In my experience, shifting your business to be more customer-focused is a tall order. Customers are demanding, and there isn’t one thing you can do that works for every client. Some will like it, and some will hate it. It is just the nature of people. However, the time and energy spent on developing a customer-focused system are all worth it when you get a message from a client who tells you they appreciate the effort made to create that experience for them. It is a rare moment but always worth it.
I want to share my (failed many times first) approach to creating a more customer-focused experience that we use in our business. This is not the answer, nor will it work for everyone, but we have found a good rhythm using these principles to improve our customer experience here at Smiledog.
Be Your Customer, Everywhere
Your business has more than one customer-focused experience, and you must constantly monitor them to ensure they reflect the experience you want to create. This is one thing I do regularly. All of these are customer experiences:
- Ad experience
- Landing page experience
- Website experience
- Social media experience
- Sales experience
- Onboarding experience
- Customer support experience
- Client issue experience
- Cancellation experience
The list could honestly be 10 times that length, but you get the picture. What I am trying to highlight here is that each moment a customer has with your business is an experience, and you need to consistently make sure they reflect your brand’s identity.
I enjoy doing this mainly because it’s my chance to play with our business. It keeps me creative and stimulates my mind to improve. I have finally accepted that these experiences will never be perfect. I find joy in discovering the missing piece because that is the chance for innovation and to improve the experience for our customers. Take pride in where you are now and be diligent in making sure you are always looking to improve.
Don’t Change It All for One Client
This scenario may hit home for a lot of business owners. That difficult client who is always the first to let you know you’re doing everything wrong, they try to tell you how to serve them because they “know” better than you. Don’t worry—they don’t.
The key to this is striking a balance between serving the client and your business. More often than not, these situations are more of a personality clash rather than a problem with how you’re delivering your service.
In my experience:
- I let them unload and take the brunt of the issue head-on. It’s only personal if you choose it to be. It is you and your client working together vs the problem. Not you vs the client.
- I try to listen and look for the true problem. Get underneath the complaining and try to narrow down where the frustration is coming from.
- Get a solution that doesn’t compromise me or the business. If there is pain, people want it gone. The solution can certainly cater to that client but never upend your entire system to appease them. Confidently serve your clients, don’t be run by them.
The Customer Isn’t Always Right
I actually can’t stand it when people say the customer is always right. If the customer is always right, why did they come to you for help in the first place?
Most of the time, customers don’t know what they want and are looking to you for the answer. Solve their problem with ease, and you have a happy customer.
When is the customer right?
When the promise you made is no longer being kept. If your service or product quality has declined and is negatively affecting the customer, you need to make sure you do everything you can to turn that interaction into a positive experience.
When you make a mistake:
- Own it.
- Find a fix.
This goes back to being your customer. Creating a positive experience around a negative event is a crucial part of your company’s reputation. The effort to make that customer happy now is always worth it in the long run.
Your customer experience is unique to your business, and certain things will work better for you than others. Be your customer whenever you can, stay disciplined and confident, don’t change it all for one client, and remember that you are the expert and the customer isn’t actually always right. And if you need some help managing the day-to-day with those clients, we’d love to help! find out how we can right here: Smiledog.
Only 7.5% of the world’s 7.75 billion people have chosen the path of entrepreneurship. Be confident in the fact that you are a rare breed, and you know what you’re doing!