BY: Daniel M. Savage
The Greek mathematician, Archimedes, said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” The concept of leverage also applies to customer experience by helping you move people to love you by engaging motivations that are driven by human emotion.
Given the importance of retaining our valued clients, we can all agree that account management, done well, is among our most important emphases. With that said, consider this quote:
“Your customers love you. Not products or services. Not low prices. Not your company or cool branding. It’s your ability to get your customers to believe in you and trust you that plays the most powerful role in delivering legendary experiences.”
Certain account management behaviors are foundational in nature…essential to keeping client relationships on track.
In his book, People Love You: The Real Secret to Delivering Legendary Experiences, author Jeb Blount refers to those behaviors as the “Five Levers of Customer Experience.” Let’s explore what he has to say.
1. Put customers first
Putting customers first is an attitude. It’s a belief system that counterbalances our natural tendency to focus on what is easy for us rather than seeing things from our customers’ perspectives. Our goals are to profitably serve their needs and to make it easy and pleasurable to do business with us.
A sincere emotional connection with a customer is essential to delivering a great customer experience. Connecting tears down walls that block communication and understanding. When customers feel connected, they are more comfortable sharing important information which allows you to recognize and solve their problems which, in turn, engenders loyalty.
3. Solve problems
Strip away everything else, and customer service is about one thing: recognizing and solving problems. Think of problem solving as the heart and soul of customer experience. It’s what customers pay for. People become extremely loyal and attached to people who solve their problems!
4. Build trust
Customers rely on us to deliver on promises, thereby putting themselves in a vulnerable position with their money, time, or possibly their jobs. Fail to perform and the consequences could be extreme. Trust is the sole foundation upon which your customer relationships rest. A legendary experience is not possible in the absence of trust.
5. Create positive emotional experiences
By creating positive emotional experiences, we can take advantage of the Law of Reciprocity which states: when you give something of value to others, they will feel obligated to give something of value to you. When you create joy in the lives of your customers, you build and strengthen emotional bonds…enduring and unbreakable relationships with your customers.
As Blount says, “Account management is hard work. It requires loads of self-discipline and self-sacrifice.” Develop and nurture these Five Levers of Customer Experience, and you will keep your relationships grounded and on track.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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