My friend once told me she had a hard time determining what she wanted to do as her project for an undergraduate degree. Every project she thought of had been done by someone before her. The same is true in today’s business world. It is becoming almost impossible to have a unique product offering. Just when you think you have come up with newest, best of the best, le produit extraordinaire…voilà! A replica sprouts.

Let’s take a journey to some of the streets and markets in Nairobi’s CBD. Dubois Street –  the one dotted with stalls which specialize in beauty products, Biashara Street  – the home of all sorts and types of baby products and items, Luthuli Avenue –  the electronics hub, and City Market your one stop shop market for all meat products.  All these places have something in common; there’s absolutely no uniqueness of products and neither is the price significantly different. What then would make a customer choose to buy from a specific shop amidst the many? Well, your guess is right…

It doesn’t matter the industry you operate in, whether you have a physical location, are mobile or online, the backbone of any business is the customer experience. It will make you win new clients, retain the existing ones and even turn them into your ambassadors. Take Biashara Street for example, all those shop owners have less than 5 seconds to make any of the parents passing by their shop  enter and actually buy something. Not only are the goods they deal in common, but also how the items on sale are displayed in each shop. These displays definitely catch the eye of the potential customer but what makes them enter the shop and actually buy something, is the feeling that will be evoked. It’s therefore very important to determine exactly what you want your client to think and capitalize on that to help push them to make a decision.

Customer experience has no limits. It’s about feelings. For any business to succeed, the first step is to get into the customers shoes and determine the things you want to make memorable for them. Once this is determined, give it to the customer in doses that will make them feel they are still in control, but in actual fact you will be pushing them slowly towards a certain decision.

Customer experience. Two very simple English words capable of making or breaking any business.

Written by

Gloria Chaponda

 Assistant Manager, Customer Care at BRITAM Asset Managers