Customer Experience: How it differs from customer service and why you need to invest in it (Part 2)
As discussed in our previous blog post “Customer Service: How it makes or breaks Valet Operations,” Customer Service is essential to running a valet operation, but should it be the most important? Our answer...possibly no. It should, at the very least, be equal to Customer Experience.
The 2017 Digital Marketing Trends Report by Econsultancy and Adobe asked companies to indicate the single most exciting opportunity for their organization in 2017 – and for the third year in a row, the same answer came out on top. If you guessed (CX) or Customer Experience, you guessed right!
(As a relevant side note, third on importance was mobility and Vark is a completely mobile solution)
The article goes on to say “…companies who successfully implement a customer experience strategy achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, reduced customer churn and increased revenues. Furthermore, research…found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.”
So why does Valet so often focus only on customer service? Perhaps it’s because it’s a more traditional industry that has been reluctant to change? Maybe there just hasn’t been a good enough solution out there that truly solves the problem. Well, that’s where Vark comes into play. We help solve Valet problems while innovating and modernizing the customer experience into the digital “app-centric” age.
If you dig further into customer service it really has very little to do with making a customer feel something and that’s where Varks technology comes in to play – make our customers and your customers feel something. When we can make people feel a positive emotion they are more likely to be a repeat customer than if they are just provided a simple service.
The term customer experience begins appearing more and more as you research customer service and the distinction between the two can be a bit confusing, however, upon further analysis a clear distinction starts to appear. Patrick Bet-David explained it well with two words. Customer service is a reactive action, whereas customer experience is a proactive action. Customer service includes actions such as accepting returns or being polite and helpful over a service-line, which generally focus on reacting to a customer being dissatisfied. I want you to think for a second…if you need to do an action that involves “customer service” is it a positive experience or a negative one? I know for me personally, when I think of customer service I think of a scenario where I need to return a product that I’m dissatisfied with.
On the other hand, customer experience is the sum of all the interactions a person has with a company, from the way that they found out about your service all the way to the use of your service and everything in between. Customer experience is a holistic and emotional interaction. By including a more intuitive digital experience using Vark we can focus on providing a customer experience that drives customers to use valet more frequently while also improving various other areas of the operation.
This alone can still seem very generic, but the Harvard Business Review provided a good example within their blog post that demonstrates the power of customer experience. There was a car dealership where, “although sales were solid, management was concerned that their customers and employees were not happy. So (the Disney Institute) worked with their team to help them create an intentional effort focused around exceeding customer expectations at every key touch point. The entire organization - the employees, the processes, and the facilities - that created their customer experience were realigned, and the results were dramatic. Over the past few years, the dealership has achieved a 26 percent increase in sales.”
Harvard Business Review also provided some helpful check points to make sure your business is on the right track to focus on providing a stellar customer experience.
Create a common purpose
This will set the tone for the customer experience that will ensue throughout the rest of your organization. Decide what sort of tone your employees will carry out and the emotional vibe that you want to be portrayed throughout your company’s actions.
Get to know customers completely
This requires going beyond customer service realms. As a company, seek out and be open to redefining your experience. Realize what your customers are wanting and shift your organization to make sure you meet their needs. You should also pay attention to their “needs, wants and emotions” in order to create truly “personalized interactions.”
View exceptional service as an economic asset instead of an expense
Customer experience is about focusing on the big picture, this means the long-term relationship with customers. This is shaped differently than that of a short-term relationship. A long-term one will require more investment, both time and monetary, but will pay off with customer loyalty.
Today, customer experience is getting the attention it deserves, which means that more and more companies are realizing how important it is to retain customers for a long period of time. In other words, many companies have already perfected, or are working to perfect their customer experience aspects. Companies are having to delve into the realm of focusing on customer experience and expand the positive impact they have on customers. Making them emotional towards their brand.
Contact us today to answer any of your valet questions and to learn more about how our valet technology can help drive a better customer experience for both the customers valeting their vehicle as well as the valet drivers and management.
Vark - The Smartest Way to Valet.
The Vark Team.
For more data and information on customer experience as a whole feel free view Steven MacDonalds article, “7 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy.”