If you were to look at each point where a client or customer interacts with your business, what would you find?
Like most businesses, you probably have a mixture of good and not so good interactions, When your people are so important to the service delivered, it’s not surprising, given our human capacity for imperfection, that there are some things which might need improving!
Map out each interaction with customers
The first step is to map out those touchpoints in different parts of the business, from the time they join you as a client or customer (and even before then). Follow the customer journey from that point through any interaction they have with you, whether that is the initial welcome letter/pack, in the course of work (email, phone calls, letters), reviews, newsletters or other communications, when feedback is given (solicited or unsolicited), when subscriptions are renewed, and so on. Canvas the thoughts of at least one or two people in each business area to make sure you have captured all points of interaction.
Review each touchpoint
Once you have a map of the customer’s journey, consider each interaction, whether email, phone, letter, website or social media and make sure that:
In undertaking this exercise for one client, we found some major gaps. One example of this was that the company had two main subscription services which were renewable every year, at which point an invoice was sent out. However, there was no welcome letter sent when those customers came on board, no feedback was sought at any point, and there was no prelude to the invoice or letter accompanying it to help encourage customers to renew or reassure them that this was the right thing to do.
Make the changes and improvements
Improvements we suggested in this instance were:
Results spoke for themselves: at the end of the first renewal year, the number of customers who re-subscribed increased by 15% and the number of customers who were ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with the service also increased by 20%.
Make sure all communications are consistent
This point is about branding – both the outward signs such as logo and typeface, layout and images, and the ‘softer’ signs such as the language used, the impression given and the congruence that the communication has with your brand values.
Use technology where you can
Where possible, use technology to take the strain. This might include: