Memorable Customer Experiences for Better Relationships

“Merely satisfying customers will not be enough to earn their loyalty. Instead, they must experience exceptional service worthy of their repeat business and referral. Understand the factors that drive this customer revolution” – Rick Tate 

Memorable customer experiences do not come about by chance and neither are they sustainable without relentless effort and endeavours. Businesses often make the mistake of spending huge amounts of resources on marketing and putting together promotional activities but neglect the most important asset – their employees. Memorable customer experiences do not take place in a vacuum and without human effort –employees make memorable customer experiences possible, and hence companies must invest in training and coaching their employees to ensure great customer experiences each time. A survey revealed that when employees are disengaged and not happy, the result is unpleasant and poor customer experiences.

Memorable customer experiences are what make a company, its brand, and its reputation. This is what customers recall and talk to others about – they may not remember your brand’s tagline, but will remember every effort your company put in to ensure memorable customer experiences. The challenge then for a company is to enhance employee engagement for better internal and customer relationships. Memorable customer experiences are sure to place a company and its brand apart, from other market players and resulting in positive attention from customers. Companies tend to make things difficult for themselves by not focusing on strategies that would create meaningful and memorable customer experiences, giving rise to better and more sustainable relationships. Instead, they focus on a variety of marketing tactics and an unmanageable number of strategies, which do not help them to forge better relationships with customers but rather prove to be a waste of time and resources. These strategies slow down the pace of the company, leading to delays in goal fulfilment and do nothing to create memorable customer experiences – which actually would have a huge positive impact on the business.

Consistently creating memorable customer experiences maybe challenging, but companies tend to make them even tougher by complicating them. The great part of memorable customer experiences is that they do not need to come about using expensive strategies – the most memorable customer experiences usually happen by the simplest of actions. Smiling and greeting the customer by name is probably one of the most impactful ways to forge better relationships with customers. Such instances of pleasantness and courtesy engage, impress, and draw customers closer. These ‘small’ acts would remain in the memory of customers longer than any other promotional activities or buying interactions they may have had. Memorable customer experiences happen through the tiniest of details, which lead to making them feel special and good about doing business with a company.

What steps does your company take towards creating memorable customer experiences on a sustained basis? The most basic yet critical step in this direction, we believe, is a clear and thorough understanding of the customer base – both existing and potential. The people working in a company are not mind readers and hence would not be able to put together strategies and efforts without an accurate understanding of what customers actually want and what for them constitutes a memorable experience. Creating memorable customer experiences begins with knowing what makes customers happy, what will ease their problems, what they perceive as important, what they need to make life simpler, and answers to other such questions. An understanding of these requirements from customers will make it easy for a company to engage them by creating memorable experiences for them.

As mentioned in the past, customers prefer interactions that are simple and focus on them. The easier it is for them to interact with your company, the simpler it would be for them to remember the experiences they have and they would be more willing to recount those memorable experiences before others. Memorable customer experiences are a factor of creating interactions that build an emotional connection with customers. Experiences that satisfy an emotional need – making them feel important or special, inspiring them in ways they never thought possible and other such emotionally satisfying experiences. Memorable customer experiences are those that would focus on what matters most to them and ensuring that they can get it in a way that would be impactful and relevant to them both personally and professionally.

The most successful customer strategies are usually those that come about by understanding the customer’s situation from their point of view – stepping into ‘their shoes’. While your company may believe that its products, services, and customer service are top class and would be what customers want – the converse most often seems to be true. Customer needs and expectations change regularly and unless a company keeps pace with these changes, it would be difficult to sustain memorable customer experiences, which over time would lead to dissatisfied customers ready to leave the company. Many factors together, as mentioned, go in to making customer experiences happy and memorable. A single missing element could potentially ruin the entire strategy and all the efforts of a company – great customer service delivered by energized and motivated employees, outstanding products, and competitive pricing and other such efforts must work together in order for a company to deliver memorable customer experiences each time.

No company can provide happy customer experiences on a sustained basis without each unit working as an integrated whole. Customers want and deserve seamless experiences in both online and offline interactions – every experience counts and even a single poor experience or evidence of non-alignment can lead to customer dissatisfaction and ire. Memorable customer experiences cannot happen without customers feeling connected – this connection would come about when companies ensure that they lend a humane feel to every connection. Customers expect to be able to speak with a real person if they want and share their feelings and feedback with someone who would be able to respond to them.

Companies must empower their employees to make decisions to help their customers, in the fastest and most efficient manner possible. Memorable customer experiences would happen when employees reflect the values of the company and portray the brand as a ‘feeling and human’ identity. Each experience would be a delivery of the company’s promise of great service and the better-equipped employees are to come true on those promises, the more memorable would each customer experience become. Employees should be able to inspire confidence and trust through their behaviour, if companies expect customers to provide repeat business and encourage others as well to engage with the company.

The great part of creating memorable customer experiences is that there is no downside. Even if a person does not decide to become a customer, the positive experience would enable them to send other business to the company. In the future, if they require the company’s products, they would most definitely approach the company rather than its competitors. Memorable customer experiences make a company future ready and safe. Any company can create big promotions and do a number of things that would be bigger and better than others would. However, what differentiates a successful company from others would be its ability to influence customers through small acts of courtesy and by consistently creating memorable customer experiences.

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