What happens if a customer's experience with your company isn't aligned with your stated core values? It usually results in the customer heading somewhere else.
Let's say that a customer buys from a company's whose stated core value is to put the customer first always. There's a problem with the product the customer bought but it doesn't quite qualify for a refund under the warrantee. Despite the fact that the customer isn't getting the value they expected from the product, the company does whatever it can to deny the refund. Clearly, the company doesn't put the customer first in a case such as this.
Every business should make sure its values and experience match. If there's a disconnect between your stated core values and the service you actually deliver, it's likely to cost you a great deal in customer trust.
If you fall short of customer expectations, you don't create a good customer experience. The ideal customer experience sets customer expectations and then exceeds them. Your values, your mission, and everything else you say about your company should be exceeded by the actual value you deliver. When you do this, you impress your customers and this has major psychological benefits.
How Does Your Customer Experience Measure up?
The only way to figure out whether your customer experience is aligned with your core values is to view the situation from your customer's point of view.
Take each touch point you have with your customers and ask yourself, "Does this measure up to my company's core values?" Touch points include any kind of direct communication you have with your customer, such as social media updates, email messages, store visits, and follow-up care. There are also indirect touch points, which include what your customers hear from others about you.
Start by identifying all of these touch points. Then, go through each one and run it through your core values.
Let's take the example of Starbucks. Starbucks' core values are its five principles: "be welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate, and involved." In order to present a consistent customer experience that aligns with these values, Starbucks needs to ensure that every interaction with customers presents the company and all of its people as welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate and involved.
Beyond Customer Service
Every aspect of how your business is run is manifested in the customer experience. The way you deal with customers should be aligned with your core values, but so should every other aspect of your company, from the internal processes you use in creating or delivering your products, to the way you communicate with your employees.
When everything is aligned, it creates a strong corporate culture that embodies these values, and customers can see this. It can be a long and involved process, but it's essential that you deliver on these values.
About The Author
Pat Simes is a Business Strategist, blogger and Founder of Innovative Business Solutions and Innovate Academy. She currently resides in the Midwest and is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs to transform their vision to reality.