How do you make people feel?
I hope that you’ve had a good week.We all have our favourites. Whether it’s where you go to do your shopping, that special place you go to treat yourself or even in the world of B2B – the people who you go to because you can trust them to get things sorted. But what is it that makes your favourite, your favourite? A lot of the time it’s not the widget itself – but more the holistic experience around it. The widget (whether it’s lunch, a workout or some business development) has to be good, but in many ways can be substituted for an equivalent. The experience, however, how going to that particular place to go makes you feel, cannot. It’s a unique draw and the kind of thing that makes up your mind for you. And so, it is for your customers and clients. How do you make people feel? What is it about you that makes you a “no-brainer” for your most loyal clients and customers? Have you thought much about this in terms of how you develop your customer experience? If not, this newsletter might be one of the most important things you've read this week.
Ultimately, it all boils down to what is broadly understood as customer experience and experience design. Most of the time, when people make a final decision between option A and option B – it comes down to emotional logic. You see it everywhere. Yes, people weigh up the logic of different options available to them... but ultimately, when it comes down to committing they go with the option that feels right. But how do you go about approaching this, so you're the feel good option?
Tip 1: it’s a journey (and it never ends)
From the first impression (which we all know is *very* important) to the final interaction – there is always the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with our demographic. This means that each and every point of interaction is an opportunity to have an enriching and meaningful interaction. A company that does this better than anyone else is Apple. If you think about how good their iPhones and products are in general… there’s a lot more to how people *feel* about Apple. Some other key touchpoints that are designed to create delightful experiences are:
- Apple keynotes where they express their values and invite people to become aligned
- Apple stores, which are a uniquely designed retail experience
- Apple packaging, which has a very unique and enjoyable unboxing experience
Can you think of any other examples where Apple go out of its way to make its users feel good about buying their products?Ultimately Apple as a company understand that as much as the quality of its products is important – so is the wider experience a customer has when they interact with the company. If it works for Apple it can work for you – and taking time to understand how your customers and clients interact with your business and how each of these touchpoints can be fertile ground for improving - is a great way to level up your quality of service. A lot of the time, massive improvements can be made without necessarily having to invest significant resources in the same way someone like Apple does. It’s just about taking the time to look after your client or customer every step of the way.
Tip 2: Take time to learn what’s already working
If all this is new to you, you might be thinking where do I start? But fear not – you’re doing already it without even realising it! Of course, your clients and customers are having an experience! It’s just that you’ve not paid attention to it. So now is the time. Make a list of your 10 most loyal customers and clients, and take the time to ask them about what it is that they value about what you do – and more importantly how you do it. In recent years we’ve reached out to clients to ask this and we’ve found that broadly speaking, we’re valued in a number of different areas. The word cloud for us from clients when we do what we do at our best goes a bit like this… Efficient, Helpful, Quick, Friendly, Part of the Team, Understanding, Trust, Professional, Proactive, Service, Advice. Assistance, Relationship, Positive So knowing that these factors are important to the clients that love us, we can make sure that at every point we interact with all our clients that we focus on delivering these valued attributes – even going so far as to design interactions to tick each of the boxes accordingly.
Tip 3: Address pain points, maximise perceived benefits
But it’s not all about doing more of what you do well. It is also a valuable, if slightly more unpleasant, experience. A lot of the time you may not even be aware of something that really irritates or puts a massive downer on your client or customers’ experience. The best way to think about this is that these silly oversights can, in essence, undo all the hard work that you’ve spent on the positive aspects of your value delivery. So don’t self-sabotage! Find out what it is that grinds your client or customer's gears and address it head-on by making changes. By going as far as to turn a pain point into a delightful experience for people you can double the benefit of dealing with your business as opposed to someone else. More on this in the next section…
Tip 4: First impressions count, so do last ones!
So whilst it is important to look after your customer at each and every point of the journey – it’s a known truth that first impressions are especially important. I would go so far as to say that following closely behind is the final interaction in the journey (i.e., in the case of what we do, wrapping up a case with a client). As above, it can also be worth it to go above and beyond when it comes to moments that people consider pain points when it comes to interacting with you. So, let’s drop the theoretical for a moment and get practical! From the previous section, we know some of the values that the most loyal clients of Virtuoso Legal appreciate about what we do. So, how do they first come into contact with us? Well, that’s probably on social media and via our website - or ringing us up to arrange an appointment. So, with that in mind, if you map out the journey, that’s square one. Now it’s a valuable exercise to think about how we might make sure that: interaction with us, the content we have on our website, the LiveChat, or phone call can be tweaked to reflect the values laid out above. This is something we do already – but it's also fertile ground for improvement. It also might mean, when a client has signed up and paid for us to begin work for them, that we send over a very professional welcome pack, which has a friendly tone and outlines the broad scope of services available to them – and what to expect in terms of client support as the matter progresses. I have also had the idea in the past to send out sleep masks, as a way of telling people that now we’re involved they’ll find that they can sleep better at night! The same goes for when a matter is finishing up. It can be a bit of an “own goal” not to tie a nice bow around a good bit of work. Similarly, an end-of-matter pack can be sent out to invite feedback and take time and care to end on a flourish to make sure that when we part with a client we’re thought of in a positive light. There will always be people who maybe won’t be happy – but those who are on the fence and who simply disappear off into the ether, who you haven’t taken the time to make that final positive moment for are a missed opportunity and half.
Tip 5: What would the best in the world look like?
Final bonus tip, as I am wary that this is becoming one of my longer newsletters… If you’re a bit stuck about how to improve your customer journey, try this thought experiment… If you had no restrictions to resources and could craft the absolute perfect end-to-end experience – what would that look like? Use that as a line of inspiration to imagine what each touchpoint would look like in an ideal world. Then do the best possible version you can with that perfect example in mind. Some companies go to ridiculous expense and effort to do exactly this – and in doing so they put themselves in a category of one. One such example is Disney, whose parks look after each and every attendee with an absolutely unbelievable amount of detail and effort. That’s why they have people come back year and year to experience the “Disney Magic”. It’s not magic – it’s a lot of hard work and expense going on behind the scenes to make sure that every last person leaves with a smile on their face. By aspiring to be the absolute best, you’ll find that you’ll make massive progress even if you only get halfway!
Get in touch the usual way if you’d like to chat about this. Have a great weekend! LizYes, this has been a long one, so I will wrap it up very quickly! I hope that you’ve found this newsletter informative and entertaining. Remember that what you produce and do for others in business is really important – but ignoring the emotive dimension is something that can keep you stuck in the mud. What do you think – how could you tweak how you do what you do to improve? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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