The following article is a how-to excerpt from “Taming Gladys! The Busy Leader’s Guide to Creating Fierce Customer Loyalty.” Follow the instructions below to analyze the customer touchpoints in your department or at your business. Make an effort to enhance those touchpoints and watch your customer loyalty scores grow. 

A “customer touchpoint” is any point of contact you have with your customer, from an initial email correspondence or phone call through the purchase, and any subsequent communication about a service or product quality issue. And monitoring and enhancing these touchpoints is the secret to growing your customer loyalty.

In what specific ways do you provide an outstanding experience at those touchpoints? As you review each point of contact, choose how you will take responsibility to improve the customer experience. A great place to start is to diagram possible interactions that your Gladys may encounter.

Take a few minutes now and make a list of all of the major customer touchpoints – or the touchpoints that you manage – at your place of business. Be sure to include both in-person and virtual points of contact such as the entrance to your office, the telephone, email exchanges, your website, social media channels and more. Remember your internal customers, those inside your company who benefit from the work you do in any way. Consider each repetitive touchpoint with this group and how you personally manage their experience with you. Do you treat them as well as you do your external customers? For each area of interaction, using a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your current quality of service?

Touchpoints can include things like your company’s on-hold message or music, the time it takes to get an email or chat response, reading material in your lobby and any interaction your customer experiences, even if it may seem inconsequential. Are there things you can add or take away from each interaction to improve the quality of service?

Here’s a short list of examples to consider, all of which can make a big difference:

Personal Contact: Do you greet every Gladys with eye contact, a smile and a warm, genuine welcome when she arrives at your place of business? If you primarily care for customers using the telephone, do you include a warm, authentic smile in your voice when you speak to them? Do you read over every email or digital correspondence before you send it, to ensure it comes across as friendly?

The Five Senses: Make sure that what Gladys sees, hears, smells, feels and even tastes (coffee anyone?) at your place of business is Details Pave the Way to Loyalty 9 pleasing and represents your organization’s values. Is there a way you can amp up the experience?

What is Gladys Thinking? It helps to ask for feedback to measure the quality of the clients’ interactions with your company. You get what you measure, so tracking customer feedback over time is an important tool for improvement. There are so many methods for soliciting feedback, like a quick question at the end of a call. (“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate our service today?” Or maybe, “What could we do to give you an even better experience next time?”) You can also solicit feedback via an easy-to-use online survey tool like www.surveymonkey.com.

Track Your Customers’ Preferences: Ask your Gladys questions about her preferences, record those preferences and then use that information to be sure you’re properly meeting her needs the next time you do business with her. If there are issues that come up repeatedly or you have to request detailed information, pay attention to what approaches get the best response so that you become someone who continuously improves the experience for your customers. Be mindful of evolving your language as you “test and learn” what works best.

Please Note: Your particular set of touchpoints is unique to your business, so be sure to expand upon the examples we’ve provided.

Questions to Consider:

• On a scale of one to ten, how well do you serve different types of customers and their unique needs? How could you improve that score?

• Have you noticed if there are specific types of customers who are more enjoyable to work with than others? What could you do to better serve those who may not be the easiest for you to handle?

• Do you have a personal standard to make each touchpoint with customers and colleagues exemplary? If not, what would it take to create one?

Get your copy of “Taming Gladys! The Busy Leader’s Guide to Creating Fierce Customer Loyalty” written by Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest here: Buy on Amazon

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Lori Jo Vest is the co-author of Who’s Your Gladys? and Taming Gladys! Learn more about Lori on LinkedIn: Lori Jo Vest, Consultant/Author

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