The Customer Confidential Podcast

Great Customer Experience Begins with Knowing What Customers Value

Jon Picoult, founder and principal of Watermark Consulting, believes serving customers well is about knowing what matters to them—well beyond goods or services.


Great Customer Experience Begins with Knowing What Customers Value

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When it comes to customer satisfaction, think small. Some of the smallest, most subtle aspects of customer interactions may be the ones customers remember most. Each detail of an interaction, not just the goods or services involved, contributes to the overarching impression a business or organization leaves on a customer and alters the odds of whether a customer will do business with you or, perhaps most important, will tell a friend about you—good or bad.

When Jon Picoult, founder and principal of Watermark Consulting and author of From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans, worked as a radio DJ in college, he noticed the font formatting of radio ad pricing dictated how much people engaged with and purchased radio ads.

“When I first started selling ads for the radio station, they were using a font that was not visually appealing at all. It looked cluttered, and there wasn’t much white space,” says Jon. “Something as simple as how readable a font is and how much white space is on a document actually has a pretty significant influence on customers’ inclination to make a purchase decision.”

Jon also notes that the easier product offerings are to understand, intuitive to navigate, and easy to use affects both successful business interactions and customer reactions.

“Anything that flips the script and diverges from people’s expectations of how a particular business interaction is supposed to unfold is something that creates a peak in the experience that we remember,” he states.

At the core of this experience, he says, is memory. “People remember their experience with a business,” he explains. “It’s the memory that’s going to really facilitate the purchase and referral behavior.”

This, he concludes, is the lifeline of any business.

In this episode, Jon and I discuss to what extent Net Promoter enriches customer value and how getting business interactions right can transform one-time customers into lifelong promoters.

In the following excerpt, we discuss Jon’s use and understanding of Net Promoter.

Rob: What’s something you’d like to share with our audience?

Jon: I'd really like to stress for your audience Net Promoter is a philosophy that can be applied to any type of constituency that you serve.

I like for people to consider their personal Net Promoter Score. So, if one of my colleagues were given the Net Promoter question, asked about me, interacting with me, or doing business with me, what would they say? That is a really important lens to look at the world through because Net Promoter is about enriching lives. And usually, people think about it in terms of enriching customer lives.

And, I think it is a very powerful tool, just from a leadership standpoint. Because I have found that the things that cultivate loyalty and engagement between a customer and a company are not all that different than the things that cultivate loyalty and get an engagement between an employee and a leader.

Order Jon’s book, From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans here.


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