Being a business owner is a challenge for a variety of reasons but meeting customer expectations in our current digital age is definitely at the top of the list. Research shows that 75% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated. This perception has led companies to invest in putting their customer’s experience first, especially since up to 60% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.
Kari Chunn, Regional Vice President of the Better Business Bureau Middle Tennessee, presented tips on how to create optimum customer experience at our March luncheon. Kari summarized the different facets of communication, both verbal and nonverbal, as the key to building trust and loyalty customers. Truly listening to the consumer’s need and using their name when responding will establish empathy and set a positive tone for the relationship moving forward. She listed the following as additional suggestions for winning customers:
- Be honest about the risk
- Stand for something
- Deliver random acts of kindness
- Show appreciation
- Don’t forget your happy customers
One of the main points Kari wanted to emphasize with our business community is that “any company is only as strong as the people who bring it to life.” She reiterated that “companies do not create products, deliver services or solve problems; people do…a business’s power is its people and that is you and your employees.” Customer retention starts with the first communication a business has with a customer and continues through the entire lifetime of that relationship. Therefore, everyone on staff must be trained on your expectations for customer interaction.
No matter your position or career, everyone has influence and it is up to you on how you choose to use it. Kari included a poignant quote by Thomas J. Watson, “The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it is very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.” Everything we do has influence on those around us and ultimately changes their perception of who we are and what we stand for. The Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing our members with resources that will positively influence our business culture to create a better Spring Hill.
Rebecca Melton, Executive Director
*Statistics provided by Kari Chunn and the Better Business Bureau