Many of the small business owners I meet with are not focused the quality of the experience their customers have when visiting their establishment, but they should be.

Each time customers interact with a business they (consciously or unconsciously) make a judgement about the value received.

A customer may not have high expectations when stopping into their local convenience store to pick up some milk and bread.  But when they stop in and find clean floors, well organized merchandise and friendly workers, their pleasant experience drives up their satisfaction.

Practiced over time, customer satisfaction can lead to customer loyalty, achieving which should be the goal of the business owner.

Customer loyalty is often measured in terms of lifetime value of a customer.  The average transaction for a given customer in a convenience store may be $15, but their lifetime value of convenience store purchases may be more like $18,000.

Thinking of each customer in terms of their lifetime value helps business owners to understand the importance of customer experience and customer satisfaction to their bottom line.

Who is my customer?

What do they want?

How can I provide what they want using the most efficient processes and the least waste?

I was recently introduced to the P.I.E. Model, a tool for improving your personal brand.  P.I.E. stands for:

Performance, Image, Experience

and the idea is to have in mind each of these categories as you work to cultivate a public persona for yourself.  This rings true for me, so I intend to use these three terms as categories for my posts (among others) as a way to track my focus areas and where I may need to step up my game.

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