Times are tough. Competition is fierce. Customers have high expectations. With all of these factors in play, companies can't afford to treat their customers with anything other than the utmost respect. Ironically, then, considering how some companies treat their customers, it's unclear that they really want their business. If you aren't sure whether your organization is acting as if it wants your customer's business, take a step back and look at its processes from the customer's perspective.

Use these tips to make sure you are ready to follow through on offering a great customer experience:

  • Hire a mystery shopper to check out all aspects of your customer's buying experience. Notice I didn't say your sales experience; again, you need to look at it from the other side of the counter!
  • Talk to customers who have purchased from you recently. How was their experience? Were their needs met? What could have been better? You might not want to hear all the answers, but if customers aren't happy, they probably won't keep buying from you. Even worse, they could say bad things about you to others.
  • Invite your best customers to come in and meet with you and your team (or do it via phone conference). Teams get excited when they hear direct positive feedback from customers; you'll also get ideas on what works in your company's customer buying experience and what can be improved.
  • Create customer profiles of different customer groups and their needs. Make sure your team ...

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