No one associated with a business is unaware of the importance of high customer satisfaction levels in reducing churn rate. As the customer touchpoints are increasing in today’s time, organizations are facing many challenges in connecting all dots and delivering flawless services to customers. Many companies are not yet ready to take on those challenges, as a result, they are losing loyal customers.
Why does a company lose a customer?
According to a report, 14% customers leave a company when they are dissatisfied with the services and 68% customers look for other options when they believe the company does not care about them.
Today, achieving customer satisfaction and assuring customers that your company cares about them demand more exertion and efforts from both employees and the company. Employees and companies must be dealt here with a different approach because while the company may employ a range of techniques to ensure high customer satisfaction levels, a lot is still left in the hands of employees who usually deal in-person with customers.
How can business leaders be assured that their customers are happy and satisfied at each touchpoint?
Is it possible for a company to control every aspect of customer interaction and ensure that all criteria of achieving customer satisfaction has been achieved?
Answer to these questions is crucial to the business success from two perspectives:
- To evaluate their customer experience journey in order to understand the happiness levels at each touchpoint.
- To build new strategies to improve or change the services essential to build strong company-customer relationships.
Both these perspectives lead to one common vision and that is to a highly focused customer experience strategies that cover an array of touchpoints. Building such strategies require concerted efforts from the management and the executives. According to Garter, 81% of companies expect to get ahead of their competition on the basis of customer experience in 2019.
Here are some key facts that emphasize the importance of CX.
- Oracle survey reveals that 74% senior executives confirm the impact of customer experience on customer enthusiasm to become brand advocates.
- In a research conducted by Bain & Company, 80% of companies agreed that they deliver great customer experience. Only 8% of customers agreed.
- A study published by Temkin Group reveals that companies that have a revenue of $1 billion can add $700 million to their revenue within 3 years of investment in customer experience.
- American Express research found that 60% of the participants were willing to shell out more money to receive better customer experience.
The data clearly indicate how companies are striving to improve their customer experience as it is highly beneficial for the business success. But at the same time, you can see that there is a huge gap between the experience companies believe to be offering and what customers are actually getting.
Below we have mentioned 7 key strategies that would help companies to bridge the gap and deliver awesome customer experience. These strategies are focused around increasing customer satisfaction levels and reducing churn rate.
1. Create a CX Vision
What you want to accomplish will direct your CX efforts.
So before you make your game plan, understand the game first. Once you know your game, you will be in a better position to assess strengths and weaknesses of your existing processes. While studying the game, make sure you study about all the variables, such as customers, processes, teams, product or services, expectations, requirements, capabilities, budget, and so on.
The key to your CX vision is how you want your customers to know your product or service, specifically for what you want them to recall you. And then break down the essentials. For example, if you are a maintenance service provider, you would like your customer to know you for your high quality, timely service and easy accessibility.
Based on the essentials, create a requirement sheet specifying all the variables that play a crucial role in your customer experience vision.
2. Prepare Your Customer Profiles
Prepare your customer profiles based on different criteria.
For example, know what they do, what age group they belong to, are you a replacement or they are the first-timer user, where do they live, how active they are on social media, their level of tech-savviness, how do they contact you, and many more.
A clear customer description is necessary to understand your customer expectations, their most important concerns, and how they want to be treated. When you have such information at your fingertips, you can create a roadmap to optimize your processes to the preferences of your customers and the customer experience you want to deliver.
3. Gap Analysis
Now you have a vision and your customer preferences.
You have got enough material to find the gaps in your existing processes and direct your efforts to strengthen your customer-company relationship.
To begin with, examine your existing relationship to figure out why most of your customers leave, when do they leave, and at what was the last touchpoint?
This would help you evaluate the causes of higher churn rate specific to your business. For example, it is possible that the rude behaviour of your field service representatives irked your customers and they moved to another option. Or they chose your competitor over you because your services were mostly delayed or the quality levels were not high as expected.
But in order to have such information, you must have visibility into the processes so that you have a clear idea of what is working and what is not in your business. If you lack such visibility, begin with adopting automation tools in order to bring your processes online and manage everything on your fingertips.
As you know where you are lacking, create a roadmap to optimize your processes while covering all the touchpoints where customers interact with your business.
4. Engage Properly with Customers at all the Touchpoints
A good talk not can solve many problems not just in personal life but in professional life as well. And to make those talks successful, it is necessary that you are properly briefed about the matters on which you are going to talk about. Here is an analogy that will help you understand the requirement of engaging customers at all the touchpoints.
Usually in a restaurant, there are many people in the kitchen, who help at different levels of the preparations. Similarly, when a customer arrives in a restaurant, there are many levels right from the booking of seats to serving of food, wherein each level demands proper address for maximum satisfaction.
For example, they are welcomed at the entry, they are guided to their tables, their orders taken, and they are served nicely as requested. You see that each point, someone interacts with the customers. As a company, you must ensure that all those interactions occur in the proper manner so that everything goes smooth for the customer. In order to do that, first off you need to:
- Evaluate all the customer touchpoints in the organization.
- Build a process and a team around them to engage customers at those touchpoints.
- Create relevant content for engagements and provide proper training to staff to deliver awesome customer experience.
Let us take an example. Suppose your company provides maintenance services and the process requires field service representatives to visit the client location and perform the maintenance of the equipment.
To deliver an awesome customer experience, your field service rep must reach the client location on time, with all the right tools, and should possess technical knowledge to resolve the issue.
Manual processes can create havoc on such requirements, as proper execution of the tasks require field rep and office executives to communicate effectively, timely scheduling, and visibility into the inventory system, everything at the same time. As a result, most companies rely on field service management software to connect the dots in the systems.
5. Set KPIs
Setting KPIs are integral to customer experience strategies.
As we have already discussed in the article that how company and employees must be approached separately when it comes to delivering awesome customer experience.
KPIs for different touch points will help your employees understand the behaviour expected from them at different levels. It would be also helpful for them to determine their role in the company and what could they do to achieve success.
Make sure that your KPIs are trackable, measurable, and timebound. For example, if you are into a service sector, some of the kpis you can have for your field service representatives are time spent on a job, time taken to reach client location, no. of jobs performed, and so on.
Here having a good mechanism to take customer feedback is necessary. So when your field representative performs a task at a client location, they could immediately take the feedback of the client regarding the services. This would help you to measure the customer satisfaction levels and if in negative, you can investigate what is wrong and take measures to correct them.
6. Develop a Quality Framework for Inspection
While KPIs are for employees, a quality framework is for the company.
This quality framework should be a part of your entire work order and not just limited to post-service delivery processes. For example, you must ensure that your scheduling process is accurate, ensuring that right reps are sent at the right time for the right job. Similarly, you must ensure that tools in the inventory are updated to perform the tasks accurately.
On the company level, there are several measures that must be taken to address service management challenges, while reducing the cost of service operations. Regular inspection is integral to this framework, the process of which you can fully automate using an inspection management software.
Automating inspection processes can provide you visibility so that you can take actions in real-time and make better decisions in the future.
Evolution is a consistent process.
As a business, you must continually evolve to keep pace with the changing marketing trends and uncertainties to avoid disruption.
The goal of any business in the current market should be to initiate the disruption process instead of getting disrupted. In order to achieve this goal, business leaders must track and record every business process and try to find out the emerging patterns in order to understand what inspires certain actions, be it higher customer churn rate or lower revenue.
Empower your business with the capabilities of latest technologies in data analytics, Cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence, and mobility to move ahead quickly and get business edge.
The Step Forward
Growing competition and technology innovations have pushed the need for updated customer experience strategies all the more for business. In the world of social media, there is no other way than to track every touchpoint and deliver awesome customer experience at all the levels to make the customers happy and reduce churn rate.