This week’s theme is the customer experience. Namely, customer happiness!
Today let’s focus on the user interface of your business. The easy way to think of this is touchpoints. Sit down and make a note of every touchpoint your business has with a prospect or customer.
Over the past few weeks, you’ve heard me talk a lot about becoming a better human being. I did that because it’s how I see the world and our place in it. We owe it to ourselves and to each other to be better people. Kindness. Compassion. And all the other things that go with being a good person are critical to our business ownership and leadership. I believe that.
Yes, I know miserable people who are financially successful. They win at the expense of most people they interact with and they do it without shame. I know others who are poor humans because they have a wife and children, along with a handful of mistresses around the country. I know money is agnostic about how good or bad a person is. That’s why drug dealers are wildly financially successful. Money doesn’t care.
But people do. God does. The world does. And you do, too. Because you’ve got to live with yourself. So does your family. Those are all compelling reasons to work harder to become better.
Now, back to touchpoints with prospects and customers. Let me define the term for you – it’s every point of contact you make with them and every point of contact they can make with you.
For most of us it starts with marketing and sales. Examine the first touchpoint, which is likely going to be advertising of some sort. That’s you reaching out to touch prospects so you can convert some of them into customers.
I realize that’s a full-blown discussion – advertising – but look at it through the prospect’s eyes and feelings, not your own. What’s the goal of your advertising? You have to know. Otherwise, you won’t know if it’s working or not.
Turn of the century merchant John Wanamaker is credited with saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That was likely very true in John’s day. He died in 1922. But today most of us can structure advertising in such a way that we can measure the effectiveness.
Are we looking for leads? Sales? Sign-ups? What are we hoping to gain from the advertising? I’m looking for the specific thing you want the ad to accomplish.
This touchpoint is critical because it’s how you present yourself to the market and it costs you money. You have to get this more right than not. Be critical about this touchpoint. Ask every question you can think of. Scrutinize it 8 ways to Sunday and be relentless to get it more right all the time. The bottom line is that this touchpoint should deliver big returns that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Your list of touchpoints might include things like:
- How the phone is answered
- How the website looks (and how users navigate, including on mobile devices)
- How the emails look
- How problems are handled
- How “thank you” is delivered after a sale
- How follow-up happens
- How invoices look
- How billing challenges are executed
- How marketing makes people feel
We’re talking about every single contact you make and every single contact your prospects and customers make. What does it look like? Is it presenting your business the way you want? Is it ideally serving the people it intends to serve? Or is it ridiculously cumbersome?
“May I have your phone number please?” You give it. Five questions later you have to give it to them again. “But I just gave it to you,” you blurt out. You know why that happens. The person on the other end of the phone is going through a series of screens, forced on him by the computer program, and it doesn’t auto-fill your first answer. So the poor guy has to ask it again. And you’re hacked!
Don’t do that to your customers! Fix that stupid stuff. Right now.
Too often we assume all these touchpoints are happening exactly as they should. And we’re also incorrectly assuming they don’t make or break our success. But they do.
Get every single touchpoint right. Then keep working to get it even more right. Don’t ever take your eyes off it. Because when you do, it’ll slip. And that slippage will the sound of your customer base eroding.
No interaction is too small or insignificant. Every single one matters.
Gather your leadership brain trust and review them all thoroughly. Test them. Improve them. Train them. And hold everybody accountable for their perfect execution.
Think about your own lack of tolerance for a poor interface. If things don’t work the way you expect, how does that make you feel? How long do you tolerate it? How happy are you?
And that’s what we’re after – customer HAPPINESS. Not satisfaction!
Be well. Do good. Grow great!