Creating great customer experiences, in a new challenging era
It’s always critical to treat your customers with the respect they deserve. But in these challenging times, you can respond in ways that really set your business apart. With some effort, you can improve your customer experience and show your customers, in tangible ways, that you’re committed to achieving the best results possible for them.
Your business has something to gain from improving your customer experience as well. In fact, 36% of companies that excel in customer experience report they exceed their top business goal by a significant margin. By comparison, only 12% of mainstream companies achieve that outcome.
Through more than a decade of working with customers as a system and network administrator and now as a technical onboarding manager, I’ve identified five keys to creating a great customer experience. You can start today to put them into practice, for yourself and your teams:
1. Listen to your customers
This is where the “we’re in it together” sentiment comes to life. You have to really listen to your customers and get to know their needs. Come alongside and learn about their struggles and the goals they want to achieve. Remember that you’re not in this for yourself; you’re in it for them. Work closely with your customers to make sure they’re on track to achieve their desired outcomes.
2. Build a great team
Every day, surround yourself with people who can come together to reach common goals. I’m thankful that every person I work with — from the brilliant engineers and architects, to the sales team, project managers and customer success managers — is passionate about delivering the best customer experience possible. From jumping on calls at 5 a.m. or 11 p.m. or helping on weekends to make sure we’re doing right by our customers — it’s that team spirit that can keep everyone moving forward and making a real difference.
3. Stay one step ahead
As the first point of contact with customers, technical onboarding managers and project managers need, more than ever, to stay one step ahead. Be aware of possible issues that might come up — and when something does, bring it to everyone’s attention early so you can present alternatives quickly.
4. Save your customers money
Customers are especially sensitive to budget changes right now. This is a challenge we must overcome by keeping projects on track and on time, and by setting the appropriate expectations with stakeholders. Transparency is key here. Always look for solutions that are free-of-charge or that will incur the absolute minimum price increase possible for your customer.
5. Weigh the real cost
Especially in this difficult economic climate, try to be flexible with those customers who are struggling financially. It’s usually worth it to lose a little short-term revenue in order to keep your customer from going elsewhere and losing their business altogether. By listening to customers and giving them the help they need, your actions will speak louder than words.
At Rackspace, we’ve been focused on creating great customer experiences for over 20 years. We even coined it Fanatical Experience™. Every day, we combine our obsession for customer success with our passion for technology. Get to know us.