19 Jul 2019, 10:08 — 6 min read
Background: Undoubtedly, the most important metric of a business’ success is the number of customers it can win, retain and delight consistently. Ms Geet Jalota, Director of Askgeet HRD Solutions OPC Pvt. Ltd shares how creating positive experiences for customers is the value ingrained in every successful company and is the key to creating a loyal customer base across geographies.
How do companies become customer-centric and create customer loyalty? Excellence in customer service is one differentiation perfected by companies like Starbucks, Apple, Google and Nike. Let’s understand what each of these company’s secret recipe is.
Harold Shultz mentioned in his book, 'Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time' that Starbucks not only creates a cup of coffee for each customer but an experience. Specially roasted coffee beans and the brewing process play an integral part in creating a great product, but with customers, experience also counts. That Starbucks is in the people business, serving coffee and not vice versa drives employee actions which build emotional connections.
The company relies strongly on the passion of its employees for serving authentic coffee. Their interpretation of the company’s value gives life and meaning to the brand; their feeling of care and concern for each other and for Starbucks brings customers back. That is why employees are called partners and not employees and they are empowered to go to great lengths to keep the customers happy; even if a customer were to bring coffee beans from another source, they are willing to grind it for them, just to address customer preferences.
And how does the company ensure this level of consistency and attachment across continents and cultures? Through the training which every employee undergoes. They learn not only how to make coffee, but also how to interact with a customer, know them by their name and create positive experiences for them.
Excellence in customer service is one differentiation perfected by companies like Starbucks, Apple, Google and Nike.
Apple, an American multinational technology company is winning the hearts of millions of people across the globe since 1976. The success formula you ask? Great customer relationship. Thousands of people flock to their nearest Apple stores everyday to play with the coolest of gadgets and the store associates are trained to treat their customers through five steps that are:
A: Approach customers with a personalised, warm welcome
P: Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs
P: Present a solution for the customer to take home today
L: Listen for and resolve issues or concerns
E: End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return
Sounds interesting right? The products may change but the steps remain the same and great customer service over the years has helped Apple earn the love and trust of so many people on earth today. The main aim of the company is to make people’s life better which has definitely struck a chord with customers.
For Google, customer experience is king. The few strategies they follow show how customer-centric the company is. Google realised early on that more and more people are shifting to working on their smartphones or tablets and hence started optimising the user experience by boosting mobile friendly pages.
Every day, the algorithms are updated and Google doodles are something which attract the attention of every person surfing on it. Google clearly understands that earning the trust of customers is prime and hence develops smarter algorithms to give customers what they are looking for in a click of a button.
A footwear and apparel brand almost everyone of us is aware of, Nike has reinvented its customer experience strategies over the years to suit the requirements of every customer. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive customer experience, Nike provides remote assistance and in-store services as well.
Nike by You allows customers to make appointments with style experts and design their own sneakers. How cool is that? In some select stores across the globe, Nike allows its NikePlus members to scan a special barcode, via the Nike app, inside each shoe on display to know about its features and even check the real-time inventory online and in-store without having to call upon a store employee. You can even place a purchase request using the app.
The consistency to maintain positive customer relationships requires a lot of effort. It requires building processes to ensure product consistency; ensuring timely service; and creating a memorable experience at every touch point.
Training the employees on making the coffee or selling a shoe is mandatory, but training for creating experiences is what brings the customers back.
Do share some of the practices you follow to delight customers and how this culture of creating positive experiences for customers in internalised by every team member.
Image courtesy: freepik.com
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Posted byGeet Mala Jalota
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