Learn how to influence client perceptions
Patricio Peker - 26 de abril, 2023
You can influence and improve these opinions by focusing on the perception points that customers experience every single day. Moments of truth, when people see, hear, touch, taste, and smell your company.
Jan Carlzon from Scandinavian Airlines was the first to come up with the concept of "moments of truth", or perception points. Every customer contact, whether before, during, or after a sale or service, will affect what people say and believe about you. At all stages of the customer relationship cycle, all perception points must be relevant:
- Exploration: the customer considers buying from you.
- Confirmation: the customer buys from you.
- Delivery: the customer receives what you have promised
- After: you ensure the customer's success and satisfaction.
Where is the customer perception points?
They are in countless details, in what your people do and say, in your products, advertising, bathrooms, etc.
The people: there should be standards regarding physical appearance, presentation, dress, hair, nails, personal odors, posture, body language, how they stand, how far away from the customer they stand, eye contact, gestures, and permitted behaviors.
The product: make sure your products are innovative, at the cutting edge of technological advances, that serve your customers as no other product could. Add details: the icing on the cake.
Evaluate with us all points of customer perception of your company.
- Appearance dress - mood Attitude - eye contact - posture Verbal language - product knowledge Punctuality - communication skills - Flexibility - reliability - Problem-solving skills -Motivation - willingness to serve
- Price - dimensions - weight Speed - power – performance - Materials - quality - functions Ease of operation - Ease of maintenance - warranty Spare parts - colors - design Service - variety – innovation - Stock - resale value - durability
- Appearance - maintenance – cleanliness - Opening hours Spaciousness of service areas - Lighting - Ease of arrival - Ease of parking - Accessibility for people with disabilities Toilets - waiting rooms - furnishings
- Is it fast? - Is it user-friendly? - Attractive? Easy to navigate? Does it have relevant information for customers? Is contact information visible and up to date?
Your phone numbers
- How many rings are there before they are answered? -Enough lines? - Enough staff? - Does it have an interesting audio hold? call center hours? - How cordial is the service? Efficient service? - Referral efficiency? Solution efficiency?
- Attractive? - Materials? - Design? Functionality? - Instructions? - Recyclable?
Your advertising and promotion
- Innovative? - Effective? - Realistic? action-oriented? brand-strengthening? - Recallable? Reflective of the company's ethos? Credible? - True?
Your policies and standards
- Responsive? - Friendly? - Understandable? - simple? - Are they easy to follow? Do they expect or pamper customers?
Your work processes
- Pleasant? - Fast? - Efficient? Confusing? - Practical? - Elegant?
- Visual perception points: lighting, color, care of furniture and fixtures, measurements. Shiny floors, transparent glass, the colors of your logos, visual design of your website.
- Auditory perception points: tone of voice, words used, ambient sound, music, radio announcements.
- Kinaesthetic perception points: to anything that can be touched and felt: weight, texture, comfort of chairs, the height of your counters, temperature in waiting rooms, and firmness of your handshake.
- Taste perception points: serving coffee to your customers, fresh water.
- Olfactory perception points: scents, aromas, what about your bathrooms, fresh flowers, the smell of freshly ground coffee, the smell of cakes baking.
Tip: Strengthen your best points, and correct or improve the worst ones. Of all the customer perception points, which do you consider to be the best? Which are the points that give your customers the best feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment, and delight? Which ones do you consider to be your worst perception points, and which ones give your customers feelings of dissatisfaction, discomfort, displeasure, and frustration?
An example of changing perceptions: Is the line moving fast? We all have to wait in lines, and I don't know anyone who likes it. If your customers have to wait in lines, one way to make them happy is to make the line move fast. But you will also make them happy if you make it look like the line is moving fast. We are talking more about perceptions than realities. If you work on appearances, you will achieve results on customers' perceptions. It's something that requires imagination, and then: action.
Listed below are some proven methods for achieving this goal:
- Make sure you have a queue, not a crowd or a disorderly group of people. Orderly progress towards the point of focus produces a sense of progress and calmness in people.
- Keep the line narrow. A line of one move faster than a line of two or three people.
- Arrange the queue so that people who are waiting can see the person being served. If you can see the place where you will be served, that place looks closer. If you cannot see the place, the queue in front of you may be very long and you may be ignoring it, which causes uncertainty and uneasiness.
- After serving each customer, use a light, indicator, or a pleasant sound to signal: "next customer through". This keeps the next customer alert, saves time between customers, and gives everyone a sense that the line is moving forward.
- Offer an estimated wait time indicator on a digital display when entering the queue. This lets people know what to expect when they join the queue.
- Place information throughout the queue to attract the attention of those waiting: posters, brochures, and leave reading material for customers to read.
- Background music: for younger groups, music of their age, for older ones, whatever they like.
- Television sets. Choose an appropriate channel according to your audience: CNN, Travel and Living Channel, or Cartoon Network if there are children.
- Put up mirrors. OTIS discovered this many years ago. When mirrors are placed near elevators, people look at their appearance. They become so distracted and focused on it that they lose track of how long it takes for the elevator to arrive.
- You can have some of your staff approach people, answer their questions, guide customers, provide information, and thank them for their patience.
Por Patricio Peker
Author of the Amazon Best Seller, The Salesman with the Golden Eggs: The Step-by-Step Sales Guide. Trainer of Salespeople and Negotiators in numerous companies in America and Spain.