5 principles for improving your customers’ lives and meeting their self-service expectations
Your customers want a great customer self-service experience. That’s the main takeaway of this blog post. But allow me to expand a little on the topic of great customer experiences.
If I were to define the term “great customer experience,” I would say that it is an enjoyable interaction that meets the expectations of customers for the price, quality and delivery. But it’s more than meeting their expectations.
What your customers really want is for you to improve their lives.Isn’t this what Amazon really does? Improve our lives? It saves us time, helps supports the relationships in our life, and removes the unhappiness of poor quality. Amazon improves my life when I can send a thoughtful gift to a friend while standing in line for coffee.
Why Amazon is the best in creating great customer experiences
I shop a lot on Amazon Prime. And if you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll soon realize that I’m a big fan. Here’s why. They provide me with:
- Confidence in buying. The product research in Amazon due to social media reviews is unparalleled. I’m certain that a product with 4 and a half stars and 50 or more reviews is going to be excellent.
- Options and convenience. They offer broad enough choices and I can very easily narrow them down. The price, while not the lowest, is generally “fair” and the incredible convenience and ease of use puts it over the top.
- Personalized customer experience. When I use Amazon, it is “my Amazon.” It is personalized for me which saves me time and money. Their predictive technologies present me with products that make sense for me. They know what I re-order frequently and make it easy for me to manage it all.
On the last point, what Amazon has achieved with personalization is what many companies are trying to emulate today. For most large-sized companies, personalization is an urgent matter that has their marketing, sales and customer support teams scrambling for solutions. Personalization is essential for remaining competitive in a marketplace where consumers expect the same great experience, every time– whether on their mobile device, laptop, or just out in the real world. Personalization is a big challenge for all companies, but especially for big companies.
And this is just part of the reason why Amazon has had such great success in delivering a great customer experience. So how did Amazon do it?
There are 5 principles at work
Amazon has mastered the complete customer experience. We studied them, as well as other excellent examples like AirBNB and Zappos, and we identified 5 principles at work: simple, beautiful, complete, predictive and leading (...and then we built our own!)
Principle 1: Simple
It can’t be any more straightforward. Simple means just that. Simple. Not hard to understand or do. Not too many parts to work with. Not fancy. Simply type what you need or want, and you find it.
Principle 2: Beautiful
Beauty is the quality in a thing that gives pleasure to the senses, mind or spirit. While graphics, fonts and details are beautiful on Amazon, it is more than that. When thinking of this principle, see beautiful as a function rather than an adjective.
Principle 3: Complete
This means having all the necessary parts, not lacking or limited in any way at any point in the customer experience. Everything the customer needs to review and understand to get what they need is there, arranged in a way to facilitate their process.
Principle 4: Predictive
This is the ability to foretell based on observation or experience. Predictive goes hand in hand with Complete. Predictive takes it one step further, introducing possibilities the customer is likely to want, along with the ability to easily explore them.
Principle 5: Leading
To lead is to guide something or someone along a way. Leading is ensuring you are linking each step on the service path to the next, for the complete service experience end to end. Every step of the way is either up, or out.
In the next blog post, I’m going to dig a little deeper into these principles. And I’ll present key functionality that can enable you to create great customer self-service experiences. Stay tuned...or better yet, use the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this page to sign up for our blog notifications by email and never miss a post!
About the Author: Don Casson is CEO of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm helping medium to enterprise public and private sector organizations to dramatically transform their IT operations. Don is a frequent writer, blogger and presenter, and has delivered over 60 webinars on topics in Service Management, including IT and shared services.