Validating customer experiences is a surefire way of winning that customer over, forever. Validation and customer experiences are inextricably linked. People have needs and desires. Those needs and desires lead them to choices and decisions. We need – or want – something, and we go out and get it.
What do we mean with ‘validating customer experiences’?
A few weeks ago, customer service guru, Shep Hyken, wrote an article on the concept of customer validation. This blog article talked about how validating customer experiences is a vital part of a well-delivered customer service.
If we looked up ‘validation’ in the dictionary we’d come across something like:
“…an act, process, or instance of validating; especially : the determination of the degree of validity of a measuring device.” [Source]
In his article, Hyken uses the term ‘validation’ to describe achievement when a good sale has been made. A salesperson providing the proper advice and aid is awarded a “I’ve done well!” feeling when a sale is made, and a customer – hopefully! – leaves with a “made the right choice!” feeling.
Validation taking place here goes two ways: the salesperson feels their effort has paid off, and the customer feels that their decision making process has met their need. This achievement, the validation, is the way to generating great customer experiences.
What we’re getting at then is that ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ we all feel when we’ve done something right.
Customer Experiences, and why they should be validated
The world revolves around human needs, decisions and validation. We’re all looking for validation, whether it’s about our own choices or someone else’s. That feeling we get when we’ve accomplished something we’ve worked for boosts our self-esteem in a way nothing else can – to that end, most of us want to ‘do good’. We’ll just ignore all the procrastination we do on Facebook and all the times we binge-watched entire seasons on Netflix, that’s gratification, not validation of effort (although, in all fairness, validation delivers gratification).
A good customer experience comes when both parties – customer and salesperson – feel like their efforts have been validated. As a result, the whole purpose of customer service is to reach that point of validation. A happy customer – validated! – is likely to return and purchase again. Continually delivering what a customer desires and constantly validating their choices will generate a loyal customer, and a loyal customer is priceless.
Check out this video from Temkin Group International for some more insight:
Are you validating your customers’ experiences?
Having established that it’s important to ensure that no one feels as though they’ve wasted their time, what are you doing to improve the way your customers feel when they make their exit? Even if they’re delighted and shouting your praises from the rooftops, our work is not done. It’s important that our customers all feel that way when they leave. That’s easier said than done, really validating customer experiences is hard work. There’s no set plan or structure that you can apply to all customers across the board. Every customer needs – and deserves! – a tailored customer experience that leaves them feeling validated by the choices they have made and the level of service they have received.
Think about that, the next time a customer comes to you for a product or service.