How your customer experiences your business is the acid-test of your advertising and marketing. Whether it happens in your store, or in their home, in an instant your branding pays off or goes up in flames. The Customer Experience Factor may hold the key to optimizing what happens when your customers have a tangible experience of with your company.
Mike Dandridge is author of The One-Year Business Turnaround. It’s the story of his experience leveraging the Customer Experience Factor to take a business he ran from $3 million in total annual revenue to a million dollars a month. And, he did that in one year.
Now, Mike has created The Customer Experience Factor, a tool that provides an objective measurement of how well businesses manage the critical moment of customer contact. Mike shares some insights into optimizing your customers’ experience in a conversation with had recently.
How did he do it?
Listen to part one of my three-part conversation with Mike. In this segment, Mike lays out the basics of CEF. The remaining two segments will appear next week. (Double-click the arrow to play the interview)[audio:https://charliemoger.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/MikeDandridge_1of3.mp3|titles=MikeDandridge_1of3]
What is the Customer Experience Factor?
“The Customer Experience is almost self-explanatory. It’s really defined by how the customer feels and thinks and feels in response during and after a business transaction. Now, the Customer Experience FACTOR is simply the measurement of that experience.
We all have a kind of mental scale as customers; a measurement we use when we go into a business. Whether it’s a restaurant, or we’re buying something. We grade the performance of that business. So, that’s what the Customer Experience Factor is.
If a customer comes into your store, and they have the same exact experience they expected and leaves, it’s just a neutral experience. But, if they go in and they’re blown away, then that raises the needle on The Customer Experience Factor.
On the other end, if they come in and they have a really disappointing experience, that’s going to tip it the other way. And, those are the ones that usually cause people to talk and tell their friends about their bad experiences”
I imagine a negative score has a lot more carry power than a positive one.
“Certainly is. Unfortunately, that’s how we are.”
Most people probably take it for granted when they walk into, say, a Starbucks. You know exactly what you’re going to experience when you walk in, that same arrogant disregard behind the counter.
(chuckles) “Well, the expression was, “we have the best service in town.” And, everyone says that. If your competitor is saying the same thing as you are, someone’s lying. Not everyone has the best service.
So, it’s really broadened into not so much the words you speak as the actions you take. You used the Starbucks example, a good way to give an illustration of the way we measure an experience.
I was out of town and needed a toothbrush. So, I went to Target. And, when I went in, I had preconceived expectations of what I was going to experience based on all the other times I’d gone into Target. And, it was exactly the same. I walked in. There’s a guy at the door to greet me. He hands me a basket. There was someone walking the aisles to show me where the toothbrushes are. Checked out, paid the price I expected and left.
It was just an ordinary experience. Now, in Target’s defense, it was, of course, a wonderful experience. But, you see, they’ve raised the bar on their service to such an extent that you expect that. So, you’re not surprised. You’re not overwhelmed. You’re not going to tell your friends about it.
The challenge for businesses is, how do you keep exceeding your own setting of the bar. But, most people don’t have the problem Target has. Most people have the problem of just delivering a compelling customer experience to begin with.”
I was checking out at Wal-Mart one time. The woman at the register said, “did you find everything you were looking for?” I told her, “No. I was actually looking for that WalMart that I see on TV with the people who are ready to help me.
“Yeah. I think we’re all looking for that.”
NEXT TIME: Learn some of the 100 elements used in the Customer Experience Factor.