The Opportunity for Excellence

4 min read
Sep 14, 2023 5:06:48 PM

According to PWC, 65% of U.S. customers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. This metric reveals the lasting effect a positive experience can have. 

In the sixth episode of our series on the State of Customer Service, Denese Waiters, Director of Customer Service Advisory, and Omnichannel Practice Leader at J.D. Power, is joined by keynote speaker and customer experience consultant, Dan Gingiss. Dan leveraged lessons learned during his extensive career spanning over 20 years in corporate America, including a role he held during which his organization earned a J.D. Power award, to develop strategies to turn customers into enthusiastic advocates through extraordinary customer experiences. 

Here are some highlights from their thought-provoking discussion:

The Power of Positivity

Think about your most recent customer experience. Chances are, it was either extremely positive or incredibly disappointing. In general, customers are more likely to speak up about their extreme brand experiences - both good and bad - and often overlook or forget about their average or mediocre brand interactions. This highlights an opportunity for brands looking to stand out in a crowded market. By creating exceptional experiences for customers, brands can aid in that recall and give their customers a positive and memorable story to share. 

Creating Effortless Customer Experiences

Why do certain brands stand out from competitors? Leading brands are able to excel by integrating two aspects of the customer experience into their strategy: Voice of the Customer (VOC) and Actions of the Customer (AOC). What is the important difference between the two?  

  • Voice of the Customer involves gathering customer feedback about their experiences through channels such as surveys, social media, or customer service calls. 
  • Actions of the Customer analyze customer behaviors such as actions taken on websites and mobile apps (I.E., traffic patterns, page visits, click behavior, etc.). 

Combining VOC and AOC provides a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey offering both qualitative and quantitative insights. This holistic approach allows businesses to identify pain points and barriers for customers, leading to opportunities to create even better and more efficient customer experiences.  

Note: If organizations are going to take the time to collect data, it’s important that they utilize this information and act. It can be incredibly disappointing for customers to invest their time and energy in responding to surveys, only to see no improvements or actions taken as a result. 

The Importance of Building Customer Relationships

Today, consumers are more inclined to establish meaningful connections with the brands they purchase from, rather than merely engaging in transactions. Social media has played a pivotal role in nurturing these relationships, offering customers a convenient way to effortlessly communicate with their favorite companies. 

Many brands are now considering the possibility of offering a specialized experience to their most devoted and high-spending customers. Adopting a strategy similar to how airlines treat their elite status passengers, and providing special treatment to loyal customers can prove to be a highly successful approach. When customers go out of their way to exclusively shop with certain brands, it is important for their loyalty to be recognized and valued. 

Finding the Right Balance

Striking the right balance between making every customer feel valued and offering exclusive benefits to high-spending customers can be challenging. One effective strategy is through simple gestures like personalized greetings from hotel staff who know your name. These gestures can make all the difference when it comes to creating an unforgettable experience, and these little touches don't have to be extravagant; they just need to set the experience apart. Ultimately, these thoughtful gestures help brands stand out and leave a lasting positive impression on customers, fostering and maintaining long-term loyalty.   

Prioritizing Issue Resolution

What prompts customers to contact a customer service line? Typically, it is because their customer experience has not met their expectations. The goal of any CX center is to promptly address customer issues, in order to retain their business and build brand advocacy. However, instead of prioritizing the customer's need to speak with a live agent, many companies assess the success of their IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems by how long they can keep customers within the automated system. This approach often leads to customer frustration as they struggle to easily connect with a real person. Even when self-service options are available, many customers choosing to call in prefer to speak to a live agent. Moreover, bombarding customers with numerous IVR choices can prevent effective problem resolution, as the primary objective should be to assist customers in finding answers efficiently. 

Ultimately, customers who experience effective and efficient issue resolution often become stronger advocates for a company because they perceive that the organization will support them in case of problems. 

How Newer Technology is Supporting Customer Service

Companies often prioritize new technology to stay competitive, but they should also consider its impact on the customer experience. Chatbots, AI, and GPT can be valuable tools if used properly. However, it's important not to rush into adopting these tools without understanding customer preferences. They should complement human interactions, as customers still value personal relationships and brands that offer a personal touch. 

Final Thoughts

In today's competitive customer landscape, it's crucial to create unforgettable experiences that turn customers into lifelong advocates. These experiences don't have to be extravagant or costly, but companies must invest time in understanding what truly matters to their customers to build a long-lasting, loyal customer base. 

Listen to the episode below to learn how to develop specialized experiences for your customers.


More about today’s speaker: Dan Gingiss is an international keynote speaker who believes that a remarkable customer experience can be your best marketing. His Fortune 300 professional experience and independent client work have equipped him with the knowledge and insights to educate others in the field. 

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