Connecting with your customer


How can you help your customers feel like this?

In my bathroom there are two gorgeous, scarlet towels. They make me want to have a bath just to cocoon myself in them afterwards. I bought them in the UK store, John Lewis. The shop assistant, let’s call him Towel Man, was amazing. He explained technical towel terms like pile and twist and showed me patiently around the world of towels.

This was a special experience that made me feel looked after. Chuck in a cup of Earl Grey tea and a shortbread finger and I’d do a monthly towel shop there.

In my gym bag is a different towel. It’s salmon pink and weighs the same as a small bag of crisps. It’s compact and dries very quickly. I bought it online after reading a few brief reviews.

One luxurious towel and one practical towel. Two different experiences.

When you work with clients, how aware are you of the kind of customer experience you’re offering? How would you describe your customers’ needs and how can you create an experience to meet them?

I recently worked with engineers who design prosthetic limbs. They write technical documents for two audiences: the medical technicians who fit the prosthetics and the people who wear them.

For the technician, fitting prosthetics is a routine job. On the other hand for the wearer, as the prosthetic limb directly affects the quality of his life this is not a routine thing. Big differences between each group’s needs, aren’t there?

Your writing should reflect your different customer’s needs.

For the medical technician, clear instructions that give information simply and logically is the goal. And a section on trouble shooting for anything fiddly will go down well.

For the wearer, it’s important to pace information and offer empathy.

For pace, avoid long rambling sentences. Think short sentences. It works. Especially if you’re explaining something new or technical to them.

Steer clear of complex words or jargon and use images to illustrate what you mean when possible. To be supportive, think about tone. Use words that are reassuring and calm and confident.

Compare this to the two towels. The technician is looking for a practical towel, a to the point experience. The wearer is looking for a comfortable towel and in-depth answers delivered in a reassuring way.

So, next time you communicate with your customers, think what kind of towel experience they’re after and choose your words to match their individual needs.



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