Walking in the customers’ shoes

How often do you view your business as the “Customer?”  In this day and age, it is vital to ensure your customer journey is one you would be happy to go on.  Customers who have had a negative experience are more likely to get online and leave an unflattering review than a positive one, and more likely to look elsewhere next time they need help.  Think about how many times you have read online reviews before dealing with a business?  A report has shown that 86% of consumers let a negative review affect their decision.

You may think you know what your customer experiences, but perception truly belongs to the customer. It really doesn’t matter what you think, all that matters is what the customer thinks.  Can you remove the blinkers and take the necessary steps required?  Here are some tips to get you on the path to walk like a customer.

Be the customer

Whether you supply directly to the customer or a third party, customers pass through many channels.  Your customer should not need a GPS to navigate their way through. Start from the beginning, pick up the phone and call your business, get online and see how easy and “customer friendly” your website is.  By truly understanding the expectations and experiences of your customers can you identify the ways to exceed them.

Understand the ‘real’ customer journey

Focus on the being the customer and not making excuses for your internal processes. A customer doesn’t know the ins and outs, so you need to forget everything.  If you can’t remove yourself that easily then ask someone external to your business to go on the journey for you. Also take advantage of data available of website visitors to help give a full picture.

 Talk to your people

Are your staff given the right tools? Internal processes and systems are very important to ensuring your customer journey is a smooth one. Talk to your frontline staff as they are vital to your journey. They are often the first or only experience a customer has with your business.  If staff are frustrated with the operating system or data management, this may reflect to the customer.  Customers don’t want to hear there is a system error or some other computer related excuse. Can staff access the correct information quickly and efficiently or is it simply just letting everyone down?

Why are you taking the journey?

What is it that you want to achieve from taking this journey.   Are you wanting to improve internal processes or implement a new system? Have you had negative feedback or reviews? Whatever your reasons are, have a clear map of your journey. You may be surprised at what you thought and what you experience.

Walking in the customers’ shoes is a relatively easy process, so it’s surprising that it is so often overlooked.  We spend so much time trying to get the customer in the first place so why wouldn’t you do everything possible to ensure they will come back again.

Perhaps your walk will be a pleasant one and perhaps not, regardless of the outcome you have now taken the journey and should have a grasp on what needs to be actioned.  We get extremely focused on our view of the world but take time to view your world as your customer and you will realise that what you may see as a customer can change the entire focus of the company.

 

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