I recently came back from a conference, the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, and at the conference listened to a panel of franchise marketing executives speak on successful marketing and customer loyalty tactics. One of the panelists, a CMO of a Fortune 1000 company addressed the importance of customer experience and brought up the notion of treating your customers as guests. Whether this means literally addressing your customers as guests or maintaining the underlying philosophy throughout your company culture, the bottom-line is understanding this mentality and championing it throughout your entire organization in the direction of building a better brand, increased customer loyalty, and ultimately a better customer experience.
The Disney Customer
Walt Disney made this famous with Disneyland’s iconic customer service and transformable customer experience. Disney called all the employees “cast members” and called all customers/visitor “guests.” Walt Disney may epitomize this philosophy and have taken it to an extreme extent, but if applied to a fraction of the degree as Disneyland, your customer service and experience will translate to a better interaction with your brand for your guests. This is not to say you need to turn your franchise or business into Disneyland, but understand that details matter and every single customer’s experience may be a new one.
Respect the Customer
Understanding and treating your customers as guests boils down to respecting your customer, treating them as if was their first impression at every interaction. This should be embodied throughout your whole organization from the President down to your Franchisee all the way down to your employees. They need to understand that even though they may have taken an order for the 120th time today, this may be the very first time a customer has ever ordered from you. This is a powerful thought and puts the guest in a different light focusing on the customer and their experience.
Ultimately this boils down to a better customer experience driving differentiation for your brand and increasing business through customer loyalty. This can range from the authentic greeting when someone walks up to the counter to offering guests engagement tools to connect with your business through social media and technology.
Technology is changing the way businesses interact with customers and are increasing connections, touchpoints, and engagement.
It’s really all about the customer, or at least it should be. One way businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition is to enhance the customer experience with your product, service, and technology, making them remember your brand and associate it with a positive feeling.