An area where I think many businesses have a great opportunity on improving is Customer Experience. I see how large sums of money are spent on attracting customers and how many businesses drop the ball when those customers are visiting their facilities or in the middle of a transaction. Some organizations think Social Media can improve their customer experience and have great online presence but when you visit one of their brick and mortar stores it would have been better to just interact online.
I stopped shopping at Best Buy after many terrible experiences the worst one was in November 2009. Since Best Buy has such a solid online presence I thought they would get back to me and all they did online but I never received any resolution. I got many tweets and emails promising a resolution of the issue and to this day they did not follow through.
How did this bad customer experience affect BestBuy? I visited Bestbuy and bought something at least twice a month, since my bad experience in November 2009 I have bought to small items because I could not find them elsewhere and did not have the time to order online.
I started reading Olivier Blanchard’s @thebrandbuilder’s new book Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization (Que Biz-Tech) (amazon affiliate link) and he starts laying out a very practical framework which in some areas ties customer experience online and offline. I also want to thank @thebrandbuilder for including my name in the acknowledgments part of the book. I have used his blog posts and his material for quite some time and I feel like I owe him a big reward for creating such great content. Once I finished the book I will create a book review so I can share my experience.
Although books like @thebrandbuilder’s can guide you into trying to get Customer Experience right there are multiple factors into being succesful with creating the right customer experience.
I see small companies with little or no online presence offering great customer experiences. Some of them have such a niche market that having online presence would be key and can probably take their business to another level.
A good example is a vegetarian restaurant which I found a few days ago and I wrote about on @veglatino named Veggie Fruity. I literally found the Fountain of Youth at Ponce De Leon Avenue in Santurce, PR. I stopped to grab a quick lunch and was greeted by a very energetic and happy staff. While I waited for my order the owner Nora approached me and gave me a sample of one of the many juices they prepare at the moment. I was so engaged by the awesome customer service and the great treatment I ended having two meals, trying out many smoothies, drinks, and also taking many items to go.
The Veggie Fruity staff did not only make me a happy customer at that immediate moment she increased the Yield (a better explanation of yield is in Social Media ROI my explanation is that Yield is the number of Items or $ you can sell to one customer in one visit or transaction). She also increased her Reach by me sharing this awesome experience online with my friends and community. The frequency of my visits will increase so I think she can have a very solid customer in me.
Olivier does a great job explaining Frequency, Reach, and Yield (FRY) in the first chapters and how you can tie that to Social Media channels and efforts. Creating a great customer experience will help you improve your FRY.
Locally in Puerto Rico we need to improve customer service and it makes me very happy when we have businesses like Veggie Fruity which excel and create such an experience I can wait to go back.
If you where to manage or start your a company, which company do you want to be the Online Star that sucks at customer service? Or the awesome business with little or no online presence?
If I had my choice I would go with the second one since translating the great experience offered in a brick and mortar store into an online effort is a lot easier.
Have you had any great experiences in small businesses which need help with their online presence?
Please feel free to get your copy of @thebrandbuilder’s new book. I am 1/4 of the way into it and I have gotten lots of great info. I am also planning to give away a few copies in the next few weeks so if you want to stay up to date feel free to Subscribe to This Blog by Email.