Although we should always be mindful of improving and doing better tomorrow than we did yesterday, we live in uncertain times today. It’s more important than ever to be especially mindful about how we are helping our customers and prospects get through these tough times. With so much up in the air, how do we create a positive customer experience?
To borrow a famous line:
In times of uncertainty keep your customers close and your prospects closer.
How do you do that?
Over the last couple of weeks I have thought about my buyer journey and customer experience. I’d like to share a few ways I think we can do better to guide our buyer’s journey through a satisfying customer experience especially now. I hope to highlight the importance of exercising a human touch, empathy and common sense in all our interactions through the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey belongs to the buyer, not to us as the provider of that product or service they wish to purchase or use. The customer’s experience should be pleasant, easy and helpful.
Yet is it?
Consider Your Own Customer Experience
Think of the last time you inquired about a product or service, let alone bought that product or service. Was your buyer journey really yours? Was your customer experience really positive? You likely answered yes at best, and no at worst.
So why is buyer unhappiness ever the case when you can easily Google thousands of pieces of valuable customer experience advice?
The answer is the human touch, common sense, and empathy are either lacking or sometimes lost in the age of AI and automated processes. There is no longer a place for buyer unhappiness especially in this environment.
Here are a few tips to enhance the customer experience. I hope these will help you, your customers and your prospects build stronger relationships.
How to Rethink the Customer Experience In Uncertain Times
1) Communicate with your prospect or customer the way they prefer.
You are the representative of your company’s product or service, be it in sales, support, customer service, finance, marketing, or human resources. You may prefer a favorite social media platform, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You may even want to use email or the phone.
It really doesn’t matter to the buyer or inquirer what your communication preference is as an individual or company. In fact they don’t even care.
So first, ask your prospect or customer which channel of communication they prefer — and honor their request. You will make a better impression, show the prospect or customer that they are being heard, resolve the issue faster and actually help your customer or prospect overcome their challenge to their satisfaction.
2) Follow up consistently and honestly.
Following up may seem to be common sense (and I would agree). While this advice is so basic in nature, it is astounding how many people continue to drop the ball and even fail to see the ball down the field.
If you are in sales, your follow-up with a prospect or customer must be timely, genuine and helpful. The moment is now to understand the new challenges your customers and prospects are facing as their situations change daily. Help them get answers and provide solutions.
If you’ve made the sale and a problem is communicated, it is critical that you follow up until the prospect or customer (not you) is satisfied that their problem or concern has been resolved.
If a prospect is inquiring about your product or service make sure you follow up and satisfy their request. Ensure you answer their questions to their satisfaction and provide the information they are looking for to help them solve their challenge.
Now is a good time to pause, think, and gather some helpful insights and tips for responding when a prospect or customer reaches out. We will continue to monitor the customer experience and buyer’s journey through these uncertain times ahead.
Please join us for Part 2 of this article that will provide more suggestions to help you help your customers and prospects. Meanwhile, be well, and reach out if we can help with anything until then.