Real competitive advantage in customer experience comes from understanding customers and what drives them away – Interview with David Avrin

Leaving

Today’s interview is with David Avrin, a keynote speaker, an author, a consultant and also CEO of Visibility International. David joins me today to talk about his new book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back), what it’s about, what we can learn from it and what we should be doing differently to improve customer service and experience.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Gender and diversity imbalances will impact your ability to connect with and serve your customers – Interview with Adriana Gascoigne of Girls In Tech – and is number 311 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with David:

  • David has recently published a new book called Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back).
  • People and organisations around the world define and understand customer experience very differently.
  • It doesn’t mean anything when you tell us that our call is very important to you and then you put us on hold for 45 minutes.
  • The book is written from the perspective of the customer, what they like and don’t like. Some home truths, if you like.
  • David admits the book is a bit of a rant.
  • The book is organised around issues that customers have with companies, why companies put these things in place and what to do about them.
  • Customers don’t want to fill out your stupid contact forms.
  • Most companies are rubbish at responding to contact requests that have been sent to them via contact forms.
  • Dharmesh Shah, one of the founders of Hubspot, is quoted as saying that we should make it systematically easy for our customers to leave but emotionally difficult for them to leave.
  • Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
    • What this chapter says is just be honest with customers. Customers are really smart people. They understand that things go wrong. Just be honest, up-front and straight-forward with them about it.
    • There’s too many instances in business where people try to save face as opposed to being honest or authentic. We can do better.
  • Your management fails to manage.
    • This chapter talks about treating people the way that you want to be treated. However, most people and companies don’t live up to this standard. To do so requires standards. It requires empowerment. It requires discipline. It requires consistency. That starts at the top.
  • The best companies are the ones who deliver consistently.
  • The real opportunity to gain competitive advantage and market share is by being much better at understanding our customers, their wants, their needs, their hopes, their fears, what drives their decisions and what drives them away.
  • David’s best advice:
    • Look at your customers journey from the very beginning to the very end. And, the beginning doesn’t start when they’re buying from you. The beginning starts when they have a problem or a question that they’re looking to resolve. Look at every point of contact and ask the questions:
      • 1. Is is there something along there that’s causing some friction? Is that the way it should be done? Could it be done better or faster or smarter or more conveniently or more predictably or more intuitively? Can we do it with one click?
      • 2. Once you’ve fixed all the problems, then ask yourself….how can we enhance that? Is there a point to every point of contact? Is that the way it should be done?
  • David’s Punk CX word: visibility. The reason being is that if you are going to be creative, if you’re going to market, why do it and not be noticed?
  • The whole punk movement was all about demanding to be paid attention to. You may like us, you may not like us but you will not be able to ignore us.

About David

David AvrinDavid Avrin is a keynote speaker, an author, a consultant and also CEO of Visibility International. David Avrin is the author of three books including the acclaimed: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You, Visibility Marketing and his newest book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back).

A former CEO group leader with Vistage International and marketing firm owner, David’s business and marketing insights have been featured on hundreds of broadcast media outlets and thousands of online and print publications around the world.

Check out Visibility International and David’s new book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back). Also, feel free to say Hi to him on Twitter @DavidAvrin and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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