What constitutes a good customer experience can feel subjective. But your customers have clear ways of letting you know how yours measures up.
In your quest to consistently deliver remarkable customer experiences, an important question will often pop up: How do you know if something is remarkable?
Sure, you have your own internal standards of what "good" looks like within your company. Ultimately, however, your customers will have the final say as to whether or not a product, service, or experience is swoon-worthy.
As such, it's good practice to get comfortable with experimenting and trying different approaches until you find the essential elements that wow your customers over and over again.
As you test different initiatives, look for one or more of the following signals from your customers that what you created for them was, indeed, remarkable:
1. They tell you.
Last week, I was a guest lecturer for a course on diversity and inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania. Leading up to the session, I was super nervous about presenting my ideas in a new format.
During the question and answer section, students started telling me how much they'd enjoyed what was presented. They gushed about how many notes they had taken, and how they planned on using this new information when they left the classroom.
This unsolicited feedback about the experience I delivered was a clear signal to me that the information and the format were both a hit.
Some people won't give you any feedback, no matter what you do. But there will be a group of others who will go out of their way to make sure you know the positive impact and impression what you delivered had on them.
What if you create something you think is great, but it's met with the sound of crickets? That's valuable feedback, too. Your handiwork hasn't quite reached "remarkable" status yet.
2. They spread the word.
We live in an age where people have no problem sharing. They especially share the things that move them.
Earlier this month, a lot of my friends were captivated by the Royal Wedding. They shared articles about it, what they thought about every detail of the wedding, photos of themselves getting up at the crack of dawn to watch, video clips of different elements of the wedding, and much more.
When your customers are delighted, they will voluntarily share it with others.
Whenever I encounter a business doing something remarkable, I can't shut up about it. I post about it on social media, I'll tell my crew in person, and I'll often write about it. I'll shout far and wide to let folks know, so they can get a dose of the goodness I experienced.
You know you're onto something that resonates when you peruse social media, YouTube, and other channels and see your customers raving about you. If your business isn't the kind that people talk about publicly, don't fret: If you consistently get referrals from past clients, you're on the right track.
3. They come back for more.
Repeat business is the best signal that you're doing extraordinary work. Your customers have an abundance of choice available to them, so if they forsake other options to come back for more of what you have to offer, you've left a positive impression. Double down on what you're doing.
If you get a bunch of new customers only to never see them again, you have a leaky bucket. At least one element of your customer journey doesn't give your customers a compelling enough reason to come back. No bueno.
Your goal should be to make your brand such an integral part of your customers' lives that they hyperventilate a bit at the thought of not having you in their world. You can do that by delivering products, services, and experiences that are so remarkable that they induce at least one of the reactions noted above.
Start tinkering with elevating the moments and experiences your customers encounter throughout every area of their journey with you. In time, you'll get the kind of feedback from them that will let you know when you've created something that is outstanding.
SOURCE: Sonia Thompson for Inc.