Customer experience is a top priority for businesses today. Customer expectations are rising at speed greater than the speed at which businesses can improve their customer experience. Implementing a successful customer experience strategy can help businesses to reduce customer churn and increase their revenue. It can be the number one brand differentiator, and most customers are willing to pay more for a superior experience.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience relates to all the interactions a customer has with your business. Those who have positive experiences are likely to become repeat customers who are loyal to your business. If your business offers a superior customer experience, it will outperform its competitors and grow.
Using insights from data to elevate the customer experience
Today businesses are using data for elevating customer experience. The reputation of businesses often depends on the responsiveness of their data. It’s all about delivering lower latency and faster application response times.
Businesses that can integrate customer data from various sources and analyze it can improve their customer experiences. The latest digital technology makes time-to-insights much faster. It makes new levels of personalization affordable and scalable.
How customer experience differs from customer service
Customer service is only one aspect of the entire customer experience. It is reactive rather than proactive and helps customers once problems have already occurred. It is an important aspect of business because a lack of customer service can prevent you from retaining customers. Some ways to improve customer service include optimizing wait and response times and offering multiple channels for support.
Customer experience is proactive rather than reactive. Technological advances allow businesses to interact with customers all the way from the time of first contact and throughout the whole customer journey. It turns every aspect into a positive experience.
Personalizing customer experience
Various types of business software and tools give businesses the opportunity to personalize customer experiences.
- They can view customer purchase history and predict future needs.
- They can offer related products based on prior purchases.
- They can create personalized email campaigns. For example, customers may receive an email full of recommendations and vouchers based on their purchase history.
- They can use data to personalize survey questions and follow up on responses.
- They can tailor content to customer location.
- They can offer website content based on user preferences.
Common causes for bad customer experiences
- Difficulty with purchasing.
- Negative experiences with online security.
- Businesses not listening to feedback.
- Battling to get hold of support.
Here are some of the ways you can improve customer experiences.
Embrace an omnichannel mindset
Your business must embrace an omnichannel mindset. Customers today use a range of channels and devices, especially mobile devices, to connect with brands. You need to make this process seamless and consistent. Many businesses today offer mobile apps and have developers involved in the mobile app development process.
Empower your employees
There’s an important connection between happy employees and a good customer experience. It is important to create a clear set of principles relating to the customer experience to guide your employees. This may consist of statements that embody your core values. Everyone in your business should have a clear understanding of these guiding principles, and they need to be embedded in all training and development processes.
Value employee ideas
Employees interacting with customers on the front line are in an important position. They have to deliver on your brand promises and perceive and communicate the perceptions and expectations of customers. Make sure you take action on feedback from employees, as giving them a voice can provide valuable insights.
Understand your customers
If your business wants to connect with customers and truly understand their needs and wants, you should pay close attention to who they are. Analytics can help you to understand demographics such as age, gender, education and location. This enables you to segment your audience and create buyer personas with their own names and personalities. This helps your customer support teams to understand your customers better.
Emotionally connect with customers
Much of the customer experience is based on emotion. Emotions shape the attitudes that drive the decisions. You want your customers to remember how they feel when they use a product or service. How you handle your customers and make them feel at each step has a great impact on if and when they buy and how long you retain them. A positive experience with a brand is often more influential than great advertising.
Capture customer feedback in real-time
You need to collect customer feedback in real-time through means of chat or in other ways, such as with post-interaction surveys. If you allow open-text responses on surveys, it gives you more understanding of the sentiments of customers. There are various listening tools you can use today that help to reveal where you are doing well and where you need to improve. What frustrates them and deters them from being loyal to your brand is an integral part of it.
When you have a clear understanding of the end-to-end experiences with customers and understand more about how they feel about each interaction, you have the opportunity to improve what they experience. You can integrate these insights into your coaching and team training.
Measure your customer experience
The only way you will truly know if your investment in teams, processes and technology is paying off is by measuring your business results. If you ask your customers, “how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague” and “why did you give that score” it is easy for them to answer. This is called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). If you measure your customer churn, you can see if it is improving. Measuring customer satisfaction scores and support ticket trends offer further insights. Customer lifetime value (CLV) is another important metric to consider.
As customers become more empowered, the importance of the customer experience increases. This is an area that needs constant attention and care. With a greater focus on customer experience, your business can find and retain loyal customers and increase its revenue growth.