6 Research Methods to Improve Customer Experience

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It is no secret that customer service plays an integral part in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Depending which sector you are in, you may have a large amount of interaction with customers on a daily basis and be in a customer facing environment. How do you ensure your members of staff are providing customers with a great customer experience? An experience that will encourage them to return to your business?

Here are 6 ways to monitor customer feedback:

1. Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping has been occurring for many years especially within retail. It is a great way of finding out first-hand what experience your customers are really getting. There is nothing like a mystery store visit as opposed to a scheduled one. Find out whether your staff are on the ball all the time. You can commission mystery shoppers, ensure they have a clear set of objectives.

2. Mystery calling
Mystery calling is very similar to mystery shopping and is perfect for measuring the customer experience that is had during a telephone conversation with your company. This type of calling will identify potential areas for improvement for your business as well as opportunities.

3. Customer feedback initiatives
Customer feedback forms are another way of measuring experience. You can opt for a printed version that can be handed out at till points or go digital. There are many managed print services that offer efficient printing. If you don’t have the budget to commission a survey then why not use an existing one and adapt it to your business objectives.

There are plenty for you to use including survey monkey who provide you with templates and how to guides. For start-ups and small businesses consider going digital. This will come at less cost to you, however you may need to incentivise customers to fill these out. Use existing mailing lists and communications to promote the survey.

4. Anonymous e-Shopping
E-commerce continues to grow at a rapid rate and for internet businesses monitoring sales via google analytics on a regular basis is crucial. However what analytics doesn’t measure is the customer experience.

It is highly recommended you conduct a form of mystery testing to stimulate sales. This will provide you with an impartial piece of research which can form your business decisions moving forwards as well as identifying potential skills gaps within your staff.

5. Internal skills audit
In addition to the external data collection, it is worth undertaking an internal skills audit to identify any skills gaps within your employees. This will help introduce training initiatives within your business. Investing in your staff is crucial for increased sales.

6. Product knowledge tests
One of my biggest gripes as a customer is when I ask a sales assistant a question about the product and they do not know the answer. It gives me less confidence in the store and the person and can actually leave me quite frustrated.

Ensure your staff know there products inside out. This includes new products that have just come in. There are various ways in which you can introduce product knowledge to your staff such as quizzes and group tests.

At the same time it is your responsibility to equip your employees with the latest resources to inform them of new products and changes. Consider producing material or sign posting them to your website. You could even enlist a senior member of staff to talk through your products. There is nothing better than equipping them with the tools they need.

Great product knowledge will shine through when dealing with customers and will provide them with a great customer experience and sales. This will encourage customer loyalty.

These 6 tips will provide you with an insight into how good your customer service really is. Mystery shopping will provide you with a different perspective on how service is being received. Internal audits will allow you as an employer to provide your staff with the correct training they need to drive sales.

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