Let’s start with the most basic question that I get asked when I hand someone my business card, “Elle, what is a customer experience?” It’s a completely fair question that I receive all of the time.
Customer experience, as defined by Wikipedia is ‘customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship’. Ok, Dilbert, thanks for your input, I’ll take it from here. Let me put that in non-MBA speak for the rest of us who want to actually be able to turn that definition into something meaningful for our business.
Customer experience is what happens when you have any interaction with a company. Some analysts would like to confine the customer experience to the relationship between paying customer and business, but your customer experience begins a long time before that.
The whole focus of my brand, Your Customers Shoes, looks at what is it like to walk in your customer’s shoes. This is not pie in the sky rhetoric and we are not having complicated boardroom meetings about Net Promoter Scores and Wireframes. We are talking about bare bones, brass tacks, the daily moments that define your customer experience.
What is it like to be your customer? That is the question that is on my home page and it sits at the core of what I teach and what I do for my customers. I am asking you to evaluate literally, not figuratively, what your customers go through on a day to day basis as they attempt to do business with you. Do you have a website? Is it user friendly? Does it provide information that makes them want to choose you? Are you on social media? Who are your competitors? Who would you choose?
Yes, I already know that those are tough questions. I get it. I am a business owner and nobody wants to look behind that door, but we have to. That’s where the treasure is. It’s those very moments when someone tries to find your product or service on their mobile phone, or book an appointment on your website, or buy your products that you either are or are not making the connection with your potential customer.
I like to say that first they have to find you, then they have to choose you. So, how do they find you. You take advantage of all of the free tools at your disposal to make sure that you are where they are looking; YouTube, Yelp, Facebook and more. You do not have to have deep pockets to have an excellent customer experience. All you need to do is ask yourself what it would take for you to pull money out of your pocket and spend it with your business.
Even if you wanted to do this for your business, it’s still challenging, because we see what we want to see. That is exactly why my business exists. I help customers, YouTubers, social media influencers and business owners to create a customer experience that makes their customers choose them, instead of the competition.
This blog is where I am going to keep it real, keep it simple and break it down barney style if necessary. Now, why would I give you the tools to do the job that I do for customers? Simple, I know that not everyone can afford my services. For that reason, I put out a lot of content to help business owners evaluate and improve their customer experience. I have a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, free ebooks and more.
In 2018 and beyond, customer experience is the competitive advantage. It used to be price and product quality. The playing field has been leveled, so that is no longer enough. People don’t want products and services. They want experiences and it is your job to give it to them.
I’m here to help. I don’t want you to miss those tiny moments when a busy mom goes to find a local vegan baker for her daughter’s upcoming birthday or a husband wants to buy his wife a year of car washes for her new car. I want to give you ideas and resources to make those connections.
Before we dive into any of that, we have to go back to the basics. Your customer’s first point of contact with your business, their first customer experience with your company is your brand image. Did you get it right? Could you make it better? Could you refine it so that your customers can find you and choose you? That’s where we have to start. Whether you are a new business or you have been in business for twenty years, you have to start there, because it’s where your customers start.
I decided to release a podcast series and a free workbook to help people to see that their customer experience begins with their brand name, the choices of colors that you use, your slogan, your tone, your domain name and more. I feel so many times when I am out in the world that a company that I see could be so much more successful if only they had spent, or would spend, some time refining the very first element of their customer experience.
I want you to read the workbook and listen to the podcast episodes and decide if you are making it difficult for customers to even know what you do.
I love examples, so let me close this first blog entry with one. When you meet someone, what happens? You look at what they are wearing, what they are driving, how they stand, how they speak, the colors of their outfit, whether they look well groomed and more. Then, they introduce themselves and say, “Hello, I’m Sydney.”
My point is, that much like your brand name and your logo, many people both online and in the real world make these judgements about your business based on the font that you use in your logo, the color you chose, the graphic that represents your business and more. Then they look at or hear your brand name. You don’t walk up to someone and say, “I like ice cream. I live in Baton Rouge. I am not a fan of hot summer days, etc, etc.” You start with your name. Then people make a decision about whether they want to get to know you or not.
It’s no different in business. Your brand name is your business’ name. We have to start there. Go read the workbook and listen to the podcasts and then come back to this blog weekly and let’s work through your customer experience together.
They’re your customers. Let me help you to make sure that when they search and buy, it’s on your page or in your store.
Thank you for spending some time with me.
I write simple, small business tips about creating a unique customer experience that helps your customers to choose you over your competitors.
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