What would you want if you were the customer?

My husband made an online purchase last week and after several days, he had heard nothing from the company regarding shipment of his product. The “auto-reply” email he received after purchase was generic and didn’t include a phone number or even a web address for the company. After some digging, I found an email address for the company. I emailed the company and got a quick reply. The problem is, the reply was a generic response that provided no details. I replied to that email and got an equally vague response. So, I have no idea if the order has been shipped or if this is even a legitimate company. I’ll put this on the back burner and deal with it later.

Our frustrating experience is a great opportunity for me to share with you an exercise I have my clients participate in in order to drastically improve the customer experience in their companies.

When I’m brought into a company to improve the customer experience, one of the first things I do is ask, “What would you want if you were the customer?”
If this online retailer was my client, I’d ask, “If you placed an online order with this company, what would you want/need/expect?” I think I’d get answers like:

•“I’d want an immediate order confirmation emailed to me.”
•“A tracking number emailed to me once the order has been shipped.”
•“An easy way to contact the company by email or phone.”
•“Quick and easy access to a FAQ section on the website that explains the shipping procedure and estimated shipping times.”
•“A guarantee for products.”
•“A toll-free number prominently displayed on the website.”

After getting the client to tell me what they’d want if they were the customer, I’d facility an exercise where we’d brainstorm ways to align the company’s processes and workflows so that they immediately take actionable steps to create a service experience that gives customers exactly what they expect and deserve.

If you want to quickly improve your own customer experience, gather your team together and simply ask, “If you were the customer, what would you need/want/expect?” Then align your processes, people and workflows to deliver exactly what your customers expect and deserve. 

But this retailer isn’t my client. My only concern with them is getting my order.