Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Every Customer Interaction is A Learning Moment

It’s easy to forget that education is part of every sale. From planning a dream vacation to selecting a cardiologist, every consumer learns about your products or services before, during and after the sale.

Some companies sell items that require education on the spot, such as a one-day only discount, or certain ingredient or a unique process that makes the service experience unique. These are all learning moments, and the best companies never forget that fact.

The most successful organizations weave learning moments into every product or service. Disney takes an ordinary roller coaster and, with excellent design, signage, staging and sensory cues, elevates the ride into an exceptional experience. You learn to expect that level of entertainment from the Disney brand. Apple turns ordinary components (a hard drive, a LCD screen, a microprocessor, etc.) and elevates the final product from a mere commodity into a lifestyle statement. You learn to expect well-designed products that work intuitively. Experiencing their brand of service is a learning moment for every visitor or customer.

Success depends upon the customer’s ability to understand and recognize elements that differentiate companies and make their services better than the competition's. Every point of contact is simultaneously an opportunity to educate the consumer, while the consumer educates your organization.

We measure service “performance” for all of our clients. This relatively simple audit tells us how well a client has defined the service experience, observes customer interactions, and learns from customer interaction and employee experiences.

We also "eat our own dogfood" by reviewing our services. Our website has been tested extensively and...our users have challenges with the home page. It's too busy, too many touchpoints, too confusing and not enough differentiation. Although our intention was to create a highly interactive landing page, the final result is to muddy.

Perhaps when you read this, the website will be cleaned up. Hopefully you will see a home page that is warm, engaging, yet easy to understand - that is our service goal. Our customer interactions are a continuous learning moment for us too.

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