Yanique Grant Show Notes
This episode with Yanique Grant will be speaking about customer experience and convenience as it relates to customer experience. Over the last few months I have been doing a lot of workshops locally and I have been advising the participants and the organizations that "CONVENIENCE" is the next big thing in Customer Experience and those organizations that really recognize it are definitely setting themselves apart and making themselves or creating that competitive advantage for themselves.
The most valuable commodity in the world is "Time" and if you are in business, competing on price is just not enough; you have to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Many will argue that convenience is apart of customer service or the customer experience and I will definitely agree with that but it is becoming so important that I am willing to tell you that it is definitely a sole competitive differentiator.
Let’s think about convenience and what it really means, convenience is the option that you give the customer to get more than one item or to have more than one channel by which they can communicate with you. Let’s take for example Amazon, Amazon has created a market place where you can basically lay in your bed, you can be in the airport using your phone, you can be sitting in a parking lot using your tablet and order anything you could possibly think of, you can place an order for a DVD you can place an order for a phone, you can place an order for a book, Amazon is right there at the tip of your fingers, you can even buy a part for your motor vehicle on Amazon, it’s just that simple, it’s just that easy. They’ve found a way to really set themselves apart as it relates to convenience, they broke out of the low price and big selection game with convenience and they‘ve even made it so much easier, they created the Amazon Prime programme that gets the merchandise shipped to you without shipping charges in 2 days or less and it works! I am an Amazon prime customer and it’s like magic!!! They’ve created the Dash Button that allows you to purchase merchandise with the simple push of a button, they wanted to eliminate steps, as many steps as possible from the time a customer is thinking about purchasing a product until that product is delivered. They are also setting up distributing centers throughout major cities that can get merchandise to you in 2 hours or less, speed and simplicity is exactly what it is about.
To take is a step further there is Uber, Uber managed to create a system where you can just have this app on your phone, you can pay for where you want to be transported to right there through the app and you can see that motor vehicle or driver coming from whatever point to come and pick you up. I was on vacation in Chicago in August of this year with my daughter and we were taking an Uber and my friend purchased the Uber for us from his office, which was maybe 5 or 10 minutes up the road from us and he was able see the car on the road and advise us exactly when to go downstairs to the front desk and the vehicle will be right there. We were able to know that it was a white vehicle, a Toyota Corolla and the guy’s name is Dennis, I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.” So convenience is the next big thing in customer experience, it makes things so much easier.
I was also visiting some friends for my daughter’s friends birthday over the weekend and of course there was no coffee and I am a big coffee drinking and when I went to the supermarket, which is located at the entrance of the complex, upon completing my purchase and leaving the store, the gentleman walked me outside with the cart and preceded to take the things and put them in my vehicle for her which I was very grateful for and I told him thanks. He went further to say, “The next time that time you would like to make a purchase, you could just go online or you could email us your items and we will just deliver it for you and you can pay for it when we come to deliver it, just so easy and convenient you don’t even have to come out of your bed.” Those were his exact words and I was like, “This is amazing.” It doesn’t matter how small your business is, it doesn’t matter how large your business is, look at Amazon, they are serving millions and probably billions of people globally, so you could be serving 10 people, you could be serving a 100 people, you could be serving a billion people, convenience is the next big thing in customer experience and if you con figure out a way in your business to make your services more convenient for your customers, you’re definitely creating a competitive advantage.
Another big organization that I would like to mention here in Jamaica is First Global Bank (FGB) and they have this amazing machine call the Video Teller Machine, it’s the first of its kind in Jamaica as far as I knows, it’s the only bank in Jamaica that offers this service. This Video Teller Machine opens way before the bank opens like at 7:00 am and they close pretty much after the bank closes, you can do a lot of transactions at the Video Teller Machine and it’s not like an ATM machine, you can do cash deposits, you can do can cash withdrawals, you can make cheque deposits, you can do cheque encashment for their (FGB) cheques, you can do denomination exchanges, you can do credit card payments, you can do fund transfers and it’s basically a machine and you’re speaking to the Teller, you pick the phone up, you have the option of seeing the Teller or you have the option of not seeing the Teller and you tell them what you need to do and you insert your payment or whatever transaction you need to do through that slip section and you get your receipt, it’s amazing and you don’t have to join the main line because many times you enter the bank the main line has a good amount of people and you kind of want to do a quick transaction, there’s no need for you to have an extensive interaction with someone and so the Video Teller Machine has really been an amazing convenient experience, so I have to big up First Global Bank for really being the innovator and the trend setter in that department in the banking industry in Jamaica. You have to think in terms of “How can I make life easier for my customers? What do my customers want?” If you start thinking in that frame of mind, she guarantee that you’re going to be at least 5 to 10 steps ahead of the game and in this global competitive marketplace that we’re all operating in, convenience is the one thing that is going to set you apart from your competition.
Thank you so much for joining me by just taking some time to listen on customer experience and innovative convenience. I also want to state basically and quote you some basic statistics just to let you know how important convenience is. There was a survey that was conducted by LPSOS and in that survey they found that 80% of the respondents stated that new payment methods such as prepaid cards, electronic transfers and even mobile devices have made the buying process easier, this is forcing businesses in the B2C (Business to Customer) market and B2B (Business to Business) market sectors to look at their point of sale technology for potential improvements to meet customer expectations especially as ecommerce continues to grow in popularity.
Again, Amazon is a great example of ecommerce, look at Netflix, Netflix is definitely another great innovation in terms of people used to rent DVDs and now with Netflix you just pay this very minimal fee per month and you have at the tip of your fingers....TV shows, you have different genres of movies and all of this you can access through your tablet, you can access through your phone, you can access through your smart TV or your computer. So convenience is really the driving force that customers are looking for, so my challenge to you is to go back into your organizations and maybe do a mini survey and find out what kind of convenience your customers are looking for, better yet you could even ask your customer facing employees to pay attention to things that customers ask for the most and try and find unique ways to embed or to introduce these things as a natural part of doing business with your organization, if you take this mind set and if you take this approach, you’re definitely going to see a difference in your sales because convenience will cause people to do business with you over another organization all because it’s so much easier, because time is the greatest commodity in this life that we are operating in and it’s the most valuable commodity.
If you can figure out a way to save your customers time while ensuring that they’re still being provided with the best quality service in the most easy and convenient way, you’ll be surprised to know how your bottom line would tremendously increase because you’re making things so much easier for them. Customers like to know that they’re doing business with an organization and that the organization has taken the hassle out of doing business with them. If you have to go somewhere and you have to figure out what to do, where to go, how to get this done, why is it so complicated, why is it taking so much time, why do I have to follow up with them much, it’s so frustrating at times, you’re going to look for an alternative that’s going to cause you little or no stress, so the aim of an organization is to find unique ways to reduce the stress and basically improve on the convenience, improve on the hassle free experience, ensure that when the customer has finished completing the transaction they feel like it was so easy they could do it over and over and over again because it literally takes nothing out of them to complete the transaction, that’s the mind set you need to be in, Convenience is the next "BIG" thing in customer service.
What are you doing in your business to create convenience?