It’s More Critical than Ever to Focus on the Customer Experience


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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have been forced to think differently about how they operate – and one thing that’s become clear during this time is that delivering an excellent customer experience is no longer an option; it’s essential.

In fact, customer experience can make or break your business as consumers are becoming more accustomed to personalized, seamless interactions with the companies they do business with. That said, when customers have a positive experience, this will often be reflected in customer loyalty and business success; and on the flip side, when consumers are displeased with their customer experience, this will likely impact bottom lines.

Now, more than ever, building customer loyalty and trust is imperative. Read on for tips to improve and maintain the customer experience and, in turn, safeguard your brand affinity.

Focus on making connections
Consumers are looking for the companies they interact with to help them navigate the challenges they’re facing, especially those brought on by the pandemic. In some cases, they may be interested in more information and guidance through customer education. Education could take the shape of customer interaction via social media, marketing or newsletters that are direct to customers, or in-store information related to such things as safety, access and what the brand is doing for the community.

But don’t be tone-deaf. 2020 highlighted a series of global and national issues that sparked conversation, controversy, and change; already in the first month of 2021 we are seeing a continuation and emergence of new issues. Be an asset to your customers, but when reaching out make sure you’re engaging at the right time, on the right platform, and with the right messaging.

If you operate a service business, it’s even more important to be aware of the current landscape as it relates to your customers. It’s likely that you won’t have insight into everything your customers are thinking, but you can give them comfort through providing great services and top-notch interactions.

Listen to customer preference and feedback
It’s important to meet customers where they are today. In most industries, this is a very uncertain place, especially for those customers who may be facing challenges paying bills for your company’s services. In order to combat this uncertainty, consider implementing short customer surveys to better gauge their feedback and preferences for how they want to receive information or customer service. In addition, training of employees to always be interacting and asking questions of your clients and customers will drive a feedback loop to provide better service. Look to that data to better understand how customers prefer to be communicated with and how often.

According to a recent survey, approximately 90% of consumers feel brands should listen to their opinions and they’re willing to do a little of the legwork to make their own voices heard. By weaving their feedback into any operations, business leaders can provide a better and more personalized customer experience.

Keep an eye on industry trends
It seems like the coronavirus is bringing new trends to light regularly and we can anticipate seeing even more emerge across industries in the coming months. Pay attention to trend forecasting in your industry to understand where consumers’ attention and preferences may be. For consumers today, there are more options than ever. Make their choice simple for them by staying on par with, if not ahead of the curve. For example, the past year brought digital transformation to the forefront; as digital-first experiences will continue to grow this year and beyond, companies should look to this trend when it comes to innovation for a competitive advantage.

Jeff Nager
Jeff Nager is Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Lending at The Bancorp. In his role, Jeff leads the Small Business Lending and Commercial Fleet Leasing Teams. Prior to this position, he served as The Bancorp’s Head of Small Business Lending. With more than 25 years of experience in small business lending, Jeff most recently led the Small Business Administration (SBA) Lending Team at SunTrust Bank. Previously, Jeff held SBA-focused leadership positions at Wells Fargo, Community South Bank and several other national SBA lenders.


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