I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who is a physician, and we struck up a conversation about a recent doctor visit. Now, while I like my friend and respect physicians, I despise my annual checkups immensely. I consider doctor visits to be the opposite of an outstanding customer experience.
We got to talking about how doctors today have so many patients lined up, you are lucky to get 15 minutes of their time. My friend mentioned he typically sees 40 patients a day…that’s one patient every 12 minutes! Meanwhile, the patient usually ends up spending an hour or more in the office just waiting to be seen. Then when they do finally get to see the doctor, often the appointment gets so rushed they get whisked away left with unanswered questions, unmitigated concerns and a $40 co-pay. No wonder I’ve come to dread the doctor – how much bedside manner can I really expect if he can only dedicate 12 minutes to me?
But have you ever thought about your company’s bedside manner when it comes to your customer references? After all, you have worked hard to incorporate new customers into your program and build a strong portfolio of customer references to call upon, and you certainly don’t want all that work to go to waste. But what are you doing to ensure your customer references have a good experience in the program and maintain their commitment for years to come?
- Are you focused on building long-standing relationships with these customers?
- Have you taken the time to check in with them on a regular basis?
- Do you overuse some of them while glossing over others?
- Are you answering their questions and leveraging their motivations for joining your program in the first place?
- Have you shown them your appreciation for their participation in your program?
- Or are you simply writing a prescription, collecting the “co-pay” and moving on to the next patient?
Maintaining a positive customer experience is a way to differentiate your customer reference program and ensure longevity for customer reference participation. I would challenge you and your team to act in ways that show customers they are valued through an improved customer experience. Have a terrific “bedside manner” with your customers and you will see the positive impact it will have.