Customer Experience Strategy Should Be A Top Priority After Buying a Business

0
651 views

Share on LinkedIn

gartner-customer-360-takeawaysThere are many to-dos in the early days of a new business, but when it comes to steering it toward long-term success, customer experience (CX) strategy should top your list. Why? Because it’s the customer experience that will make — or break — your business.
Forrester Research reported that customer experience tops 72 percent of companies’ priority lists for 2017. And if you don’t want to lose your customer to one of many competitors, you’d better make sure it’s at the top of your list as well.

Gone are the days when customers were acquired based on a print ad or sales call. Today, customers don’t just want a product, they demand a positive experience with the companies they choose to do business with. Unless you’re selling rare unicorns, chances are, a consumer can get the product they’re seeking in many other places.

It’s Time to Up Your Game

In an uber-connected world there is more competition than ever, and it’s a customer-driven business landscape. That means your company can’t afford a single negative customer interaction. New Voice Media reports that businesses lose $62 billion to bad customer experiences.

So, how can you connect with your customer to deliver a CX that stands above the competition?

The reality is, every customer interaction presents the opportunity to enhance CX. From the moment a customer comes into contact with your company you have the chance to positively — or negatively — impact the overall customer journey. It’s not just about customer service after the sale.

The good news is that technology is making it easier than ever to connect with your customers, giving you countless ways to improve the CX. For example, you can now draw the customer in with deeper insight into your company with bells and whistles including video and virtual experiences.

Virtual CX has yielded huge success for a number of larger companies, but smaller companies can benefit too by following suit. Toms and Jack Daniels are just two companies that have nailed it when it comes to CX. Socially conscious shoe retailer Toms took customers on a “virtual giving trip” to Peru in 2015. As intended, the video made customers feel fantastic about themselves for buying a pair — or 10 — of Toms shoes.

Last summer, Jack Daniels gave customers an inside look at a distillery with some historical background on the brand that personalized the company in a way a standard touchpoint never could. Viewers of the video are left feeling as if knowing the company history, and drinking its whiskey makes them part of one of the coolest clubs ever. That Jack Daniels video has been viewed more than 250,000 times.

These examples are proof that customers don’t just want a product, they want to be part of something. They want to buy into your product and conversely, they want you to invest in them in the same way.

So besides wowing and engaging customers with your creativity and bells and whistles, what basic things must you get right to ensure a stellar customer experience?

These are some of the most important things to consider when working through your company’s CX strategy:

1. Convenience is king.

From your website’s navigation, to purchasing methods, to the customer service contact process after the sale has been made, keep it as simple and convenient as possible. There’s a reason Amazon is killing it with Prime. And while you don’t have the firepower of Amazon behind you, you can certainly follow the Jeff Bezos model. Amazon is convenient, offers free shipping, and makes tracking and returning purchased items ridiculously simple.

2. Customers want to feel confident that the people they’re dealing with are knowledgeable.

Whether your customer service team is small or large, make sure everyone on it understands not only the products for which they’re providing support, but the customer as well. Customer insight is invaluable when it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition. Customers want to feel valued and understood through every step of the journey.

3. They want a personalized experience.

The more personal you can get with a customer, the more valued they’ll feel by your business. Increased access to customer data makes this one a complete no-brainer as something you should be using to your advantage. With the growth of AI technologies, much of the most basic personalization can be automated, so it doesn’t have to be labor intensive to accomplish.

4. Customers want issues resolved quickly.

Customers want a quick response and even quicker resolution when issues or problems arise with your product or service. With the use of Chat bots and other AI tools, you can make sure your customer is never left waiting for a response — no matter the time of day. AI techs go a long way in improving the customer experience when you can’t be there personally, or until you can step in.

5. Customers want to feel like you’re invested in their success.

Whatever need or problem your product addresses for the consumer, they want to feel like you care as much about solving it as they do. By making their wins your wins, you’ve created more than a surface relationship with your customer, but one in which you’ve gained their trust. This increases the likelihood they’ll consider you when it comes to their future purchases.

6. They prioritize value and experience over price.

As proof of this need to look no further than smaller businesses that successfully compete with their big-box counterparts. Coffee shops are a prime example. Sure there is a Starbucks on every corner, but smaller coffee shops are still prominent in communities where businesses have capitalized on the hometown, small shop angle by offering a stellar customer experience and service.

Use the data

Once your strategies are in place, you must make sure you are looking at data around your company’s CX and listening to customer feedback. Using technology to improve customer service can tell you where you need to make adjustments, refocus, and can inform where you should be making new investments.

Ultimately, the success of your new company will be determined by your willingness to consistently deliver great customer experiences. Going above and beyond what other businesses in your field offer is the best way to rise above the competition and secure long-term customers, and therefore, the future of your business.

Image credit: Gartner/Business2Community

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here