Monday, May 24, 2010

So What Do Customers Want?

Recent research from the Strativity Group, (August 2009), gives us insight into what seems to be a tough to answer question.  
What do customers  want from their buying experience? Their research found –

  1. Quick and Effective Issue Resolution. This means team members must have information and authority at their command. Make certain your processes allow and require ownership. Customers want to talk to one person who can resolve their issue first time.

  1. Common Sense Discretion. Hiring, training and empowerment are the key issues  here. Does your team know what is expected of them? Too often the “script” can get in the way of common sense. Remind employees of when and where to use discretion. Could they be reluctant or even fearful of consequences if they “get it wrong?”

  1. Employees Who Exceed Expectations. The research showed that more than 70% of customers said they are willing to spend 10% more with a business if that business exceeds expectations. Spend time talking about what this means for your customer and your organization. At what touchpoint, can your employee exceed expectations? The Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel does a simple thing that wows its customer. The airport shuttle driver offers the room service menu to guests while in transit. The guest can make a decision and place the order while checking in. Dinner arrives a little earlier for a tired and hungry traveler. A simple idea that translates to a happy customer and more room service orders.

  1. Ease and Simplicity. Are your processes designed for you or the customer? This has been asked many times so take another look at how you have complicated things for the customer. Is your toll free number on the website or are you still hiding it? How do the phone menus work to simplify life for the customer? Ease and simplicity are defined by your customer, so start asking for their insight and use it drive the changes.

Now you know what customers want, what will you do about it?