Post submitted by Gerry Criscenzo, Founder, Advanced Service Knowledge.
Great customer experiences that build long lasting customer relationships are the Holy Grail for business success. As if everything from your competitors to your own employees made it challenging, pre-Covid, to create great experiences, now post-Covid, you must overcome probably the greatest challenge of all time … fear.
Covid-19 created a customer experience “gate” where your customers must first feel safe to enter before you can begin serving them. Regardless of the industry, however, there is a tool you can use to determine what you must change for your customers to feel safe; the Customer Journey Map.
A Customer Journey Map is a time-tested tool that helps identify every “touch-point” of when and where your customer comes in contact with your business but most importantly identifies their potential emotions during that point of contact. In short, a Customer Journey Map identifies pain-points so you can resolve them and improve customer experiences.
Fear is now a serious pain-point where it never was for many industries. A Customer Journey Map will help you create a fundamentally different level of trust for your customer that dispels their fears. You must build a strategy and define tactics to move your business toward the “new normal” where your customers will trust you to keep them safe. Only after you resolve this new pain-point can you begin again to provide them with great customer experiences.
Use the Customer Journey Map to consider every way that a customer comes in physical contact with your business. Determine if you can eliminate contact or how to assure the customer visually that you have sanitization procedures in place. For example, some gyms have staff walking around spraying equipment with sanitizing “guns” after each use. Some auto service departments cover the steering wheel, seats and door handles with plastic. Some of these will increase your operating costs.
Forget “back to normal” and think forward of how to assure your customers they are safe, which is different for every business. Creating trust and sense of security will vary from providing hand sanitizer to completely rethinking how to get your customer to use your service or product. Technology can help some industries. Deliveries can help others. Whatever your industry, communication is crucial. Reach out to your customers. Use signage. Do not let your customer wonder what you are doing to keep them safe because they will go to the competitor who assures them that they are.
Please also visit the NRR Chamber website which has a wealth of helpful Covid-19 Business resources to help move your business forward to the new normal.