By expanding your thinking of ‘customer service’ to create a flawless ‘customer experience’, you can take your value proposition to an entirely new level, writes Choice Aggregation Services CEO Stephen Moore.
Service. It’s absolutely central to the broker proposition and a key differentiator when it comes to brokers setting themselves apart from key competitors, such as banks and online lenders. Efficient, personal customer service is at the very heart of what our industry does best.
But as customer expectations continue to rise and competition between brokers intensifies, it’s time to start shifting how we think about customer service. Service with a smile and returning clients’ calls on time is no longer going to cut it. We need to deliver so much more, if we are to meet the growing expectations of customers.
In 2015, together with some of Choice Aggregation Services’ top brokers, I embarked on a trip to the home of possibly the world’s most amazing customer experience – Disneyland. If anyone has perfected the art of making people happy, it’s got to be Walt Disney and his ongoing legacy that Disneyland presents.
It was there in Los Angeles that we attended the Disney Institute Customer Excellence Course, which focused on viewing customer service as a more holistic experience.
Making the shift – what it means for brokers
The implications for brokers are many and at Choice we are currently focused on supporting our brokers to expand their thinking from service to experience.
A key component of this is identifying all of the pieces in the puzzle that create your customer experience. Your customers’ involvement with your business is not just limited to your 30 minute consultation. Their experience starts at the very first point of contact they have with your business – whether this is an initial phone call, an email or completing an online enquiry form.
And it includes every point of contact thereafter - the first step into your office, the wait in your waiting room – even finding a spot in your car park. A truly exceptional customer experience requires identification of all of these touch points and ensuring they are all positive, day in and day out.
For some of our brokers implementing the Disney insights, this has meant reviewing the smallest things, such as car park signage. A stressful 10 minutes spent searching for a car park can easily set your customer’s experience off to a fragile start.
Let me be clear. Brokers are not frail when it comes to customer service. At Choice, we receive so much positive feedback about the value our brokers bring and the terrific service they provide. But the shift to customer experience is about bringing this service to a new level.
By finessing every little detail of your customers’ experience, you can raise the bar and create clients who will be true advocates of your business. And in an increasingly competitive market, an army of allies can go a long way towards supporting you to grow your business and build a stronger competitive edge.
Creating an exceptional customer experience – top tips
- Break your customer experience down into micro-steps. Assess how positive each experience is and how each step could be improved
- Ask your customers. Use tools such as surveys to assess your service levels and understand thoroughly what your customers need
- Involve your whole team – don’t assume you know best. Invite input from your colleagues and get buy-in at all touch points. With a common purpose, an improved customer experience can also contribute to a more motivated, empowered staff