Any and every business will have problems. The damage can range from what Southwest Airlines experienced recently, with 43% of the airline’s schedule delayed by midday, to a solopreneur uncertain of how to run a credit card. Regardless of your situation, you must do what it takes to deliver what your customers have a right to expect — from the flight departing on schedule to handling a transaction without friction.
As I state in my forthcoming book, “The Ultimate Customer Experience,” the first level of customer interaction is “Processing.”
In other words, there are some aspects that are non-negotiable from the customer’s point of view. If you fail to deliver at this first level, none of your other efforts to drive customer retention will succeed.
Customers do not want us to “make it right.” Customers want us to “GET it right!”
For Southwest, keeping the planes moving safely and on time is part of the deal. Certainly, there will be issues out of your command, but passengers understand those. My friend, Mark Sanborn, was delayed for several hours on a flight to Denver on Wednesday afternoon. He wasn’t upset at United — the delay was because of an ice storm at their destination. However, if I’m on the tarmac and can’t take off because of a software issue or another aspect — such as crew scheduling or another aspect that I perceive to be under your control — I become an upset and dissatisfied customer.
The primary question is, “What do we have to get EXACTLY right…every time…for every customer?”
Another that my new book encourages you to ask is: “What do our customers have a RIGHT TO EXPECT from us every time they do business with us?”
Have you had a conversation with your team about those questions? One study indicated only 16% of businesses even HAVE THE LIST of what customers have a right to expect!
- You cannot expect your team to deliver what your customers have a right to expect…if you have failed to identify and train your employees to deliver on those expectations.
My research and experience have identified five steps you must make certain every employee knows and executes as he or she interacts with your customers. This is the first one — “Don’t make it right; GET it right.”
However, if the employee doesn’t know what “getting it right” means — or if they haven’t been trained properly or exposed to what an Ultimate Customer Experience® is — you have no right to expect them to deliver it for your organization.