Customer experience is more than a trending keyword, it is increasingly becoming the core of every business. And why wouldn’t it? It is the driving force behind customer loyalty and – when done right – can completely transform your business.
Over the last year, this has become more evident than ever. As businesses have struggled to adapt to the pandemic, it was the continued focus on customer experience that has helped many thrive.
In the midst of uncertainty, ensuring customers can rely on a business was the golden ticket to increasing loyalty – especially when combined with businesses that reinvented their core model to cater to the changing customer demands.
However, many are surprised that despite the investment, the results aren’t immediately perceptible. Customer experience is a long-term endeavor, and that usually means that it takes a while to see its impact. Even so, there are some changes you can implement if you want to see the transformative power of CX.
1- Be Present, Everywhere
The digital revolution means your customers are everywhere – and they expect you to be too. In fact, 9 out of 10 customers want you to provide seamless omnichannel communication – and more than 80% of companies are now investing in it as well. So don’t be left behind. Make sure you’re present on all platforms – or at least the ones your customers use the most.
Survey them to see which platforms they prefer, and ensure customer service executives and social media teams are active across them to not only increase engagement, but ensure that any concerns or queries coming your way are immediately addressed.
2- Leverage Technology
If you can make a task simpler and more efficient, why wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what Artificial Intelligence helps with.
Incorporate chatbots into your website or across your platform to solve simple queries easily. This reduces the load on your customer service team, improving their efficiency while also responding to key FAQs that customers may have in real time, 24×7! But that’s not all. You can also use technology to deliver a hyper-personalized approach to customers, following up on their past preferences and actions, and curating offers for them to ensure they make the most of what you have to offer.
3- Team Training
It’s not just about training your team in customer service etiquette like empathy, patience, and helpfulness, but about providing actual value.
Train your customer support team in the product functionalities, common questions, and solutions.
This is the first team your customers interact with – and one that will leave a lasting impression. Training them to provide value can give your customer experience strategy (and brand reputation) a significant boost!
4- Customer Feedback Implementation
Everyone wants to be heard – so ensure your customers feel that way. Seek out their feedback to spot trends and patterns in their opinions – and implement the most frequent suggestions.
While it isn’t possible to implement every idea that comes your way, putting the most popular ones in action shows them that their feedback matters.
Alternately, you can host polls to see the most popular vote especially when concerning certain brand decisions (like a logo change or a new feature suggestion) and go forward with the results, thereby making your customers a part of your journey.
5- Social Proof is a Serious Matter
Marketing, collaborations, and publicity can only take you so far. Social proof can take you a lot further.
Customers are more likely to believe other customers and their experiences than what you say about your own brand. So truly invest in social proof. Seek out testimonials from customers, give incentives to get the reviews you need and more. It has the power to uplift your business like none other.
6- Don’t Overpromise
Never make promises you can’t deliver on. You’re setting your customer up to be let down even if you did get that initial yes. If you’re looking to build loyalty and a long-lasting relationship, promise only what you can deliver, and (where possible) surprise your customers by going the extra mile. This way, customer expectations don’t work against you and instead you are able to impress them a lot more. Just think of how Amazon frequently delivers your parcels ‘early’!
7- Make Customers a Part of Your Success
You are nothing without your customers. So make it a point to show them that they’re valued. One of the best ways to do this is by rewarding loyal customers. Create loyalty programs, be proactive in giving them benefits, and seek their feedback.
By rewarding loyalty, your customers feel valued and a part of the brand. This in turn fosters brand champions – the most coveted marketing asset!
8- Find the Root Cause
Whenever you hear dissatisfaction – look for where it began. Customer service executives are most often at the receiving end of anger and frustration. However, they aren’t usually the origin of this. So, if you really want to improve the customer experience, you need to see find where it all began.
The best way to do so is to create a customer journey map highlighting key touchpoints. Send out customer satisfaction surveys, and keep an eye on the customer effort score to spot experience gaps.
Identifying the root will help you take action, immediately and effectively addressing the hurdles affecting your customer.
9- Empower Your People
At the core of customer experience is employee experience. Trust your people to take active steps for the betterment of the company. Give them the authority to make concessions or go the extra mile for clients, and you’ll see an immediate increase in satisfaction.
The next time an unsatisfied client calls in, instead of waiting on line for ages and being transferred to the manager, your customer experience executive can take the matter into their own hands and resolve the complaint – making the process a whole lot more efficient (and creating a positive impression!)
When it comes to customer experience, everything boils down to customer centricity. It’s about how you keep the customer in mind through every process and journey created. Whether it’s the autonomy your teams have, or the technology you’ve implemented to reduce customer effort – it all boils down to keeping the customer at the core when making larger decisions.