Econsultancy and Adobe carried out a Digital Marketing Trends Report 2020 and asked companies their views on what is the most exciting opportunity for their organizations in the following year. In the report, the same answer came out on top – Customer Experience.
According to another research done by American Express, customers are willing to pay as much as 86% more for better customer experience.
Put simply: Companies who successfully implement a customer experience strategy achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, reduced customer churn, and increased revenues in general.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is defined by the interactions and experiences your customer has with your business throughout the entire customer journey, from the first contact to becoming a happy and loyal customer.
Customer Experience is an integral part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the reason why it’s important is that a customer who has a positive experience with a business is more likely to become a returning and loyal customer.
In fact, according to a global Customer Experience study by Oracle, it came forward that 74% of senior executives believe that customer experience impacts the willingness of a customer to be a loyal advocate. If you want your customers to stay loyal, you have to invest in their experience more effectively!
Isn’t Customer Experience The Same As Customer Service?
No. And here’s why.
In most cases, a customer’s first point of contact with a company is usually by interacting with an employee, allowing your business to deliver excellent customer service.
However, customer service is only one aspect of the entire customer experience.
Like most things in today’s marketplace, customer experience has changed – it’s more than person-to-person service. Blame it on technology, companies can now connect with their customers in new and exciting ways.
Customer service is still as important as ever, but it’s no longer the sole focus of the customer experience. Customer expectations are mounting and rising – faster than the speed that companies can improve their customer experience. Customers expect every interaction, end-to-end, to be the best experience they have with any company – not just yours!
So, the question remains then and there, how can your organization create a great customer experience strategy?
Here are 7 ways to improve the customer experience that may help you in many ways.
Let’s take a look at the ways to create a great customer experience strategy to help you improve customer satisfaction in multiple ways.
1- Create a clear customer experience vision
Begin with having a clear customer-focused vision that you can communicate with your organization. The easiest way to define this vision is to create a set of statements that act as guiding principles.
Once these principles are in place, they will drive the behavior and direction of your organization. Every member of your team should know these principles and they should be embedded in all areas of training and development throughout the working practices.
2- Understand who your customers are
The next step in building upon these customer experience principles is to bring to life the various types of customers who deal with your customer support teams. If your organization is going to understand customer needs and wants, then they need to be able to connect and empathize with the situations that your customers meet.
One way to do this is to segment your customers and create personas. By creating personas, your customer support team can recognize who they are and understand them better. It’s also an important step in becoming truly customer-centric.
3- Create an emotional connection with your customers
“It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.”by Moe West
Well, the best customer experiences are attained when a member of your team creates an emotional connection with a customer.
Research by the Journal of Consumer Research has found that more than 50% of an experience is based on emotion, as emotions shape the attitudes that develop into decisions.
Customers become loyal because they are emotionally attached and they remember how satisfied they felt when they used a product or service. A business that optimizes for an emotional connection outperforms competitors by 85% in sales growth.
4- Capture customer feedback in real-time
How can you tell if you are delivering exceptional customer experience?
You need to ask – And ideally you do this by capturing feedback in real-time.
Use live chat tools to have real-time conversations and when done, send a follow-up email to every customer using post-interaction surveys and similar customer experience tools.
Of course, it’s possible to make outbound calls to customers to gain more insightful feedback.
It’s also important to tie customer feedback to a specific customer support agent, which shows every team member the difference they are making to the business.
5- Use a quality framework for the development of your team
By following the steps above, you now know what customers think about the quality of your service compared to the customer experience principles you have defined. The next step is to identify the training needs of each member of your customer support team.
Many organizations assess the quality of phone and email communication, however, a quality framework takes this assessment one step further by scheduling and tracking your team’s development through coaching, eLearning, and group training.
6- Act upon regular employee feedback
Most organizations have an annual survey process where they capture the overall feedback of the team – their engagement and the businesses’ ability to deliver an exceptional service.
But, what happens in the other months meanwhile?
Usually, nothing happens. And this is where continuous employee feedback can play a role using tools that allow staff to share ideas on how to improve the customer experience and for managers to see how the staff is feeling towards the business.
7- Measure the ROI from delivering great customer experience
And finally, how do you know if all the said investment in your teams, process, and technology is working and paying off rightfully.
The answer is in the business stats.
Measuring customer experience is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations, which is why many companies use the “Net Promoter Score” or NPS, which collects valuable information by asking a single straightforward question:
“Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative?”
Customer expectations are higher than ever and the word of mouth travels fast in the circle!
And as the customer becomes even more empowered, it increases the significance of the customer experience.
Customer experience is an area that needs constant nurturing and care and, with a greater focus on customer experience strategy, companies will realize a positive impact on customer loyalty, higher retention, and increased revenue growth.
If you are looking for a customer experience that will keep you satisfied from the beginning, get connected to vteams and see how we can serve your queries the better way.