses and programs. Knowing how your customers experience your program at every step will tell you what you need to do to make their experience the best possible.
To read the complete guide to managing a successful customer experience, visit the Customer Service section of the LERN Digital Library. If you are not a subscriber, call us at (800) 678-5376 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.