In a world full of choices, giving your customers a great experience is a way to make your brand stand out.
That’s why improving your customer experience is so important. Even if you have the best intentions, it takes time to create a good customer experience. It takes time and effort to understand your audience and offer them what they need.
Customer experience strategy
The way customers perceive a business is directly related to their experience with that business, which includes anything that affects their interactions with the business.
The term “customer experience” refers to all the interactions a customer has with a company. Say you run a real estate agency, for example. CX tracks customer behavior from the moment they see advertisements for your realtors, until they book a viewing or list with you, sell or buy, and after the deal is done.
It covers every single interaction, no matter how fleeting. Whether it’s a message to your online support team, or their actual experience using your product or service.
These exchanges between the customer and the business either positively or negatively affect the relationship between them.
Choosing the right customer experience strategies
The goals of these strategies are to improve customer satisfaction by making sure their needs are being acknowledged and met at every step of their journey. Here are some tips on how you can improve your customer experience strategy.
1. Create feedback loops
Listening to your customers is the best way to figure out what they need from you and how to give them a better experience. It allows you to see what customers think about your brand, what issues they have, and what works for them.
Make sure to give credit where it’s due by acknowledging their feedback and working to improve based on it. Building trust with your customers is essential to maintaining a strong business relationship. Showing them that you care about their satisfaction and meeting their needs will help keep them coming back to you for their business needs.
2. Create an omnichannel experience
An omnichannel strategy for customer service creates a more efficient and effective way for customer service agents to interact with customers.
The ability to pick up a conversation on multiple channels provides customers with a consistent communication journey and delivers a good experience.
3. Personalize the user experience
Personalization is when a company interacts with a customer through their preferred method of contact, and recommends products based on past purchases or search history. It can also be an online experience that is tailored to each customer.
Data can help marketers understand their customers better by revealing their preferences, habits and basic personality. This knowledge can then be used to provide faster support and resolutions.
4. Empower customers through AI
Digitalization is evolving rapidly, and so are machine learning applications, chatbots, and mobile messaging. Chatbots and virtual customer assistants that are powered by AI are effective for quick, repetitive tasks.
5. Keep in touch with your customers
Making sure your customers remember you is key to keeping them. It is beneficial to follow up with customers through their preferred contact method or surveys in order to learn where to improve your business and show your customers they matter.
One way to keep customers coming back is to add them to a mailing list. This way, you can send them personalized recommendations, and let them know when you expand your services or offer seasonal or customized discounts. Building trust and familiarity with your customers helps your business.
Measuring customer experience
1. Use data to analyze customer satisfaction
Surveys can provide you valuable feedback about things like customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores. The CSAT survey measures customer satisfaction with the product or service they receive.
Customer satisfaction is often expressed using a 5- or 10-point scale, with 1 meaning “very unsatisfied” and 10 meaning “very satisfied,” or through binary yes/no answers.
Would you recommend our product/company to a friend or colleague on a scale from 0 to 10?
While CSAT surveys focus on the specifics of the product or service received, NPS surveys focus on the customer’s general feelings about the brand.
The customer effort score measures how easy or difficult it was for a customer to use a product or service.
Customers who have recently interacted with customer service may receive a CES survey. These surveys usually contain questions about the customer’s experience, such as “How easy was it to resolve your issue today?” Surveys like these are a great way to stay in touch with customers and get quick feedback.
2. Analyze customer churn rate and the reasons behind it
Though customer churn is inevitable, analyzing why it happened can help you to improve the customer experience and prevent future churn.
Analyzing customers that have stopped using your service can help you determine if your churn rate is going up or down.
Personalized communication that customers respond well to can help you understand why they return for business. If this is the case, then the team or area of your company responsible for this communication is doing a good job.
3. Create a community forum to serve as a virtual focus group
Customer pain points, how customers receive and use your product, and what they are asking for can all be understood by reading community forum discussions.
It provides direct insight into how customers feel about their interactions with your business, similar to customer feedback. Customers can share suggestions for improvement proactively on forums via email surveys, social media, or a community page.
4. Look at customer service data
Customers should not have to wait a long time before reaching a live service agent or getting an answer. Long wait times are a major reason why customers have a poor experience.
Find out which support tickets are being repeated and understand why they are happening. It is better to deal with issues before customers contact you so that there are fewer tickets for agents to deal with. This provides a more efficient and enjoyable experience.
5. Talk to customer-facing staff
Customer-facing staff, such as service agents, may have insights based on direct interactions with customers or their own experiences while dealing with customers. This allows you to understand the reasons why employees may not be meeting expectations and what you can do to improve the situation.
6. Popular customer experience platforms
Customer experience platforms are designed to help brands manage their interactions with customers to improve customer satisfaction.
They provide a one-stop shop for brands to manage customers throughout their journey, from start to finish, including responding to questions and concerns.
As customer expectations continue to increase, it is essential for brands to utilize personalization to enhance customer experience. Three essentials that do not have a one-size-fits-all.
Prove CX matters
The C-suite has to be directly involved. Hiring just one person to be in charge of customer experience and giving them all the authority and resources they need is the best way to improve customer service.
Are they able to resolve a customer’s problems? Why or why not? An employee pulse survey is a quick way to find out how your employees are feeling. This can help you identify any problems employees are having and show where you need to make improvements.
Personalize interactions with customers
There are many ways to personalize your text, some of which can be automated. There are a few things you can do to show your customer appreciation, such as sending thank-you emails after purchase, conducting customer follow-up surveys, and offering website discounts based on user preferences.
Strategies to improve your customer experience
There is always room for improvement when it comes to customer experience strategy. Some simple customer-centric initiatives can make a huge difference.
1. Build an omnichannel strategy
People interact with your company in many ways- for example, through social media, your website, a comparison website, or in person. Businesses that deliver the best customer experiences don’t limit themselves to a single channel.
Omnichannel communication is focused on creating a cohesive experience for customers no matter which channel they use. No matter how your customers interact with your company, you need to make sure their experience is smooth, easy, and consistent. It’s about having synergy across your business in terms of:
- How your business is represented
- How customers are treated
This means delving into who your customer is. What interactions have they had with your business before? How long have they been a customer?
What have they bought from you in the past? By understanding what the customer wants, you can make them happier by providing what they need.
2. Personalize your service
We live in a world where algorithms are used to personalize our experiences with Google, Spotify, Netflix, and Twitter. You need to offer a personalized experience to your customers rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
How? Companies can create a more personal experience for their customers by using data to tailor the experience to each customer. This doesn’t have to be anything drastic.
You can make your customer feel valued by doing something as small as remembering their mailing address, giving recommendations based on their previous purchases, or mentioning specifics about their account or history with your business.
Small details go a long way. Some customers may prefer to be spoken to in a certain way, or to have certain pronouns used when addressing them. By keeping track of contextual details, you can empower your team to provide a memorable customer experience with only a little extra effort.
3. Create a library of relevant content
Many customers would prefer to solve their own problems rather than waiting for a slow response from customer support.
While automation can help keep your customer service team available for more complicated issues, many customers prefer not to communicate with an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot.
Build resources that customers can use to help themselves. The most common way to do this is to have a blog, YouTube channel, and up-to-date help center with answers to frequently asked questions.
It is important to make sure that these resources are not just for show, but are regularly updated and contain useful information that can be acted upon. An article or video that is not helpful will only make the user experience worse.
4. Encourage feedback
Customer feedback is essential for understanding how customers see your business, and is often overlooked as an opportunity to improve your business. One of the best ways to identify common pain points is to show what seems to be working.
Although negative feedback is difficult to hear, it is the only hurdle to overcome. Many businesses avoid social media because they feel it will be time-consuming and they are not sure how it can help them.
If you avoid thinking narrowly and acknowledge the usefulness of feedback, you will improve your customer’s experience.
The most successful businesses have a culture of encouraging feedback from both employees and customers.
When you show that you care about what other people think, it builds trust and demonstrates that you are listening. Additionally, it can help improve your business by revealing areas that need improvement.
5. Emphasize customer service
Customer experience is about more than just customer service, it’s a large part of the puzzle. 96% of customers say that customer service is important in determining their loyalty to a brand. Providing better service will result in a better overall experience for customers, which will lead to them being more satisfied and more likely to continue using your business.
What makes great customer service? It is mostly important to value the customer’s time, have a positive attitude, and provide the resources and assistance they need to achieve their goal.
It’s about being proactive and looking for ways to improve, rather than settling for the “easy” solution. When trying to improve your customer service experience, try to complete these practices:
- Know your product inside and out
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Respond quickly
- Personalize communications
- Empower customers to help themselves
- Follow up on your promises
It is important to have a clear customer service philosophy to keep everyone on the same page.
When you have a philosophy, you can rely on a set of values and principles that drive the way you approach customer interaction, rather than relying on motivation or individual initiative. Working on an actionable employee development plan can help your team.
6. Take advantage of data
The data and insights you have gathered on your customers can be used to make a memorable experience tailored to them. Don’t make decisions based on your personal feelings—see what the data says and look for ways to change your business to match that information.
Are your customers finding your business in a certain way? What do they think of your customer service? Do they find your website easy to navigate? Do they prefer to use mobile or desktop devices?
Asking questions and examining the data behind them can help improve your processes and better support customers.
7. Celebrate customers
One way to improve customer experience at a low cost is to show customers that you appreciate them. When you show your customers that you value them, it can improve customer satisfaction and strengthen customer relationships.
Customer appreciation comes in many forms. How you manifest it will depend on your business. This can be achieved by doing things such as sending out personalized thank you cards and swag, shoutouts on social media, creating loyalty programs, offering discounts, or even sending emails on birthdays.
Although improving your customer experience is important, it will not happen immediately. You should start by being honest about your current level of experience, then set some goals and work towards implementing those changes.
Customer satisfaction will go up if there is a seamless customer experience. This will also lead to more customer retention and profitability.