One of the reasons I’ll drive out of my way to shop at Lowe’s is the customer experience I have while I’m in the store. For me, Lowe's has become the neighborhood hardware store, where the associate behind the commercial sales counter really does know my name. The customer experience he and his fellow associates provide is friendly, positive and inspiring.
The Brand Manager in me is especially attuned to the ways in which brands like Lowe's deliver their customer experiences. Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a variety of approaches, including the use of “mystery shoppers”, catchy slogans (e.g., “People Pleasing People,” “Easy to do Business With,” etc.), Process Quality Management and Improvement methodologies, customer outreach and appreciation days, and exercises in mapping and analyzing the customer journey.
While each of these approaches can certainly help a brand deliver an improved customer experience, the brands who excel at delivering a superior customer experience know the return on these investments is dependent upon one critical success factor – the degree of ownership your employees assume in delivering the experience. You can have the most engaging “mystery shoppers,” the catchiest slogan, the highest-quality and most customer-focused processes and, unless your employees take full ownership in all aspects of its delivery, your customer experience will fall short of your customers’ expectations.
Experience Lowe’s. Find out what it’s like to “build something together” with the folks at your neighborhood hardware store. Then ask yourself what actions you can take to ensure your employees are taking full ownership of delivering your brand’s customer experience.