Friday, November 26, 2010

Your Customers’ Experiences Matter

‘The customer can fire anybody, including me.’ ~ SAM WALTON, Founder, Wal-Mart.

Upset a customer, and you lose a customer. Upset many customers, and risk losing your business.

Read about Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson blog about customer service here. By the way, the 60-year-old Chairman ran his first marathon this year in 5:02, mentored and accompanied by world-record holder, Tegla LaRoupe.
Internal customers are your colleagues. Your infernal customers can also be your colleagues. Most staff are skillful at playing dysfunctional dynamics – Blamer, Victim and Rescuers – the basis of office politics. This is an annoying and vicious cycle that propagates and perpetrates unhealthy propositions, wasteful energies, and negative emotional responses. These downfallen relationships sap us of our earthy goodness and humanity.

In the past year, you read it here about Branded Customer Experiences (BCE), a term suggested by Reeves Lim Leong of INGENS. About 16 years ago, Gary Yardley and Jan Kelly (co-creators of the Experience Orientated Management technology) predicted that in the future three things will truly matter: Relationships, Potential and Experiences. This also strongly applies to managers who wish to lead into a future of successful business, loyalty at work, and worthwhile employee experiences.

Consumer experiences matter, or they will continue to consider shopping online. We know who we are! Retailers should awake from the slumber of the last decade and focus on the sunrise of the next decade. This also applies to educational institutions, banking institutions, event organizers, hospitality, and airlines. With the capabilities afforded by Social Media 2.0 and Personal Branding, both positive and negative word-of-mouth influence can impact your fanciest, cleverest, copy-written advertisement. Give it time – you will be revealed!

Do your customers return to your bicycle shop to hang out because they enjoy the atmosphere?
Do you respond to online feedback and change the format of your races?
Do you consider a wider demographic that is more family-friendly?
Is your special deal really ‘special’ or a ploy?
Do the students you coach stay as students, and extend their invitation to their friends?
Does your recommendation and critique hold weight, or it is just a superficial judgement?
Are you representing your brands well?
Do your best staff stay?

Caveat emptor! Do more good. Be better!

Photo-credit: Richard Branson, courtesy of

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