How “Customer Experience” Affects Company Success
Advisors putting their customers interests ahead of their own – how’s that for a marketing strategy? Pretty good, actually. That’s the kind of “big picture” marketing that produces ROI, though it’s not as easily measured as the leads generated by a direct mail offer.
That’s probably why companies and marketers under pressure to grab more and more leads (and more after that) prefer the easy calculation route. After all, short-term gain is easier to prioritize than steady efforts that pay over the long term. But that long term figures in whether you count on it or not. Take notice.
Consider: A 2014 Customer Experience ROI Study found that the top ten public companies that were “customer experience leaders” earned a 77.7% cumulative total return over seven years compared to bottom ten “laggards” that got a -2.5% return. Less than zero? We’re talking laggard.
But what does “prioritize the customer” look like for top contractors? This isn’t rocket science. It means thinking like they’re thinking. Do you like to be uncomfortable and pay exorbitant energy bills to keep running equipment that is unreliable? Guessing not. Do you like prompt service, full guarantees, resolved complaints, ease of buying? Guessing so.
Figuring out what customers “want” is the genesis of “same-day service,” plus all the other ways you build value that separates you from laggard-like competitors. For example, these other big-name companies prioritize customers in ways that fit their value propositions:
- Something goes wrong with a product sold at Costco? Members are the first to know. The retailer is proactive about product recall alerts.
- If an Amazon customer is about to buy the same book for the second time, they have a technological way of asking, “Are you sure?” Thus, they alert customers if they’re about to make a duplicate purchase.
- The outerwear company L.L. Bean has a “no-questions-asked” return policy for duck boots that aren’t holding up – up to a year after purchase.
It all makes sense when you recognize that Costco promotes member value; Amazon is tech savvy; L.L. Bean is all about quality. The other common thread is that the expectation of a great customer experience is built by marketing and delivered by your team. In other words, it’s not enough for the copy to say “built to last,” the company culture has to deliver through personal interactions.
The equipment and products you provide are similar to your competitors. But your above-par service and customer experience is where you can leave any similarities behind. And that’s how you move from being a provider of products and services to becoming seen as a trusted advisor for the home.
What do your customers want? Pretty much what you want – quality, value, integrity, reliability, plus some extra-special touches that make them say wow. That’s the kind of success you want them to enjoy.
Take note of the customer experience through all parts of the customer’s journey. Starting with initial consideration, your prospect becomes generally aware of you, your company and your reputation. Next, it’s active evaluation (checking reviews, asking friends, calling for estimates). After, it’s the moment of purchase and what they see when you’re in the home providing installation, service, repairs and upgrades.
Then you leave, and their experience continues post-purchase as their new equipment performs as promised, your follow-through and guarantees keep them confident and your customer retention program informs future buying decisions. That leads to customer loyalty. When customers are buying more often, for higher transaction values and generating referrals – that’s an ROI that always measures up.