If you were asked to define how you ensure a great experience for your clients, how would you reply? Perhaps you would allude to your cutting-edge product mix, or the highly customized programming you offer. Maybe you would include phrases such as “immersive entertainment,” “hi-fidelity,” “stunning UHD,” “fully integrated,” or “clean aesthetics.”
While the above descriptions capture a compelling portion of your value proposition, I would argue that they represent at most half of your true customer experience (CX) equation. The remainder of what determines your CX stems not from flashy features or bells and whistles, but rather in the overall service experience that you provide. Ensuring that these service efforts contribute to an overall positive CX for your clients boils down to two simple factors–managing expectations and providing quick and consistent results.
The single best time to start a conversation about the need for ongoing service and maintenance is at the very beginning of your sales process. This early management of expectations is vital to ensuring a good CX. As you well know, even systems designed, installed, and programmed with the utmost professionalism will experience occasional issues. Many of these issues are completely out of your control to prevent: locked up cable boxes, sketchy ISP modems, HDMI issues, and on and on.
The single best time to start a conversation about the need for ongoing service and maintenance is at the very beginning of your sales process.
You do, however, have the ability to prevent your clients from being caught off guard by these occasional problems. This is best accomplished by explaining the likelihood of these issues, and how you approach resolving them, early on in the relationship. Waiting until the end of the sales process to discuss service–particularly if you’re planning to pitch any sort of paid service plan–will only make your presentation feel like an add-on, akin to a car salesmen hawking an extended warranty just as you thought he was about to hand you the keys.
And if that isn’t bad enough, then waiting to discuss service until the installation is complete makes the overall CX even worse. In this case, every minor system hiccup plants a small seed of doubt in the client’s mind about what they have just purchased, starting them down the slippery slope toward full-fledged buyer’s remorse. And if their expectations weren’t properly set to begin with, who could blame them?
Consistency is King
Equally critical to ensuring a great CX is providing your clients with a quick and consistent approach when service issues arise. This starts with having a clearly defined policy for how your clients request support. Many companies handle support requests in an ad-hoc manner, with clients simply placing a direct call or e-mail to the team member they know best, be that a company owner, salesman, or programmer. This approach invariably leads to an inconsistent service experience when the client’s preferred contact is preoccupied and cannot respond.
Instead, you are much better off creating dedicated email and phone channels for support. This allows you to set a rotating on-call schedule, as well as a company policy regarding hours of availability and guaranteed response times. In turn, you can set a clear expectation with your clients about how to request support, as well as when and how quickly they can expect a response.
Fully leveraging remote systems management (RSM) products and network-connected power conditioners on as many sites as possible is another way to ensure a good CX. While RSM tools won’t solve every issue remotely, they can solve the majority of them. And even for issues that can’t be resolved remotely, the diagnostics that RSM tools provide make multiple truck-rolls for the same service incident much less likely, minimizing the effort required of your client to schedule and be available for on-site work.
Providing an excellent CX is something we all strive for. But given the specialized nature of our industry, it can be easy to think of your CX strictly in terms cutting-edge features and high-performance technology. It’s critical to remember that, while the bells and whistles are important, they only go so far in keeping your clients happy. Providing an excellent service experience is equally vital to ensuring a positive experience for your clients.