Sunday, February 17, 2008

We're Talking About the Customer Experience

The Retail Muse welcomes guest blogger Doug Fleener, President and Managing Partner of Dynamic Experiences Group LLC. Doug was the primary facilitator for NACS’ Xtreme 2007 seminar and is a featured presenter at CAMEX 2008.

Doug recently offered “Random quick hits about the retail customer experience” in his daily e-mail “The Daily Retail Experience”. His thoughts are shared here with his permission:

The customer's experience isn't what we say it is. It's what the customer actually experiences. They're not necessarily the same thing.
- - - - - - - - -

The goal of a great customer experience is to create a sale and/or a customer advocate.
- - - - - - - - -

Too bad most retailers only focus their employees on the "sale" part of that equation. Creating customer advocates is like banking future sales.
- - - - - - - - -

Know what you want the customer to say when advocating your store and you can design your experience to create that statement.
- - - - - - - - -

I used to say that if you create a great store experience the sales will come. I was only partially correct. Creating a great store experience does result in some sales, but focusing your experience on creating sales results in a lot more.
- - - - - - - - -

Every great customer experience starts with the belief that a customer is in the store to buy something.
- - - - - - - - -

It's usually the smallest detail that ruins a customer's experience. More often than not it's a detail we missed because the customer was not our #1 priority.
- - - - - - - - -

It's impossible to make every customer happy. The advantage of focusing on the customer experience is that you're more likely to notice an unhappy customer.
- - - - - - - - -

I used to always put a mirror on the back of the door that led to the sales floor. Above it was sign that read something like, "You're looking at the most important part of the customer experience."
- - - - - - - - -

Waiting on customers and delivering a great experience are not the same thing. Waiting on customers is passive and reactive. Delivering a great customer experience is engaging and proactive.
- - - - - - - - -

The difference between being engaging and being overly aggressive is in the employee's motives as well as in their desire for the customer to have a great experience.
- - - - - - - - -

A great experience in a specialty store is almost always the result of a connection between a customer and an employee. If that's not happening often then the store is really a self-service store and, to be blunt, it's not that special.
- - - - - - - - -

I like to work with companies who aspire to deliver a great customer experience. I really love working with companies that understand it's the actions they take that will create a great customer experience.
- - - - - - - - -

My favorite stores are those that appreciate the fact that I'm there, not those that think I should appreciate that they're there.
- - - - - - - - -

Employees who are on the receiving end of a great work experience are much more likely to deliver a great store experience to their customers. If we focus on wowing our employees we don't have to spend as much time worrying if they're wowing our customers.
- - - - - - - - -

You can teach employees how to deliver a great experience but you can't teach them to care about delivering a great experience. That's why finding GREAT people is key to your success.
- - - - - - - - -

The best part of the customer's experience is watching them leave the store with a smile on their face and a shopping bag in their hand. So let me ask, how many of your customer experiences are leading to smile, a sale, and a high likely hood the customer will advocate your store?

Hear more from Doug in his CAMEX sessions:

Hiring the Right Skill Sets: How to Avoid Misfires and Find Your Next GREAT Hire
Friday, February 29, 2008 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Creating Xtreme Customer Experiences
Friday, February 29, 2008 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Doug may be reached at doug@dynamicexperiencesgroup.com.

--The Retail Muse

1 comment:

Dale said...

Doug has given us 17 succinct thoughts about customer experience. Very good list

-- Dale Wolf, www.PerfectCem.com