Cashflow Issues? How to Improve the Customer Experience So That Cashflow Starts to Look After Itself…
Article by Cassie Kaddatz
If you want to ease cash flow, it helps to generate plenty of new leads and grow sales. You can do this by focusing on the experience that you offer to your customers.
Nailing the customer experience can become your biggest referral source.
Most business owners know this. After all, “the customer is always right” concept has underpinned customer service training through the ages.
But now it’s more like “the customer is always right and should be given a 10-star experience”.
So what changes do you need to make in your business to achieve this? How to improve the customer experience so that cash flow starts to look after itself?
Customer experience and cash flow
The experience that a customer now expects has morphed from a simple transaction to an experience.
This experience has the potential to persuade them to return repeatedly to you or refer friends, family, neighbours or anyone else who wants to listen.
People who have a great experience love telling others about it. Just as they love to tell people about the bad experiences!
They feel security and reassurance in knowing that someone had a great experience with you and they assume that they’ll receive the same quality of service.
As a business owner, a happy customer referring you to others by word of mouth is the ultimate way to generate new business, as well as securing recurring business from existing customers.
Cashflow then starts to look after itself!
How to improve the customer experience: key goals
The customer experience varies from industry to industry but here are some key goals to work towards in any business:
- Make a great first impression: you only get one chance at this!
- Be customer centric: before introducing new processes, always consider the effect that this will have on your customers.
- Personalise it: customers love to feel valued and addressing them by their first name, knowing their preferences, and noting which footy team they support all help do this.
- Listen: actively listening to your customer not only shows you’re interested and care; it can reveal important information. Listen to tone of voice and try to read body language, if possible, as this reveals important clues.
- Be a problem solver: when a customer provides negative feedback, rather than taking it personally and providing a standard “defensive” response, let them ‘get it all out’; offering a solution can save the relationship because, after all, a customer is usually only after a solution to their problem.
How to improve the customer experience to 11 stars
The concept of the 11-star experience is now quite common.
If mediocre is 5 stars and amazing is 10, then 11 is off the charts. It’s the experience of experiences!
No-one is saying that improving the customer experience to this level is easy but starting with the following planning steps will help:
1. Know your customers’ base expectations
Ask customers what their expectations of you are.
2. Take the time to discuss the customer experience with your team.
The insights of those ‘on the ground’ will likely be invaluable to making improvements to the customer experience.
It’s also easier to get ‘buy in’ from your team for any changes you intend to make, if they are included in this planning stage.
3. Use the information gathered to map out the customer experience with your business.
Build from 1-star through to 11-stars. Each star is one more customer-focused step above the previous customer experience stage.
Let’s use the hairdressing industry as an example: a 1-star experience is to only cut their hair; 2-stars is the cut and blow dry; 3-star is wash, cut and blow dry, etc.
4. Aim high with the customer experience.
11-stars is off the charts and, to be honest, rarely achieved by most businesses. But it’s still important to know what that experience is and to aim towards it in your business.
Now you know how to improve the customer experience, start planning for it in your own business and see how you go.
If you need some help with this or would like to discuss cash flow, business growth, or any related topics, feel free to contact us here.