What if customers want more than excellent service?

What if customers want more than excellent service?

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Customer experience doesn’t stop – Interview with Richie Manu – and is number 364 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Steven:

  • Steven’s passion is to create and share ideas about the future of customer experience.
  • This year has been the biggest digital training course the world has ever seen.
  • One of the consequences is that digital convenience has now become the most natural thing in the world.
  • What comes next includes two dimensions: 1. how can you become a partner in life of people that goes beyond selling a product and goes beyond giving them good service and 2. how do you add value to society.
  • Excellent service is the new commodity.
  • Today, with digital convenience, it’s almost impossible to differentiate yourself in a positive way. The only way to differentiate yourself with respect to digital convenience is in a negative way these days.
  • The book is based around a model that has different levels.
    • The first starts with the basics and that is having a good product with a good price that is accompanied by good service.
    • The next layer is digital convenience where companies need to create transactional perfection which optimises every detail of the customer journey to create the optimal transaction.
    • The next layer is becoming a partner in life, where you talk about the human behind the customer, their hopes, dreams and fears and  how you can add value to that.
    • Then the top layer is concerned with changing your world and using the strengths that you have to make a difference to the world.
  • 74% of the world’s population expect company leaders to proactively add value to society.
  • McKinsey study: Customer loyalty has never been lower than during the pandemic.
  • Purpose statements are usually the average of the average of the average.
  • Companies should make purpose statements more actionable.
  • A real purpose that is linked to customer value would help you to make decisions about the future and about what to do, what not to do, what to stop, what to start and where to double down.
  • Great examples of companies getting it right: TCCUpkot and CVS Pharmacy.
  • Figure out what matters to people, and then make them matter.
  • The model applies equally well to employees and their experience.
  • Research has shown that this is even more important for employees than for customers. Customers can live to do business with a company that is not changing the world if they have a unique product. But, employees want to work for a company that does something more than just make money. They want to work for a company that can make them proud.
  • Based on Steven’s real life research if given any wish 95% of people would choose a wish that gives value to their personal life or their friends or family, and only 5% would choose to solve a world problem.
  • This an embarrassing fact for humans but it is reality.
  • We shouldn’t forget that when thinking about changing the world. The bottom of the model is about helping out customers first and most customers still think customer first planet second.
  • Convenience trumps choice the majority of the time.
  • The stand out themes over the last few months are resilience, creativity and the adding of new experiences.
  • And, if you combine these three with hard work then almost every company can benefit from the situation that we’re in right now.
  • Great story of Luigi’s cafe in the Netherlands that has embodied these things that you will have to listen to the podcast to learn more about.
  • The future of customer experience will be more digital, more human on and will be more local.
  • The key challenges ahead is that everything will become more short term and more unexpected as a result of those things and that will require a higher flexibility than ever before.
  • Steven’s best advice: Appoint friction hunters in your organisation, hunt down friction and eliminate it.
  • Steven’s Punk CX word(s): Going against the trend
  • Steven’s Punk CX brand: Van Moof

Today’s interview is with Steven Van Belleghem who is an international keynote speaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author. Steven joins me today to talk about his new book: The Offer You Can’t Refuse: What If Customers Want More Than Excellent Service? , the core premise, what the future looks like, what we can learn from it and how it can help us deliver better service and experience outcomes.

This article was posted on CustomerThink in November 2020.

Adrian Swinscoe

Adrian Swinscoe brings over 16 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies. Adrian Swinscoe is a customer service and experience advisor, speaker, workshop and masterclass leader and aspirant punk at Punk CX. He helps to create, develop and grow businesses that take care of their customers in the best way possible and create the great teams that are required to do that. A former teacher, economist, manager of businesses and leader of teams. He is also a contributor for Forbes, where he writes about customer service and customer experience.