What is the recipe to a successful business? And can it even be as simple as that?
The concept is fairly simple – if you’re willing to put in the work to make this flavour the driving force behind your business and brand.
So let’s get cooking!
There are 3 primary ingredients for this recipe. Most can attain moderate success using a combination of any 2; but if you want that Michelin star, you’ll want all 3.
- Product: Whether your business offers a product or service, your offering needs to be of the highest quality that you can possible create. That is, after all, what your customer is paying for.
- Service: Customer service can make a bad product offering more bearable. It creates an emotional connect with your customer and makes them feel as though they are more to you than just their wallet.
- Price: Your pricing determines the level of value that you offer your customers. Could they pay less and get the same quality elsewhere? Is it worth it for them to pay a little extra to get the quality that you offer?
Now that you’ve measured out your ingredients, let’s move on to the method.
Most businesses only have the time, energy and resources to use 2 ingredients at a time, rather than all 3. But when you combine only 2 of the 3 necessary ingredients, you get a different dish altogether.
You can use almost any metaphor for these recipes. Let’s use a pizzeria for example:
- Your restaurant could have the best pizza and service in town, but it might cost more than your average pizza restaurant usually sells it for. You’ll get niche customers who fit into that Elite brand and are willing to pay extra for it.
- Your restaurant could have the best pizza and prices in town, but the customer service is enough to reduce a child to tears. You’ll get niche customers who can divorce themselves from the emotional side, opting for your Clinical brand because it delivers on their needs.
- Your restaurant could have the best pricing and the most friendly customer service, going out of its way to ensure a good experience for all customers, but the pizza itself might be way below average. You’ll get the niche customers who would rather a happy experience that’s good on their pockets than have a superb pizza – customers who are driven more by the Emotion and sentiment that your brand offers than its actual offering.
Now imagine what would happen if you didn’t have to leave out any of these aspects – if you could use all 3 ingredients together?
The Secret Ingredient
This is not as inconspicuous as using a real Madagascan vanilla pod instead of vanilla essence. This secret ingredient is a game changer. One that alters the whole diagram:
Once you change your focus to prioritise Customer Experience, you change the lens through which you look at the 3 original ingredients. With the complete Customer Experience as your top priority:
- Your Product or Offering has to be the best that you could possibly offer.
- Your Pricing needs to offer Great Value to your customers.
- Customer Service must be supplemented with Customer Care.
So what is Customer Care, how is it different to Customer Service, and how does this add to your Customer Experience?
According to Forbes:
- Customer Service is the advice or assistance a company gives its customers. This is generally to help them choose the right products or service out of your offerings and to answer questions about its general uses, processes and after-care. Some might go so far as to call this the bare minimum.
- Customer Care is about how well customers are taken care of while they interact with your brand. This is a step beyond the almost-mandatory helpfulness of Customer Service, because you are now going the extra mile to really listen to and meet the needs of your customer, thus creating an emotional connection along the way. For example, you could come up with a payment plan to help your customers pay off your product over time if they are struggling to meet your rates in one payment.
- Customer Experience is the total journey of a customer’s interactions with a brand. This is the sum of all contact between your brand and each individual customer. It includes and influences how they feel about your company. It is not a once-off interaction, it is the entire customer lifecycle since being introduced to your brand. This is also the biggest player in creating brand loyalty.
Customer Experience will always trump general Customer Service. Because, according to Change the Culture, Change the Game by Roger Connors and Tom Smith, experiences create beliefs. Beliefs lead to action. And positive action from your customers give you good results.
This is a cycle which has its foundations in the Customer Experience, making Customer Experience the main ingredient for the success of your business and brand.
Let’s cook up a storm together! Chat to us about how we can align this recipe to your unique business, brand and offerings.
Because we see the bigger picture, and we see you.
We are different. And you can be, too.