Customers are the lifeblood of any successful business, and providing excellent customer service is a critical part of ensuring that customers remain loyal to your brand. However, delivering a strong customer experience (CX) requires more than just providing good customer service. It requires strategic planning and a focus on the customer’s perspective. So let’s talk about how to improve your customer experience…
To understand the difference between customer service and customer experience, it’s essential to recognize that customer service refers to the way a service is delivered before, during, and after the purchase. CX, on the other hand, refers to the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a brand during their relationship. In other words, CX is about creating a positive, memorable, and consistent experience across all touchpoints in the customer journey.
The benefits of delivering a strong CX are substantial. Companies that prioritize CX tend to have higher revenues, better customer satisfaction rates, and fewer complaints. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. When customers feel good about your business, they are more likely to return over and over again, increasing your customer lifetime value.
If you’re unsure where to start in improving your customer experience, here are six steps your business can take:
Enlist a customer experience manager
To take your CX commitment a step further, consider recruiting a customer experience manager (CXM). This person will be responsible for overseeing all customer engagement tasks and ensuring that the customer perspective is represented in any product or service redesign. CX is a multidisciplinary effort that spans customer service, marketing, sales, and product design, so having one person who is responsible for CX can help unite your employees around this common goal.
The CXM should have access to customer feedback and use this information to create relevant content for each target market. This person should also be responsible for implementing customer-centric policies and procedures throughout the company.
Establish a customer-focused culture
To truly deliver an impactful CX, you need to establish a company culture that prioritizes customer satisfaction from the top down. Every employee, from the CEO to the front-line staff, should be involved in this effort. It’s crucial to create a set of guiding principles that outline how the company engages with customers. These principles should range from abstract concepts like “Show empathy” to more concrete examples like “Ask customers if they understand where to find their information in their online profile when speaking with them on the phone.”
When your employees live by these principles, they will put customers at the center of every decision they make, ensuring that your customers receive a consistently positive experience. Understand who your customers are and how they engage with your business.
To deliver a tailored customer experience, you need to know who your customers are and how they prefer to interact with your business. It’s not enough to know their demographics, such as age and residence. You need to think more broadly about their expectations of the service they will receive from you and the problems they are trying to solve. 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Part of meeting customers’ expectations is communicating with them over their preferred channels. Today, customers expect to be able to interact with companies by phone, email, text message, and social media, depending on their age and preferences. For example, people over 40 may prefer using the telephone, while a younger demographic may prefer social media.
Consider your industry, too. If you’re working in a formal, professional industry, communicating by phone or email may be more appropriate than over social media. There is no single interaction medium that fits all, and you will need to experiment to determine which is best for your customers.
Deploy self-service tools
Another way to improve customer service is by offering self-service tools that customers can use to take care of their needs without needing to interact with a customer service representative. This not only increases convenience for customers but also frees up your team to focus on more complex issues. There are many self-service tools available, including FAQs, chatbots, automated phone systems, and knowledge bases. By offering these tools, you can improve the customer experience by providing 24/7 support, reducing wait times, and empowering customers to find solutions on their own.
However, it’s important to ensure that these self-service tools are easy to use and provide accurate information. You should also make it clear when customers should escalate their issue to a representative, so they don’t waste time trying to solve a problem on their own.
Adopt a data-forward approach
Finally, to create an effective customer service strategy, you need to adopt a data-forward approach. This means collecting and analyzing data from various sources, including customer feedback, call center metrics, and social media analytics, to identify areas for improvement.
By utilizing data, you can gain insight into the most common customer complaints, the types of issues that take the longest to resolve, and the areas where your team needs additional training. You can also use data to measure the success of your customer service initiatives and make data-driven decisions about how to allocate resources.
To effectively implement a data-forward approach, you’ll need to invest in data analytics tools and hire staff with the skills necessary to analyze data effectively. By doing so, you can continually improve your customer service strategy and provide a better experience for your customers.
Providing excellent customer service is necessary but not sufficient for a successful business. To create a strong customer experience, companies must focus on the total experience that customers have with their brand. By implementing these five steps, businesses can improve their customer experience and build long-lasting relationships with their customers.
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