In my previous blog I took a light hearted look at the incident of my car breaking down in France. I wanted to illustrate how little we know about our customer as we make our initial greeting. They come into our sphere of influence carrying their baggage in a myriad of forms and we are expected to give them our best possible attention.
In this case how did they do it?
1. I had one primary contact. Steve. I was his customer. When he was off-shift I was treated as Steve’s customer with his colleagues lending a hand. Two other RAC colleagues took up the baton on his behalf but I always felt that I was someone’s concern not just another motorist stranded at the side of a road.
2. Steve took charge yet I remained in control. I was given options, asked what would suit me best. He even tapped into my local knowledge. I was involved. The whole experience was designed around me. I belonged to the team who were effecting my rescue, we were all working together towards getting my car working and back on the road,
3. Every interaction built a bond of trust. Phone calls were always returned when promised. Calls were made to check that other suppliers were playing their part and that I was happy with what had taken place.
4. They engaged with me brilliantly. Each person I encountered empathised with how I was feeling at the time. This takes a great deal of skill, as my demeanour changed over the four day period we were in contact. To start with I was unsure and really quite anxious; later I was calm and back in holiday mood. At each point they read the situation.
5. I had a consistent experience. Each member of the team gave me the same level of attention and care as the others. So often, organisations might have one or two great people only for one person to let the side down.
6. They delivered. The most important part of my experience was that everything that Steve and his colleagues said would happen did and to my expectations.
The result, a very happy customer who is willing to talk about his experience to anyone who cares to listen. Most importantly I will buy this cover again with complete confidence. Not only did Steve and his colleagues do the job really well they have also turned this customer into an advocate and ensured future sales. What more can there be?
‘Advocates are 22 percent more likely to purchase bundled products, 28 percent more likely to anticipate increased spending with the company in the near future, and 25percent more receptive to information about new or upgraded products.’ Lorena Harris 2011