Want the truth about your customer experience? Ask your customers.
No one can tell you how your business is doing in terms of living up to its brand promise better than customers. Whether you ask or not, they’ll share your report card through social media and on review sites like Yelp or Reseller Ratings. Even B2B firms need to pay attention to feedback in order to win customer loyalty and referrals.
We’re used to the horror stories about problems with customer service, so it’s nice to hear about the winners for a change. One to watch is the up-and-coming online stationery store, PaperStyle.com, which consistently earns 5-star ratings for their service, speed and quality.
Over lunch recently with David Grocer, president of Paper Style, the topic of powerful customer experiences came up. I expressed to David my belief that a lot of executives don’t fully understand the vital connections between corporate strategy, customer experience and their brand.
David explained that Paper Style is different, and proceeded tell me how the company uses customer experience as a brand differentiator in the competitive online space.
For starters, Paper Style views exceptional experience as a core part of the company’s strategy, not an afterthought. The family owned business places a premium on both customer service and employee engagement, ensuring that every touch point is an opportunity to win a customer for life.
Some key areas David highlights in this customer-centric philosophy are:
Mission focus. Having a shared sense of purpose throughout the organization draws the staff together to meet a common goal. At Paper Style, there is an understanding that the firm is not in business to simply sell invitations and greetings, they exist to “…help customers celebrate their life.”
Culture counts. Being selective about who joins the team allows the company to fully engage employees in the mission of delivering quality, personalized service. “We care about employees and they, in turn, care about customers,” says Grocer. As a result, 70% of Paper Style’s employees have been with them for over 5 years.
Every touch point matters. Paper Style sees every customer touch point as an opportunity to cement a long-term customer relationship. This means being both responsive and proactive. Like most businesses, Paper Style connects with customers via online chat or phone to answer questions before the sale.
They also go the extra mile, reaching out to customers whenever there is a discrepancy or question about an order – before it ships. This proactive approach not only prevents returns and complaints, it shows customers that Paper Style cares about ensuring their satisfaction.
Enthusiastic appreciation for both customers and employees increases satisfaction and earns Paper Style high marks. Customers regularly share comments like this: “Someone called from your company today to thank me for my business and to wish me a great birthday and enjoyable party. All I can say is WOW.”
Understanding customer needs extends beyond product selection. While Paper Style is constantly introducing new products like its recently licensed Elvis collection, the company knows that customers demand two things in their orders: speed and accuracy. With this in mind, they’ve structured the business to deliver orders quickly, proofing, printing and shipping the same day via express delivery.
As a result of this intense customer focus, Paper Style garners rave reviews from customers, with an overall rating of 9.75/10 on ResellerRatings.com. In addition, their efforts pay off in accelerated growth, delivering referral business, increasing word of mouth and earning repeat customers.
Can you say the same for your business?