Customer experience is, in some ways, like crème brulee. It’s not always easy to make, but the perfect one is guaranteed to keep folks coming back for more. Creating the perfect customer experience (or CX) recipe is becoming an ever-increasing priority for businesses.
A recent Gartner study revealed that more than two-thirds of companies currently compete primarily based on CX. Consumers today are no longer loyal to an excellent product. They are searching for a brand or company that can offer them an engaging customer experience, from beginning to end.
As businesses continue to grasp this notion, they are shifting their attention to strategies that will give consumers the experience they crave.
For companies who are finally ready to board the train, many may be wondering how to create, or even improve on, their customer experience plan. Fear not, for we have compiled a list of CX tips that is sure to make the journey a little smoother. Follow these suggestions to kick your customer experience strategy into high gear!
Be Obsessive about Customer Experience – But in a Good Way
This is one of those rare moments where obsession is a good thing. Building a culture that embraces CX at every turn is critical to any good customer experience strategy. CX should be a living, breathing organism that flows through the veins of an organization.
While many companies leave the task of creating excellent customer experiences to their service departments, the reality is that CX should not be a single department’s responsibility.
Rather, it should be incorporated at every level, from the reception desk to the sales desk. Everyone in your company ought to be trained in the art of becoming customer-centric.
Learn to think about your business in terms of your customers’ needs, problems and expectations. When it comes to your customers, it’s time to become obsessive!
Any customer experience strategy that doesn’t have support from the top brass is headed for failure. It does not matter how customer-focused a company’s sales staff are; a strong CX plan requires proper buy-in from management-level and even director-level.
There may be parts of the CX strategy that need a financial outlay, so it makes sense to have the organisation’s finance director or another decision-maker involved in the entire process.
Having buy-in from the company’s top management also sets the tone for the rest of the organization to follow. If CX becomes the boss’s problem, it becomes everyone’s problem.
Use Your Ears!
A simple but effective way of improving your company’s customer experience is to listen to your customers. What better to find out what your clients want than to listen to what they have to say?
There are numerous avenues that companies use to allow their clients’ voices to be heard. Asking product and service-related questions through surveys can help businesses figure out what consumers expect from their organization.
Individual interviews with consumers will also yield valuable information. Several organisations use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to ‘hear’ what their clients are saying. Even a company’s complaints department can provide excellent feedback, even though we may not always want to hear it!
All of these methods are designed to do the same thing: listen to the customer. Simply having multiple channels through which clients can communicate can in itself enhance a company’s CX. Clients who feel that a particular brand is listening to them will inevitably feel more inclined to continue doing business with that brand.
Be Quick to Respond
Nobody likes to wait. This fact especially applies to today’s consumers. According to studies, one of the top customer service frustrations is having to wait a long time to speak to a customer service representative. For any business looking to improve the customer experience, lowering response time is a must.
Another big source of customer frustration is availability. Today’s consumer demands round-the-clock availability from their favourite companies. Being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week gives companies a big boost in the customer experience department, as it allows customers to engage at a moment’s notice.
Availability should not only be considered in terms of time; being available through multiple channels is also a big plus. Where possible, businesses should look to engage with customers through multiple channels.
Lastly, it is vital for businesses to quickly and efficiently respond to any customer feedback they receive. Think about it for a second: if clients never receive responses to the feedback they’ve submitted, how will they know that your business is listening?
Whether the feedback is positive or negative, acknowledging your customer’s responses goes a long way in enhancing their CX.
Loyalty Is Not Its Own Reward
Much has been said about the importance of loyalty programs as part of a customer retention strategy. Rewarding your loyal patrons also provides a wonderful way to enhance the customer experience.
Research has proved time and time again that customers will readily move to companies who offer loyalty programs, especially ones that offer rich, tangible rewards such as cashbacks, discounts and exclusive deals.
Loyalty programs promote a great level of customer engagement. The higher the levels of engagement, the more information companies have at their disposal to improve on their customer offering. If you’re looking to raise your company’s CX levels, you may want to consider incorporating a loyalty program into your strategy.
There are many other tips that we could offer to improve a company’s customer experience. The ideas presented above have, however, been shown to be among the most effective.
Making the customer experience central to your company ethos, listening and responding to your customer and rewarding loyalty will all make a massive difference as you seek to stand out from the pack. All of these tips place the focus on your customer, ensuring that you both benefit from the situation.
As the consumer world continues to evolve, businesses who can continuously ensure an outstanding CX will ultimately reap the rewards.