As it appeared in the Daily Nation of January 6th 2015
by Lucy Kiruthu
Why do we really celebrate a New Year? Is it because we have made it through another 365 days or is it because we are looking forward to something exciting in the New Year? Looking back over the past year provides an opportunity to reflect, take stock and assess how we did. Looking ahead into the New Year provides an opportunity to resolve and to plan to do better going forward. I have no doubt that many organizations have resolved to improve their customers’ experiences this New Year. Here are my top 4 insights to give 2015 a good start.
- Listen more to your Customers
Do you know what your customers both internal and external are saying? This New Year is an opportunity to listen more. Listen to what your customers have to say when they come to your office or when you visit them. Talk to them when delivering a service or offering a product and note their sentiments. Listen to them when they call, email or when they interact on social media. You will be surprised by what they have to say. The information collected during every day interactions is more valuable than data collected during annual surveys. Use the customer feedback to make improvements in the customer experience this year.
- Be Intentional about the Customer Experience
Whether intentional or not every business provides an experience, the experience may be described using several adjectives. It may be excellent, good, mediocre, poor or even pathetic. Key questions are – Have you designed the experience or is it just happening? Are you clear about the sort of customer experience you wish to provide in 2015? Do not leave the experience to chance; predetermine it by describing the kind of experience you wish to provide at every point of interaction and then provide it. Make 2015 the year that customers will notice improved and consistent service across the organization. Creating and maintaining an intentional customer experience requires a culture in which team members have the best intentions and supporting processes that make every action intentional.
- Keep the Customers Informed
Customers today have access to numerous information yet they like to be kept informed. Be proactive in communicating to them about changes happening in your organization, about new products and services. Keep them updated with just about any information that they might find useful. It will be unfortunate if our customers ask – Why was I not informed? Let us make our customers not ask this question by providing them with adequate information in advance this year.
- Keep the Promise
A great customer experience requires that we keep promises both big and small, the written ones and even the unwritten ones. We make promises with ourselves, our colleagues, suppliers, partners, customers and with the company in general. Many have promised that in 2015 they will improve the customer experience. Are you ready to keep this promise? Keeping the promise requires an unwavering commitment to great customer experiences, it requires action and it means honouring our words during everyday interactions.
Let us hold our resolve to improve our customers’ experiences this year by giving the New Year a good start!
Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/old or via twitter @kiruthulucy