The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2016 - (Page 57)

CONvENTiON cUsToMER ExpERiEncE SpEaKEr Creating Great Customer Experiences: Why, How, and Why Now? BY LYNN DANIEL, THE DANIEL GROUP i n the past 10 years - judging by the number of Google hits - interest in "customer experience" has doubled. Searching for this term now returns 350+ million hits. We certainly hear more managers talking about it. Why the surge of interest? And how can you do something about it? What is the "Customer Experience"? The customer experience is the customer's view of all the interactions they've had with your company. This includes everything from the instant they first considered buying to the last time they called in for service. Convention Speaker It is not another name for "customer service," which covers part but not all of the total customer experience, i.e. postsale customer support. And don't confuse it with "customer satisfaction" or "customer loyalty." These are the outcomes of the customer experience. Why Invest to Improve the Customer Experience? More referrals. Our research showed that 35% to 40% of customers gave a referral in the past six months. Over 90% of these came from customers that expressed the highest satisfaction with their experience. And every referral from a satisfied customer is extremely valuable. More favorable word of mouth. Research shows that 2 out of 3 customers will likely talk about a negative service experience, while only 1 in 3 talk about a negative experience with a product. This shows that getting the service experience right is essential. cost savings. One client researched the impact of customer service on metrics like billing adjustments, good will, and so on. They discovered they could add more than $1 million to their bottom line by improving their customer service. Why Now? Product differentiation is increasingly short-lived given the accelerating pace of innovation. To sustain a competitive edge for the long haul, dealers must deliver consistently excellent sales and service experiences. Over time, this will help you build a brand that can weather the ups and downs of your products' competitive positions. Now more than ever, you're in the customer experience business! As consolidation continues in the material-handling industry, don't be tempted to take your eye off your customers. Any merger or acquisition tends to pull your attention inward. This is a real danger for managers trying to stitch the operations and people of multiple companies together. Don't give competitors any opening, even during a major transition. Where to Begin? To improve your customer experience, it's important to know where you stand today. Since the customer experience is the customer's view of your company, you need to ask them for feedback. You can't get at this by looking at your operating metrics; you need to survey your customers. The first question is whether to outsource your surveying or do it The MHEDA Journal | Second Quar ter 2 016 57

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2016

Chairman’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask Your Board
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA Member Profile
Women @Work
Industry Puluse
Teamwork and Personal Accountability
Exhibitors' Showcase Product Guide and Floor Plan
Exhibitor Summaries
Global Citizenship
Six C-Level Cyber Blunders (And Solutions)
What to Look Forward to in 2016
How to Build a sense of Community for Your Business
Women Mean Business
What's Your Exit Strategy?
Creating Great Customer Experiences: Why, How and Why Now?
Turning Near Misses into a Winning Safety Environment
Too Much of a Good Thing
Matuson's Sixteen Workplace Predictions for 2016
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2016