A “Magical” Customer Experience doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a commitment to learning about your customers and giving them what they want. It is an understanding that the customer experience is a journey and the work is never done. It is also a common vision shared by everyone on your team who works in your business. The goal is to provide your customers with the service and experience they expect, each and every interaction.

Even with the right intentions, the sad fact is that I see businesses failing every day. So what makes one business succeed, where another one doesn’t? Is it down to luck? Hard work? Getting the right support and training?

Take the current pandemic climate as an example. Businesses have had a real choice to either adapt swiftly, bring in new challenging policies and change how they operate under these circumstances or, in some cases, remain closed – possibly forever.

Are you, as many businesses, using the pandemic as an excuse? Are you letting complaints build up or leave customers waiting on the phones for longer than usual with the misconception that your customers will show understanding. We are all in this together after all – aren’t we?

The problem is that while customers probably were more understanding at the beginning of this lock down, I believe the sentiment among our customers is shifting now and with good reason. What do you think? Is the corona virus the latest ready-made excuse for your poor company’s  performance and blaming factors for missed business targets, revenues, turnover and lost customers?

Customers, including myself, are starting to feel more and more that businesses have had enough time to make plans, to bring in more staff to help with increased demand, or to re-set expectations where things have changed beyond recognition. Customers have run out of patience and if you don’t take that seriously, you run the risk of seeing them leave with their feet.

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But it’s not all doom and gloom. Although some businesses are doing the bare minimum, there are plenty of shining lights. Many of my clients and I see other businesses as well, have taken control and been proactive about their customer experience from early on in this pandemic. I continue to help my clients to genuinely look after both their staff and their customers experience in the process.

Here’s how we approached re-opening, and some handy tips we incorporated that your business can implement as well. 

  1. We made sure customers and staff felt safe. Their customers were fairly understanding about the new safety measures that we put in place. Although some customers probably missed the little extra taste samples that one of my clients restaurant staff would give out, they understand the reasons why and hopefully this will be back in some form soon. We know customers love it!
  2. Took the time and didn’t rush to re-open. Sometimes waiting to see how things work out will give you better access to best practices and ultimately enable better support for your customers. As soon as they were given the green light from the government to open again, we decided, in some cases, not to rush back into it and to wait and see what other businesses were doing.  We wanted time to ensure that we captured the best practices and had time to train the staff. The extra two weeks meant we would get it right the first time for our customers and staff. 
  3. We put new safety measures in place.  We included new entrances to keep the number of customers in the store at safe levels, implemented plastic screens at cashier stations, provided staff with masks, visors and gloves, installed hand sanitizer stations, used colorful floor tape and signs for social distance zones, applied a one-way system in some stores, maintained card only payments to encourage contact less paying system and for the staff to work together where possible, for frequent cleaning of the store, especially with high touch areas. 
  4. We managed the customers’ expectations. We used bright colorful professional signage (not hand written) signs, to communicate to customers with the goal of ensuring that they still feel welcome but also reassured we’re taking every possible measure to keep them safe.
  5. Invested in great teams by bringing back and finding the best staff, treated them well, and empowered them through ongoing training! With a fresh new start, we brought back and looked for only employees and new candidates who love people and enjoy making people feel happier than when they arrived in the store or answered the phone. We didn’t just hire or bring back warm bodies. We also included numerous virtual webinars and ongoing training for the staff and managers on how to deal with customers during these new challenging times. Unfortunately some businesses just winged it with little or no training at all using the same ineffective non caring staff.

It has been a pleasure partnering with my coaching clients, sharing share some insight, training and learning Disney secrets to help them be more successful during these challenging times and most of all seeing results. It’s clear from the details that they put into in their customer experience strategy, it was no accident. We put together a simple plan of action to create a customer experience that their customers love and it was a huge success. In fact, they care about their customer and staff experience so much and love the positive results they are getting, that they continue to work with me to transform their business into a Disney-like culture. Now that is Magical! Want the same success results for your business or team? Contact me today to get started with your FREE Discovery Coaching Call at info@johnformica.com.