November 15, 2023
Broken to Better: Creating Memorable Customer Experiences
Have you seen signs like this before?
Rule #1: The customer is always right!
Rule #2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule #1!
There was one painted on a huge rock outside one of the world’s most renowned grocery stores in the country where I grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
It’s always stuck with me. From day one, our goal at Branded Group was to Be Better, including how we treat our employees, subcontractors, and clients.
Ensuring memorable, personalized, and enjoyable client experiences is a big differentiator in any business. That’s why we strive to be service-oriented in every aspect of our company.
Here are some universal truths about creating memorable customer experiences—and how to achieve them.
1. Happy employees make happy clients
To be of service to your customers, you need to be of service to your employees. They’re the real faces of your company.
Our employees, for instance, handle all our clients’ complicated and time-sensitive needs. If we want them to continue to treat our clients well on a daily basis, we need to treat them well, too.
We consistently hear clients say they like having their own dedicated account manager. They like picking up the phone or sending an email and reaching the same friendly person every time. So it’s good business for us to keep our employees happy so they stick around and build these relationships with our clients.
2. People do business with people they trust
Trust is the cornerstone of our customer service. I always say that people do business with people they trust, and we’ve found that to be true. Our clients like us and enjoy the relationships they’ve built with our team.
While our operational capabilities play a role, the heart of our success is our clients’ comfort, knowing they have a reliable resource they can count on. They’re comfortable calling day or night when their facility is in trouble. And we’ll always answer.
3. It’s easy to give great customer service to great customers
As a new business owner, you may not be able to choose your clients. You’re focused on filling the funnel and ensuring you always have work coming your way. It’s a necessary part of the growing process, but it can lead to challenging clients.
The easiest way to offer great service is to find those great clients. Use this time to identify your ideal clients and figure out what you need to do to deliver consistent, repeatable, and memorable experiences.
As your business grows, you may want to consider reviewing your clients to identify if they align with your goals, and your core values. I’ve had to let go of a few of Branded Group’s clients over the years who haven’t met this criteria. While this may seem counterintuitive, keeping clients that don’t align can negatively impact your morale and your bottom line.
4. You can’t fix what you don’t measure
How do you know if you’re delivering great customer service? Happy customers and repeat business are good tells, but they don’t tell the whole story. You need a survey.
A survey can identify the holes in your processes and determine what needs to be improved. At Branded Group, we conduct surveys with our clients and subcontractors. We collect feedback on our vendors and ask vendors to give us feedback, providing 360-degree reviews of our processes. This process also helped us develop our Preferred Vendor Program.
Be sure to recognize people for their hard work in addition to passing on feedback. Whether it’s your employees, subcontractors, or clients, they’re all important parts of your success.
5. Honesty gets the job done
Early on, I learned that if I or anyone on my team promised something to a client, we had to deliver it.
Honesty and integrity are key elements of customer service and a part of your brand. It never pays to be dishonest with a client to win their business. It always comes back to hurt you.
We’ve had many customers call us because of bad experiences elsewhere. They encounter people who work hard to land the business and then don’t work nearly as hard to deliver what they promised. Our transparency and consistency help build the trust that’s critical to business success.
Solve your customers’ problems, and they’ll always call you first
This is what great customer service is all about:
- Solving a problem
- Building a relationship
- Creating repeat business
When you do these things better than other businesses, you’ll keep your sales funnel full and your company growing.
Invest in your customer service, invest in your team, and invest in your processes and data analytics. These will pay off with a healthy bottom line and, more importantly, happy customers and employees.
Want to grow your business with great customer service? Check out my consulting services and discover how to Be Better.
This piece is based on a chapter of Broken to Better: 13 Ways Not to Fail at Life and Leadership. The book is dedicated to business leaders who are seeking to Be Better in their company for their employees, clients and communities. Download/purchase the full book here.