Stephen Covey popularized the idea of the Emotional Bank Account. In this simple metaphor every relationship is an account. The “richest” relationships involve lots of deposits (kind words, appreciation, gestures of caring), the “poorest” relationships involve lots of withdrawals (excluding, ignoring, misunderstanding). And every relationship involves some of both. This post will examine how companies can use the customer experience to make deposits in the emotional bank accounts of their customers.

1. Understand the individual

One of the seven practices of a customer-centric organization is inviting customer to give feedback. Opening a company to receiving ongoing input from customers demonstrates that the company is no longer assuming they know the customer, but are seeking to better understand the customer.

2. Keeping commitments

Consistency is a critical factor in creating a great customer experience. Consistently keeping commitments builds long-term trust that the company has the customer’s best interests at heart.

3. Clarifying expectations

In our line of work we talk about how the brand makes the promise and the customer experience keeps that promise. Customers become frustrated when the brand – presented through marketing, TV commercials, or the website – sets expectations that the experience does not deliver on.

4. Attending to the little things

Across the board, regardless of company size, industry, or sector the pinnacle of a great customer experience is genuine service. People want to connect with people. They want friendly service, a smile, someone to recognize their business. These little things go a long way in making customers feel valued.

5. Showing integrity

The social era has forced transparency onto businesses, whether they want it or not. This new reality means that marketing alone cannot create the desired corporate image. Companies need to treat employees well, act kindly toward the environment, and conduct themselves in ways that are consistent with the messages they are sending to the market. A business with integrity builds trust and makes it easier for customers to support a business with confidence.

6. Apologizing sincerely when we make a withdrawal

Even the best companies will make mistakes. The best companies have Voice of the Customer programs in place that make it easy for customers to report a problem and alert managers that they need follow-up action. Quick customer service recovery offered with a sincere apology is an opportunity for companies to make a deposit in the customer’s emotional account.

Is your current customer experience slowly draining the emotional bank accounts of your customers? Get in touch, we’d love to help you transform your customer experience.