The importance of customer experience is everywhere. We may just not appreciate it. Neil Stapleton, our Customer Experience and Empathy Lead, shares why customer experience is so important, why it can make or break relationships, and some top tips into getting it right for your clients.

At Skipton Building Society we have dedicated teams to ensure that when a customer wants to experience us in any way, from initial interest to establishment of a long-term relationship, we do what’s right for them. This applies to any interaction, whether that be in person, by phone, our social media presence, or online. We strive for excellence so that our customers experience the ‘best of Skipton’ and of course that includes you too, the brokers.

Customer Experience driven businesses saw over 1.5x higher YoY growth in 2017 than other companies in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value. (Source: Forrester Consulting 2018).

So, it’s obvious that your clients’ experience is paramount. Here are our top tips for providing a great service.

The transaction is the sideshow

When it comes to customers thinking how good you are, how you retain their attention and what impacts what they say to friends and family, they are not going to wax lyrical about the transaction itself. That’s what they expect you to do, nothing more. Therefore, the qualities around the transaction are what stands out to form deeper, more meaningful relationships.

71% of people recommend a product or service because they received a “great experience”.
(Source: Convince & Convert Consulting, 2018).

So, what qualities do customers look for? What will make your customers come back, time after time?

Personalise their experience

Personalisation isn’t just about using the customer’s name. The more you can make your experience feel unique or bespoke to a customer, the more valued they will feel.

Set and exceed expectations

Without setting expectations appropriately, how are you going to exceed them? Open communication is key. Be transparent on next steps and timescales. Then do everything you can to exceed them. The more you can ‘surprise and delight’, the better the customer will feel.

Make it effortless

In a world where customers expect to do as little as possible (ever bought an item from Amazon with 2 clicks on your phone?), ensuring the hard work is taken away from customers is key. If a customer feels like it’s an effort to do something, then they may feel like you are lacking effort.

Do what you’ll say you’ll do, no excuses

It’s an obvious one, but it’s good one. To build trust and deepen relationships this has to happen, consistently.

Make it better

When something goes wrong, the speed and effectiveness of how you respond can make or break a relationship. Make this a priority. 56% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience (Microsoft 2017, State of Global Customer Service Report).

Think bigger picture

Customers wish to be understood and recognise that you appreciate the bigger picture. Take time to understand what the end goal of the customer is and how you can assist. (For example, a customer doesn’t buy a lawnmower because they want a lawnmower. They want to be able to have a neat and tidy garden). It sounds obvious, but we can often fall into the trap of having a tunnel vision of what our customers ultimately want.

At Skipton Building Society we have developed our ‘Skipton Experience Principles’ with these 6 qualities in mind. They are central in how we design our experiences, how we prioritise customer change and what we ask our colleagues to deliver.

So, next time you are thinking of what really matters to customers, consider these top tips and remember we are here to support you in providing the best service you can to your clients.