Links in the Chain of Customer Service
It has become increasingly clear that in this world of instant responses and the “I Want it Now” mentality, that a seamless experience is what customers value above all else. Whether they are attending a conference, listening to a speaker, or using a product, customers want everything to work well without any hiccups. If there are three components to your conference: food, lodging, and events it is more important for all three of them to work without any problems than it is for any one of them to be “the best ever”. Striving to be the absolute best in a given category is an extremely subjective process, and it is hard to convince every single customer you are the best. This is why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors. Everyone has their favorite. No one conference or product can be the best in everyone’s mind. However, it’s increasingly clear that if there is a single weak link in the chain of the customer experience, that is more likely to alienate a customer than having a product that is not “the best”. This phenomenon is the direct result of the world at the tip of your fingers phenomenon.
Identifying those links in the chain where you fall short with your customers can be the most important part of understanding customer satisfaction. When people rate your product on a scale of one to ten, you should be less concerned about improving an eight to a ten, and more concerned about getting a three to an eight.
A conference or product that rates seven and eight across all categories is going to sit better in a customer’s mind than a conference with several tens, but one three. One bad component can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth that might be impossible to erase down line without making significant changes, and could also make them forget their good experiences from the conference. The key is making sure that no one customer has a negative experience during any interactions with your brand, and most importantly if they did have a bad experience, ascertain why and immediately devise a solution.
This is why getting accurate, broad, and precise customer feedback is such a crucial component in allowing you to best understand your customers. Word of mouth and traditional collection methods just scratch the surface of the customer experience, and you might be missing something deeper. This sort of specificity may also result in the discovery that something small and simple is creating that one negative blip on your customers’ radar, and thus it is a small and simple fix to improve their experience. Making sure that all of those links in the chain are functional and working is a critical stepping stone towards achieving higher customer satisfaction.