Social media has become the great equalizer for many brands. If you're having a great experience, you just might tweet about it. And if you're having a terrible customer experience, well...you might just tell the whole world through every social channel imaginable.
Customer experiences are more important than ever because the ability for your customers to share those experiences is easier than ever. And yet, why do so many companies fail to even think about the customer experience?
Opportunities to create even better customer experiences are everywhere, and the process for finding innovative ways to delight your customers is as simple as can be: Just be your customer for a day. That begs the question, how much time do you spend being your own customer?
Last year I helped out a friend who is building a new platform for entrepreneurs. As part of his needs, he was looking for a marketing agency to help him with some copywriting and design, and -- being an agency owner myself -- I volunteered to help him parse through the options.
The truth is, being a buyer of my own services was shocking, to say the least. I read pitch after pitch that sounded alike (and sounded just like ours...yikes!). I saw prices that were all over the place with no rhyme or reason, industry case studies that spanned from technology to hair products, and presentation slide decks that, if printed out, would be as tall as I am (admittedly that's not saying much, but still).
I was surprised to find out that buying agency services is actually really hard, and we agency owners don't make it any easier. After that, I got really honest about what it's like to be a buyer of these services, truly spend time in their perspective, and revamp our sales presentation to honestly address their hopes and fears.
Right after that we got the opportunity to pitch an international energy company and winning was a slam dunk; they even remarked that they chose us because of the approach we took compared to our competitors.
Most of the time, finding the answers isn't the difficult part...asking the right question is. If you want to create better customer experiences, be honest with yourself: It's not about you, it's about your customer. Until you truly spend time being a buyer, you'll never understand their perspective. But if you get honest about what they really need, a truly innovative experience won't be far behind.