Building trust does not happen in a vacuum, it is based on both offline and online customer experience, every communication and every interaction. You must consistently deliver on your promises over time putting your customer first. Only then will you become the go-to trusted provider in your niche.
With social media, the go-to customer complaints tool, if you get it wrong, bad customer experiences are shared and amplified to influence hundreds of your potential customers.
I attended a social media workshop, I arrived on time but it was not until 40 minutes in that the host did a mic check. The event was not well attended so I introduced myself and talked to the woman sitting next to me, she was a fashion designer. She was just finishing off the last five words of her sentence when the host told us from stage “ladies I am talking!” I raised my eyebrow as I thought it was unnecessary and rude, after all we were filling in for their lateness and by the time he started reprimanding us we had already finished.
The host opens the event with “please do not come into the room if you have not completed the form and signed wavier. He elaborates that we must sign-off on our image being used in photos or video, that he was once caught out by a woman who complained that he did not have here permission to use her image. The host continued, “do not take photos and if you want to text, go to the back of the room, that it is distracting for the speaker,” then looking at me and the fashion designer the host said, “if you want to talk go out of the room or to the back of the room as this is distracting to the speaker.”
We were then told to introduce ourselves to three people on the opposite side of the room, I spoke to four people and gave out my card to two people, and was in a conversation with another person when the host came up to me and then the fashion designer asking us to step out of the room so he can talk to us. We were taken down a long corridor and I did wonder if I was going to have to report to the headmaster’s office, because there the social media speaker waiting for us. I listened to the host say that he wanted the day to run smoothly and that he did not like our response when asked us to pay attention. The fashion designer tried to explain that she was just finishing here sentence. I told the host that he had jumped the gun, the event had not started yet and if we had been talking through your mornings presentation I would understand you talking to us.
I told them that I met three years ago in Birmingham when we all were finalist in 2014 APCTC awards and I came to their event to support them and I would normally take photos and social share my positive experience. I continued that I too am Master of Ceremonies and speaker and I have never been to an event that has stated with you cannot do these things as it distracts the speaker! This event was supposed to start an hour ago, this is ridicules and I am leaving now. As I walked away, the host said, ‘you have not giving me an opportunity to apologise’, I said you have been standing there for ten minutes and have had plenty of opportunity.
70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated, state McKinsey.
I will not be recommending this brand or their events.
The problem here was not putting your customers first and not being organised and so they lost control of the event putting themselves first.
6 Ways to Remain Focused on Delivering Great Customer Event Experience:
- Arrive early and be ready to start on time. Even if there is one person in the room, out of respect for those that have arrived on time, start on time. I saw a banner being erected on stage during the networking and a mic check at 9.45am.
- Start right and communicate the agenda. Energy, welcome, introduction and agenda, however you start, start right so the audience knows what to expect and is excited to stay.
- Have you got it right for your audience? This event was on Sunday and possibly this target audience go to church therefore a 9am start was not appropriate.
- Get your people and processes aligned. If you should not enter the room without signing the waiver why let people into the room to complete the form?
- Only tell stories that add value to the audience. I do not need to know that you are protecting your interest and so you need me to sign the waiver.
- If you get it wrong make an apology the first thing you say. Then put it right and then add more value to build trust.
Research by Ruby Newell-Legner reveal ‘it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience’, so why create a bad customer experience? News of bad customer experience reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a delightful experience and importantly it destroys trust in you and your brand.
Trust is a by-product of how you treat your customers, what you give you get amplified back. Your brand must reflect your authentic self to be trusted and valued by your customers, then and you are able to give the right results to the right people over the long haul.