When Roadworks and Customer Experience Collide

In my morning commute this morning, I was greeted by a permanent concrete barrier blocking the main road out of my area. Without any prior warning, I was forced to take a 1 km detour to drop the kids off. While not a huge inconvenience, it got me thinking, how often do we do this to our customers?

Because we know our business and what we offer so intimately, we often assume our customers know more about a specific topic than they really do. It’s the curse of knowledge and often we put in “shortcuts” or make other “improvements” that make our lives easier but Pi** off our customers because it forces them to work harder.

Even worse, is companies putting their customers on “a detour” just for their benefit. Instead of a smooth ride, they’re forced to take the longer route, often without any warning or explanation. And for what? So the company can cut corners, meet their own interests, or they just lack the foresight to plan ahead.

Like the CEO who wants to pad quarterly numbers and increase his stock grant deciding it’s a small price to pay for his customers to suffer the torture of 3rd World Customer Service.

But treating your customers like an afterthought is a dangerous game. In today’s highly competitive market, there are dozens of businesses vying for their attention. If you’re not providing a seamless experience, they’ll quickly move on to the next best thing.

So, how can you avoid detouring your customers and providing a superior experience?

  • Plan ahead.
    Consider possible scenarios that could arise and
    Proactively minimise or eliminate any disruptions.

Communicate. Let your customers know about any changes in advance, and keep them updated throughout the process.

Simple consideration can go a long way in building trust and loyalty.

And it goes without saying, invest in a superior customer experience. As I’ve said repeatedly, customer service is not a cost but one of most valuable investments you can make.

Build a skilled team with the knowledge, skills and resources to provide real support. Give them the freedom and accountability both to go the extra mile and solve specific problems and so exceed expectations.

This is how you convert one-time customers into a loyal repeat buying and promoting champions.

Just put yourself in your customer’s shoes.. and keep it a smooth ride and you can destroy your competition and become a real leader in your industry.