What happens if a customer's experience with your company isn't aligned with your stated core values? It usually results in the customer heading somewhere else.
Let's say that a customer buys from a company's whose stated core value is to put the customer first always. There's a problem with the product the customer bought but it doesn't quite qualify for a refund under the warranty. Despite the fact that the customer isn't getting the value they expected from the product, the company does whatever it can to deny the refund. Clearly, the company is not putting the customer first in this case.
Every business should make sure its values and experience match. If there's a disconnect between your stated core values and the service you actually deliver, it's likely to cost you a great deal in customer trust.
If you fall short of customer expectations, you don't create a good customer experience. The ideal customer experience sets customer expectations and then exceeds them. Your values, your mission, and everything else you say about your company should be exceeded by the actual value you deliver. When you do this, you impress your customers and this has major psychological benefits.
How Does Your Customer Experience Measure up?
The only way to figure out whether your customer experience is aligned with your core values is to view the situation from your customer's point of view.
Take each touchpoint you have with your customers and ask yourself, "Does this measure up to my company's core values?" Touchpoints include any kind of direct communication you have with your customers, such as social media updates, email messages, store visits, and follow-up care. There are also indirect touchpoints, which include what your customers hear from others about you.
Start by identifying all of these touchpoints. Then, go through each one and run it through your core values.
Let's take the example of Starbucks. Starbucks' core values are its five principles: "Be welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate, and involved." In order to present a consistent customer experience that aligns with these values, Starbucks needs to ensure that every interaction with customers represents the company and all of its people as welcoming, genuine, knowledgeable, considerate and involved. If that is breached, the customer takes their business elsewhere (vacationing with the competition).
Beyond Customer Service
Every aspect of how your business is run is manifested in the customer experience. The way you deal with customers should be aligned with your core values, but so should every other aspect of your company, from the internal processes you use in creating or delivering your products, to the way you communicate with your employees.
When everything is aligned, it creates a strong corporate culture that embodies these values, and customers can see this. It can be a long and involved process, but it's essential that you deliver on these values ... otherwise, be prepared for your customers, and those they influence, to check other sites for the best destinations, deals, and delivery ... just like in the travel industry!