The next few weeks represent a unique opportunity for your business. An opportunity you’d usually bend over backwards for, and pay exorbitant marketing fees to secure.
Your product, in the hands of thousands of new customers. Thousands of potentially lifelong customers experiencing your customer experience, just waiting to be persuaded that they should bring their business to you.
Pity it’s Christmas time, right?
Why don’t we care about customer experience at Christmas?
We’ve developed a bad habit. Come Christmas time, we batten down the hatches and go into survival mode. “We’ll just get through Christmas, and then focus on [insert basically anything].”
Christmas is when most businesses turnover 25-35% + of their annual sales. Naturally, the emphasis can switch to the months before Christmas being something of a feeding frenzy—make hay while the sun shines, right? Too many businesses put the blinkers on, and purely focus on getting their books into the black for the year, keeping costs as low as possible while raking in the money. Customer experience can often fall by the wayside.
Unfortunately, we’re missing out on a huge opportunity by doing this.
Don’t just survive—thrive!
The thing is, Christmas is like mass sampling—just with a far bigger audience to impress than usual. Thousands of new shoppers engage with your business for the first time, and this is your opportunity to win them over and turn them into life-long customers. Instead of taking the short-term profit-centric approach of many businesses, differentiate yourself by thinking a little longer term. What can you be doing now, that will make the experience of new customers just that little bit better? Remember, it’s the little things that customers go home and rave to their friends about.
Take the example of a man buying a present for his partner. Most likely he’ll be uncomfortable, looking to purchase perfume or underwear—not exactly his areas of expertise. If he walks into your store, and is immediately greeted by a staff member, who engages with him, walks him through the store talking him through the pros and cons of different options, and then helps him come to a purchasing decision… How do you think he’ll feel? Much more comfortable than if he stumbles around your store by himself, flicking through underwear racks feeling self-conscious that others think he’s a creep. By taking a longer term perspective, and investing in the customer experience this Christmas, you’ll create lifelong customers instantly.
Ultimately, so much of Christmas is about other people, which is why if we’re able to create environments which are all about customers, then the benefits are far greater than short-term profit.
Adapt quickly through feedback
Thankfully, we can break this bad habit of under-utilising Christmas quite easily, by gaining real-time, actionable feedback from customers. And it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Many businesses want to stay away from feedback, particularly when they are flat out. They think they won’t have time to make any suggested changes, but we dispute this myth. Imagine how frustrated you would be if after Christmas, you did a satisfaction survey of every single customer and asked them what would have made them shop at your store again, and they replied with something as simple as “The air conditioning in the store was turned down too low.” By simply adopting a posture of being open to customer feedback, you’d be surprised how much of it is genuinely low-hanging fruit—small actions that can be taken to lock in lifelong customers.
This Christmas is an opportunity to move your business ahead. Not just to hit 2017’s targets, but to provide the foundation for 2018, locking in lifelong customers through a fantastic customer experience. Achieve this through real-time feedback, applied to meet your customers’ needs.