We all have experiences daily as consumers; from purchasing a cup of coffee, to visiting the gym, to paying bills.
We tend only to only remember the exceptionally good or exceptionally bad experiences, which we then recount to friends and colleagues.
Too often a business will lose our custom, because one aspect of the experience is so bad it overrides the rest of an otherwise OK experience.
A recent stay in a hotel reminded me of this. All was good until check out when the hotel delivered complete customer dissatisfaction and coloured my view of an otherwise good hotel.
The key to retention of any client, customer, sponsor or donor (that you want to retain) is to ensure that you deliver a COMPLETE positive end to end experience
By end to end experience, I mean every interaction or touch point the client, customer, sponsor or donor has with you from start to finish whether large or small.
Steps for ensuring that you deliver a positive end to end experience
First, map out the sequence of interactions that you have with your clients, customers, sponsors and donors, that is, each stage of the experience they have with you where you have the potential to delight or frustrate. Be as specific as possible – ensure every stage is included.
Second, consider how you can improve their experience at each stage. Importantly ask your clients, customers, sponsors and donors about their current experience and the ways they think it can be improved.
In my observation very few organisations do this effectively. Some, like hotels, give out feedback forms (but how often do you fill those in). How many actually ask (verbally) with a genuine desire to find out the answer with a view to making improvements.
Third, take the necessary steps to improve where required.
Why bother going to this trouble?
The key is to ensure, rather than hope, that you are delivering a positive experience that delights your clients, customers, sponsors and donors; an experience that turns them into your best advocates and sales team. Some of the feedback might not be what you want to hear, but isn’t it better to find out the areas which are putting your relationship at risk and have the opportunity to take action, rather than carry on believing everything is just fine when in fact it is not and then it’s too late…they’ve gone!