How often have you as a consumer grumbled about a not so
great customer experience?
The product or service did not meet your expectation. The
service provider was a little curt during the interaction. It
was somewhat difficult to locate the items you wanted to
purchase. The website was not very user-friendly. An issue was
resolved in a less than timely manner.
These are just a few items that can cause a customer to
refrain from doing business with your organization.
In knowing how you feel when in the "consumer mode", how
about "putting your customer's shoes on" and examining your
organization from the customer's perspective.
Here are a few ways to do this..
Put Your Customer's Shoes On and call your organization to see
what your customer encounters. Is the receptionist robotic or
pleasant and courteous? It's important to put the right person
in front of your customer. Did you know that your receptionist
or other persons answering the phone are the face of your
This initial encounter is an opportunity to make a
lasting impression on a customer. What about that other robot -
the interactive voice response system (IVR)? Are the menus
user-friendly or do you become confused or worn out? If it's
confusing to you, it's probably confusing to your customer.
Put Your Customer's Shoes On and visit your
organization. Can they easily spot your organization's signage?
In what conditions is that signage? Is it visible during your
evening hours? The next step for most customers is your parking
lot. In what condition is it? Is it well-lit for evening hour
customers? Depending upon your industry (the medical industry
comes to mind - hospitals, clinics, doctors' office, etc),
distance from your parking lot to your organization's entrance
may be an issue for your customer. Taking that into
consideration and your customer, is there adequate parking
available? What options can you think of that may improve the
exterior experience for your customer?
Now let's go inside. What
does the customer see upon entering? What about your interior
signage? If there is a receptionist available, is he or she
pleasant? (You may have to observe this behavior from a
distance.) Is it easy to locate items or specific areas within
your facility? If it's difficult for you, it's probably
difficult for your customer.
Put Your Customer's Shoes On and go to your organization's
website. Attempt to make a purchase just as your customer
would. How easy is it to do so? Were you allowed to confirm what
you were purchasing? Did you receive a confirmation of your
purchase and expected delivery date? Did you get a follow-up
email providing tracking information? Are items easy to locate
on your website? Is the information regarding your products and
services up to date? Is that information clear and easily
understandable? Is the information free from industry acronyms
and unexplained jargon? Are all of the links fully functional?
Whatever you experienced, your customer is experiencing the
same. If your site offers web chat, put on your customer's shoes
and chat with your organization. Is the "conversation" tone
friendly and upbeat? Are you asked open-end questions that allow
you to elaborate about your reason for chatting? Does the chat
person able to quickly provide the information to address your
needs or issue? Again, whatever you experience, your customer is
probably experiencing the same.
Put Your Customer's Shoes On and file a complaint. Try doing
this via the phone, website email or chat. How long does it take
for your complaint to be acknowledged? What type of questions
are you asked in regards to your complaint? What steps are taken
to resolve the issue? How long does it take to resolve the
issue? Once again, whatever you experience, your customer
probably experiences the same.
Remember, it's important to know what your customer is
experiencing when interacting with your organization. To get
their perspective - Put Your Customer's Shoes On!
About the Author
Errol has held positions as an Internal Customer Service
Consultant, Call Center Quality Manager and Operations Analyst
and understands the need for a "systems" orientation to
providing excellent customer service. Errol has also designed
customer service training programs for the "front line"
associate to ensure employee confidence when interacting with