This article comes from The Five Pillars of Business Success. Launching in 2018, The Five Pillars of Business Success are the product of working with small businesses for twenty-plus years and asking a simple question: Why do so many startups struggle and ultimately fail? The Five Pillars of Business Success will show you how to successfully start and grow a business. Sign up to receive an exclusive discount code and to be notified about the launch of the Five Pillars. Check out more articles from the Five Pillars series.

The Customer Experience is the second pillar of business success and has five key components: The Customer, Competence, Character, Consistency, and Communication.

The Customer: You must know who they are – an individual who needs your product, can afford your product, and, finally, makes the decision to purchase your product.  These individuals are your customers.  They are the ones you build your business around and the customer experience for.

Competence: Your product or service does not need to be the best in the world but it must do what it says it will do.  It must meet the expectations you make for it. 

Character: To create an effective customer experience your customers must see you as moral, upstanding members of the community, or at least not have a reason to believe anything less.  To receive meaningful referrals, however, you need to go a step further.  Customers must also believe that you have their best interest at heart. This is imperative.

Consistency: The customer experience must be constructed around your customer. It must be managed and maintained through systems (Pillar Four) so the experience does not change over time – unless you want it to.  This means it is the same every time, everywhere.  Consistency is vital because, over time, it creates your identity and brand in the marketplace.

Communication: The Customer Experience must be designed in a manner that makes every interaction – both conscious and subconscious - communicate the benefits your customers seek while consistently reinforcing your competence and character.  Effective communication is what transforms needs into customers and happy customers into referral machines!

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