Creating an experience able to keep customer loyalty results from the magical combination of three elements: products, shops, and above all, people. By people, we specifically refer to collaborators and employees whose everyday work enlightens and makes sense of the organisation’s corporate mission.
There is no pure chance in the fact that, what we have traditionally referred to as “Human Resources” has now acquired a more progressive designation by being called “Human Capital.” Based on the premise that whoever nominates, dominates, it would be right to understand that linguistic shift as the utter rejection of the possibility of considering the workforce as one more resource; on the contrary, the underlying concept now suggests identifying employees as the true human capital, paramount for the development and growth of the organisation.
Paradoxically, this shift of focus leads to deeper concentration on customers/company relationships. Starbucks Coffee Company simplifies this through the following statement, “we’re not serving people in the coffee business; instead, we’re serving coffee in the people business.” It is worth asking, then, how is it that a company’s human capital can become a strategic asset, able to offer memorable experiences to customers? Is it possible to ensure the staff will actually cater for those experiences in every interaction with customers, i.e., when serving coffee, indicating certain procedures, or answering questions? What should customers receive and/or perceive when they visit a company’s premises so they recall that visit and wish to return? Resuming Starbucks Company’ case, in the section “The Employee’s Role in Customer’s Experience” from a The Customer Experience publication, the specialist Beatriz Navarro states that, “people come [to our shops] because of our coffee, stay because of our warm hearted environment, and return because of our human connection.
It is thanks to this that we can prove that good and valuable experiences do not depend 100% on the quality of products and/or services but on other aspects concerning the commercial interaction.
Apart from our human condition, the other distinctive feature that makes the current contemporary society out is that we all are -or have been, at some point- customers. Perhaps, we unconsciously go through more emotional processes rather than rational processes during our shopping experiences which inspire either positive or negative feelings that in turn, bring about the wish to return –or not- to a shop, company, or organisation. It is due to the everyday rush that many experiences take place unnoticeably, but they do occur, and result definite.
Plenty of research shows a multiplicity of factors that are involved in customers’ experiences, and that significantly condition the decision making process. As stated by the Argentine consultant Luciano Pazcel, a lecturer in the Marketing for SMEs course at the National University of Technology, per case studied, 68% of people switch brands due to company’s indifference, i.e., they feel served and treated as everyone else. 14% of customers switch brands because they are dissatisfied with the product; whereas only 9% move away from the brand and opt for the competitor.
These figures prove the competitive value of placing the emphasis and focusing on offering memorable experiences to customers through the human capital of the company. Besides empathy, aptitude, and efficiency; what sort of innovating solutions may the staff make use of in order to offer the services as well as the quality of attention capable of adding distinguishing value?
In the field of innovation and cutting-edge technology, there exist companies fully devoted to the ongoing construction and optimizations of customers’ experiences at the service area. Wavetec is a leading company which provides technological solutions to other companies worldwide by offering essential holistic training to employees that enables them to feel confident and at ease with their work tools, and so helps them get the most out of each interaction with customers.
One of Wavetec’s solutions involves real time assessment of the service quality offered at the customer service area. Then, it is also possible to organise, manage, and measure the influx of customers in a shop, thus ensuring on-time attention and exceeding expectations by taking into account those small courtesies that make customers feel valued.