You know what I have observed about entrepreneurs?
They deliver an experience based on who they are.
There is nothing more organic than how a passionate entrepreneur creates experiences for his or her customers. The experience is based on the entrepreneur as a person – and often reflects that in spite of their best efforts!
But customer experience will drive the success of the business, and like it or not, if you plan on scaling your business at all, it means asking yourself some critical questions about the actual experience you want to design and deliver.
Design your ideal customer experience by asking and answering these five key questions.
1. What promise are you delivering?
When you first start your business, you are delivering on a promise. What is that promise? Your brand is a promise, so live up to it. If you are promising convenience, then by golly make everything about your experience as convenient as possible. If you are promising to overcome an obstacle, then make sure everything helps your customer do that.
2. What is the customer getting out of this?
Ask yourself this question when you are wearing your marketing hat. Too often, entrepreneurs get so excited about their product/newsletter/app they honestly believe what they are putting out there is super exciting! (Pro tip: it’s not.) Your customers are seeking value. Ask yourself this question every step of the way to ensure you are delivering something of value to them.
3. What do you want your customers to feel?
Examine your customer journey from start to finish. What do you want them to feel every step of the way? No, really. Don’t say “good” or “happy.” Think about this one. Is it relieved? Is it cared for? Is it a little better about a bad situation? That’s ok. Now think about what kind of small moments in the journey will help them feel that way. Then create actual process and training around that.
4. How should we reward those who are loyal and happy with us?
If you only offer perks to those who are new, you are missing a golden opportunity to create lasting and meaningful relationships with those who are potentially advocates for your business. Look for ways to say thank you and respect those who are loyal.
5. How do we say welcome and goodbye?
The first 90 days of your customer’s relationship are vital to setting the stage for a lasting relationship. And how they exit can have a significant impact on if they will ever return. These bookends of the relationship are critical to creating a memorable experience.
Understanding what you want for your customers in their journey with you will help you design an experience that delivers on those ideals. Forgetting to design the experience is easy to do, but you will pay for it in customer defections and poor sentiment. Examine what experience your customers are walking through today and map that to the ideal. What is missing? What could be better? Proactive participation in your customer’s experience will pay dividends in loyalty, advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing. Ask the hard questions!
This post was originally written for and first appeared on Entrepeneurs Questions.