What kind of impression is your organization leaving on customers? The answer lies in the customer experience they have throughout every interaction with your brand. A customer’s perception of an interaction with your people, processes, and product will determine how they feel about your brand as a whole. It’s worth your time to take inventory of your entire customer experience journey and make improvements that will have leave lasting positive impressions.
A customer who had an extremely positive experience is not only likely to be loyal to your brand but also likely to become an unofficial brand ambassador and spread the word. We all know by now; customer acquisition and retention affect your bottom-line big time. You can read more about customer retention here.
Yes, first impressions matter, but so does every single interaction you have with your customer afterward. If they don’t feel listened to, supported, and recognized it’ll be difficult for you to compete with brands that cultivate a strong customer experience. In fact, according to this source, 86% of customers will pay more for better customer experience.
Here are some tips that will help improve your customer experience:
This tip is common among many marketing blogs and articles, for good reason. There’s often a disconnect between being a good listener and marketing campaigns. If you are in tune with what your target market is actually saying, you can develop a successful campaign. This is no different with customer experience.
Spend time with your customers and really listen to their wants and needs. Ask for feedback and have your colleagues do the same. You can build flawless systems but without the input from your customer base, the customer experience may be lacking.
It’s important that you’re measuring your efforts so you can determine if they’re effective and that you’re not wasting your time. Customer experience can be measured, too.
You can measure it by customer satisfaction. Send out surveys to get a feel for what your customers are thinking and for what features they may want to see you implement to make their experience better.
The rate of attrition is another great measurement. Start with the number of customers you’ve lost divided by the number of customers you started with during a time frame.
Lastly, analyze the customer support tickets for common complaints that you can prioritize.
As all business owners know, automation is an incredible tool to save time and can produce great results as long as you’re automating the appropriate tasks. By automating some tasks throughout the customer’s journey, you’re leaving more time to develop relationships and make more personal connections that will ultimately benefit the customer experience.
Use different software and tools to automate where you can. Some examples of what you can start automating are:
- Emails – Reminders, follow-ups, feedback, confirmations
- Social Media – Content Scheduling
- Customer Support – Low-level tickets, but your team should be ready to respond.
- Invoice Reminders & Receipts
One way to enhance customer experience is to reward your loyal customers with discounts, first looks, cashback, or event tickets. Customers will definitely promote a good rewards system, not to mention 77% of loyal customers are more likely to choose you over the competition.
Coordinate with Your Team
Even for small businesses, it’s easy for different departments and representatives to communicate contradictory (or simply different) information to clients. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of this, you know how frustrating it can get.
More frequently, customers aren’t categorized correctly internally, and they may be receiving emails designed for customers or prospects at a different point in the sales cycle. Be sure that all staff is trained on your CRM system and all interactions are noted for everybody to view.
Much like automation, self-service features are great time-savers and customer support tools. Chatbots and virtual assistants can provide quick answers or guide customers in the right direction for any questions or concerns they may have. They most likely do not want to spend time waiting for an answer, and if they are, that’s time they can start using to consider the competition.
Use Customer Experience Management Tools
With all of these things to keep in mind when it comes to optimizing customer experience, you’ll want to use a customer experience management tool to keep everything organized. Here’s a list of top-rated systems to get you started. Compare the different features and take advantage of test trials so you don’t end up paying for a system you’re not using.
Start with Employees
Just as you should listen to your customers, you should also listen to the employees who interact with them. These employees can provide great insight to use for improvements for customer experience. It also makes fosters a healthy work culture because your employees will feel heard and appreciated.
Make Mobile a Priority
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, 50% of users will stop using it. Mobile sites are often the first impression and beginning of the customer experience, so it’s important that it’s optimized for mobile. Your social media posts, apps, and newsletters should also be mobile friendly.
The Bottom Line
Amazing customer service alone is not enough, brands need to focus on delivering the whole package to their customers – from start to finish and beyond. Take a look at every aspect of the customer journey, measure what can be measured, and to determine where you can make improvements. Ask your employees and customers for feedback and prioritize. Don’t forget to use helpful tools along the way!