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Nailing that Customer Experience: Take 2
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Figuring out how to implement and succeed in customer experience is no one-day task. That’s why today is “take two” of customer experience; providing brands more insight and more thought around the topic. How to start. Where to take it.

Turn to customers: As is the case many times, customers have a lot of the answers. Brands just need to ask the right questions and listen to the answers, and of course implement these into a business model. The same is true in achieving a great customer experience. And getting this feedback comes in all forms. Of course there is the traditional survey that takes time to build and receive data, but it’s also important to use social media and even ask opinions at the time of any interaction. All of these responses will provide a clearer picture of what the customer wants during various interactions with the brand.

What if everything was seamless: Departments interacted, data was shared, and the customer felt like the brand knew them. This would be the ultimate win in creating a positive customer experience. But in the real world, much of business is disconnected. Finance does its thing, sales has its tasks, and business is done. Unfortunately, customers notice the lack of integration and this definitely creates a negative customer experience. If the brand as a whole could increase the number of interactions between departments and data and customer knowledge, the end result would be a more seamless customer experience. Imagine if a front-line employee could instantly see what a customer has purchased, the social interaction of this customer, and a birthday — it’s golden. That’s customer experience.

Engage with customers: This seems silly and simple, but it’s true. Many brands are ready and waiting for a situation to occur, but they never proactively engage with their customers. How can any brand have a great customer experience if there isn’t any experience at all? This means communicating with customers by name, providing them with relevant information that they need, and of course being authentic. Don’t think a standard brand "hello" every time someone walks into the store is going to score brownie points — the customer knows it’s in the employee manual. Instead, train employees to take time to talk with customers and engage with them to create that very special experience they want.

This is an ongoing process: The thing about creating that perfect customer experience is that it’s not a one-and-done type of project. Customers will change, their needs will change, and therefore they will want brands to change, too. This means learning from what is currently available and being able to improve on what is discovered.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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