5 Things QVC Does Best in the Customer Experience

I am delivering my Way of Harmony keynote at a conference tomorrow. Rehearsals are complete, I had a fantastic dinner with my client, I just Faced-Timed my husband and kids and now it’s time to prepare my attire for the event.

I almost always deliver keynotes in a little black dress (My closet is literally full of little black dresses of varying simple styles for my keynotes). I got a(nother) pair of new shoes recently and I am in love with these shoes. I got the shoes from QVC.com.

I intend to slay

I know, right? These shoes came from QVC. I’ve worn these shoes one other time and they are comfortable and stylish with the surprise gold heel. Taking out my shoes in preparation for tomorrow’s keynote got me thinking about the QVC customer experience.

Full disclosure. I’m a frequent QVC shopper. And I’m not alone. QVC is the world’s largest online retailer, generating $8.8b in annual revenue in 2014. Not only am I QVC customer, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of their fantastic and profitable customer experience. Speaking from my experience as a long-time customer of QVC, I’d like to talk to you about 5 things you can learn about the customer experience from QVC.

My intent with this discussion is to inspire you, my friend, to take a look at your own customer experience and look for ways you can adopt and adapt ideas I’ll share to your own customer experience so you can make your experience fantastic…and profitable.

  1. Easy

That was easy

QVC has mastered easy, particularly when it comes to returns. QVC customers have 30 days to return or exchange any item. All orders arrive with a pre-paid shipping label. The return policy is no questions asked. The easy, no-questions-asked return policy allows customers to shop with complete confidence and complete ease.

2. Accessible

QVC is brilliant when it comes to creating a customer experience that meets their many demographics of customers. The company offers fast, live-person customer service over the telephone 24/7, which is very appealing to Baby Boomer and Veteran generation customers. Placing orders on the company’s website and smartphone app work very well for Millennial and Generation X customers.

3. Enjoyable

Many of the QVC hosts engage and interact with customers over social media. This engagement allows customers to feel more connected with hosts and it enhances the overall customer experience.

4. Emotion

QVC, which stands for quality, value and convenience, truly delivers their namesake. Customers get high-quality merchandise, from diamonds to shoes to gourmet food. Many products feature exceptional value pricing plus interest-fee installment payments – value. Shopping from home or on the go by phone, web or app is certainly convenient.

Delivering a customer experience of quality, value and convenience leaves customers feeling impressed with themselves; feeling like they’ve made smart choices. When a company can effectively introduce emotion into the customer experience, they have mastered the customer experience.

5. Friendly

I once chatted with a QVC Customer Service Representative about the status of a product return. I simply wanted to confirm that my return was received, but I walked away from the chat session with a Beyond WOW reaction. The WOW started with this message from the Representative:

“Ms Golden, I’m so sorry the Canon Vixia HV30 MiniDV HD Camcorder hasn’t been processed as of yet.  I know you’re anxious to have this completed.  The return processing time can take up to 17 days from the date an order is returned to QVC.  I hope your item is processed soon.”

Email Customer Service

This chat experience was personalized, friendly and fast. I was beyond impressed.

Your Take-away

Make your customer experience easy, accessible, enjoyable and find ways to leave customers feeling impressed with themselves. When you do, you’ll be well on track to consistently delivering fantastic customer experiences. Good luck!

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What It’s Like to Attend a Myra Golden Keynote –> DFW Airport Women’s Conference (WIN) 2016

I loved speaking at the 2016 DFW Airport Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) Conference. We had more than 600 beautiful, talented and driven women in attendance. I truly enjoyed working with the executives at DFW Airport to design this special keynote to focus on taking the customer experience to the next level.

Keynote

After my keynote, the ladies blessed me with hugs, invitations to be in selfies, conversations, smiles and promises to stay in touch. I felt so welcome, so apart of this network of strong professional women. Continue reading “What It’s Like to Attend a Myra Golden Keynote –> DFW Airport Women’s Conference (WIN) 2016”

In rehearsal for this week’s keynote

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In rehearsal for this week’s Women’s Conference for the women of DFW Airport. They are going to LOVE this keynote!

Rehersal

And I am loving this hotel. The Hyatt Regency DFW had these healthy and sweet treats waiting for me when I arrived. This is just what I need!

Treats

What a nice touch to include a glass and complimentary bottled water.

Water

What It Means to Be Out of Harmony with Customers. A Lesson From Carl’s Jr.

 

Veggie Burger iStock_000061310848_Large

No, this is not a Carl’s Jr. veggie burger. Not even close. This is what a Veggie Burger Should Look Like.

My family decided on Carl’s Jr. for lunch. Fast food was the last thing I wanted, but I wanted to go with the flow with my kids. I quickly pulled up the Carl’s Jr menu on my iPhone and to my surprise and delight they have a veggie burger (I’m a vegetarian who eats vegan 99% of the time).

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On the website the Carl’s Jr. veggie burger looks delicious and they describe it this way:

Veg It.® – Guacamole Thickburger®

Feast on guacamole, Pepper Jack cheese and fresh fixings, all on a toasted sesame seed bun. The meat goes, but the flavor stays.

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This is perfect for me. I’ll simply hold the cheese and enjoy this flavorful veggie burger.

I’m the first to order. I order the Veg It, and please hold the cheese. The lady behind the counter says, “We don’t have any veggie burgers of any kind.” I tell her about the Veg It burger from the website. Again, she says they don’t have veggie burgers.

Ok, so I ask if they can make a veggie burger based on what I read on the website. I explain that the Carl’s Jr. Veg It has guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion and comes on a sesame seed bun. She sighs, looks like I am personally putting her out and takes my order. I’m delighted that I could at least request what I wanted and after my kids order, we take a seat and wait for our food.

To my chagrin, this is what I got. I open a burger container to see two large leaves of iceberg lettuce, a single tomato slice, and red onions that are less than fresh. On the side there is a plastic cup with guacamole. No bun is included, mind you.

iStock_000003420564XSmall

This is what they are calling the veggie burger. Wow. Um, wow. My neighbor’s rabbit would be disappointed in this meal. I was speechless. Actually, curse words ran through my mind. Were they really serious? I should have taken a picture of this thrown together mess. Instead, I closed up the carton and pushed it away.

I deliver a keynote I call “The Way of Harmony.” It’s about aligning an organization’s processes, people and products (or service) with the needs of customers.  When an organization is in harmony, the customer gets a delightful and memorable experience. When it’s out of harmony, customers are left disappointed and are at risk for defection and spreading negative word-of-mouth advertising.

Carl’s Jr. was out of harmony. The website listed a veggie burger, described it in a way that pleased my palate and even showed an image of a lush guacamole burger on the website. Yet, the store in Italy, Texas either had no idea that the company advertised the Veg It burger or didn’t care to make the burger.

Being out of harmony creates a frustrating negative experience for customers. It gets customers talking to their friends and family about the let down. It motivates people to tweet rants. It reduces the chances of customers coming back. Certainly, I’ll never return, not even for my kids.

Here’s a tip for any business that has a website, and that should be EVERY business. Make sure your actual product and service offerings are in harmony with what you advertise. When your advertisement is out of alignment with your actual offerings and experience, you confuse customers and send them running….to the competition.

Keeping the Customer Experience Fresh Through Responsiveness (How Hello Fresh delighted me by keeping me apprised)

 

Mature businesswoman smiling

On Sunday I had to reach out to my grocery delivery service for help. I sent an email and almost immediately I received an automatic reply. The reply was simple, just letting me know that my email had been received.

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Hi there,

Thanks so much for getting in touch! 

We have received your email and will respond shortly.

While you wait, take a look at our FAQ’s at http://www.hellofresh.com/faq/, in case your answer lies there.

Lastly, if you need to make meal choice, update your payment details, cancel or pause your account, please login https://www.hellofresh.com/customer/account/login/.

Talk to you soon,

The Friendly Freshers

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I appreciate getting an immediate response to my query, even when I know this is an automated computer generated response. It lets me know my email successfully reached the company. It puts me at ease.

When I’ve contacted this company over email in the past, the response from a service rep is pretty fast, usually within 1-2 hours. But nearly 24 hours had passed and I hadn’t heard back from the company. It was Martin Luther King Day and I thought perhaps they were short-staffed with people taking the day off. My kids were out of school and my husband and I had also taken the day off. But, to my delight, exactly 24 hours after my initial email, I got a second automated email from the company.

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Hello, Myra,

We’re sorry we haven’t gotten back to you yet. We have received your message and will respond to you very shortly. Thank you for bearing with us.

If you have anything else to add, please just reply here http://hellofreshusa.zendesk.com/hc/requests/854899 and we’ll get back to you shortly.

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I loved this second email, so much so, that I took time out of my holiday weekend to sit down and talk to you about it.

Hello Fresh normally replies to emails within 1-2 hours. But this time they didn’t, but they proactively updated me. This little update, timed perfectly at 24 hours after my initial communication, assured me that my email did not get lost and that they were on top of things. This update kept me from losing confidence in the company and it took away any need for me to reach out again by email or telephone. It protected me from becoming upset or even worse; it protected me from defecting.

Keeping customers apprised via automated emails is brilliant. It puts customers at ease, helps customers feel confident that the company is working on the problem, and it keeps customers from feeling they need to reach out to the company a second time.

The customer experience needs to reduce customer effort, keep customers apprised and it’s a treat when the experience can delight customers. Hello Fresh did each of these things by simply having an automated response built in to launch 24 hours after my initial email.

When you don’t immediately acknowledge a customer a customer’s inquiry, they may wonder if their communication even reached you and this may prompt follow-up communication that cost you time and money. Failing to acknowledge customer inquiries and not providing updates can result in losing customer confidence and trust.

What You Can Do

Review one aspect of your customer experience and explore how you can reduce customer effort and keep customers apprised. If you’re feeling really creative, consider how you might add surprise or delight to this aspect of the customer experience.

The Bottom Line

 

The outcome of an automated customer apprising strategy is customers who are updated and less likely to have to follow up to check in, and your organization will build customer confidence and trust through proactive communication.

Myra Golden is a customer experience keynote speaker and trainer who travels North America looking for great stories to share, and new ways to help her clients deliver the best possible customer experience.

These 3 Tips Will Help You Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

Portrait of a smiling business woman with an afro in bright glass office

I recently hosted a Train-the-Trainer session with one of my long-term clients. A new trainer will be delivering training courses I designed for the company. I knew her first half-day training session was today, so I called her up to see how her very first training session went. 

“Myra, I was so nervous! My voice quivered and my legs and arms shook. It was obvious to everyone that I was nervous. Can you help me with this?”

That took me back to my very first speech. It was 8th grade Civics class. Mr. McGinty was my teacher. I had to give an 8-minute speech. I was allowed to use up to 5 index cards. I used all 5 all right, front and back. My entire 8-minute speech was written out word-for-word on those cards. I read the speech and nearly died. My hands shook as I held the cards. My voice quivered something terrible. I remember my left leg just would not stop moving.

I assured my client that nervous energy is normal and that most people have a real fear of public speaking. And yes, I could help her with this.

Tips like picturing the entire audience in their underwear usually don’t help with the nervous jitters. What does help? Feeling confident and powerful helps you not feel nervous. But how does one manifest confidence and power?

Here are the 3 things I do to feel confident and powerful in front on an audience, the 3 things I shared with my client when we spoke today.

1. It’s about the audience, not you. When I first started out as a keynote speaker and trainer, my focus was on me. I had to have the perfect PowerPoint. Great energy was spent on having just the right outfit and accessories. I’d always get my hair and nails done before big events. It’s good to look good, but that’s not the point.

Your focus needs to be on your audience. Focus on being fully present with your audience. Deliver value. Engage your audience with stories, small group discussions and humor. When your focus is on your audience, there’s no time to consider yourself and there’s little room for nervous energy. When I changed my focus from me to my audience, my confidence soared.

2. Preparation is everything. The more prepared you are, the more confident you are. I literally rehearse my stories and my full keynotes aloud and I rehearse over and over. Right now I am preparing to deliver a brand new keynote topic in front of an audience of thousands. I have been researching and crafting this keynote for about 10 months. I have reserved the last 60 days before the keynote for nearly daily out loud rehearsals. In the weeks leading up to the event, I will do dress rehearsals with my slide deck. This level of preparation gives you confidence. Confidence is power and keeps you from feeling nervous.

3. Try the Power Pose. I just discovered the Power Pose earlier this year and now I do it before every keynote, training session or important meeting. Amy Cuddy, researcher and professor at Harvard Business School, has discovered body language techniques that make people feel more powerful.

In Cuddy’s research she found that if people stand like Wonder Woman for two minutes, their testosterone (in men and women) increases significantly and their cortisol (stress hormone) drops significantly. What is standing like Wonder Woman, you ask? It is to stand tall with your chest out and your hands on your hips. The Wonder Woman pose, referred by Cuddy as a Power Pose, makes people feel more powerful. People who do the Power Pose for just 2 minutes are more risk taking, think more abstractly and are more likely to do very well in stressful situations, like public speaking.

My client loved the Power Pose idea and she committed to putting her focus on her audience. She felt prepared and when she combines preparation with power and audience focus, she will be amazing. If you get the nervous jitters before public speaking, try these 3 tips and you too will be amazing.

Myra Golden is a customer experience keynote speaker and trainer who travels North America looking for great stories to share, and new ways to help her clients deliver the best possible customer experience.