As Jerry Gregoire, Chief Information Officer at Dell, accurately predicted back in 1999, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” Today, 65% of U.S. customers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than advertising. CX is the key to unlock brand loyalty and customer retention. Keep reading to learn how your business can start delivering customer experiences that delight.
Customer experience (CX) is how a customer feels about all of their interactions with your business. CX starts from the moment of discovery and continues after customers have made their purchase. Ideally, customer experience never ends. Even after making a purchase, it’s important to interact with your customers to encourage continuous brand engagement.
Businesses cannot keep up with the competition if they ignore the growing importance of customer experience. Research shows that customer experience is becoming the deciding factor between businesses, beating other metrics like price and design. In 2020, 81% of businesses are expected to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
Having the lowest price or the best product isn’t enough to set your business apart. Invest in fantastic CX to come out on top.
Understanding the importance of CX is one thing, knowing how to deliver it is another. Here are some best practices your business can follow to start your customer experience journey.
When you embark on your CX journey, it is important to let customer feedback guide the way. Instead of focusing on what you see other companies doing, listen to your customers.
If you do not have a wealth of customer feedback, this should be your first step. Send out a short customer satisfaction survey to see what your customers think about their experience now. Then, use that feedback to guide your steps for improvement.
Do you see similar concerns pop up in your reviews and surveys? Are customers unsatisfied with the service they are getting? Perhaps your website has a poor UX, or maybe it is difficult to contact a representative when there are issues with an order.
Whatever the issue may be, show your customers that you are listening and want to address their concerns.
In our fast-paced world, it’s essential to be available on multiple platforms like text, chat, and social media. Only being reachable through a phone call just doesn’t cut it anymore. According to a Microsoft study, 66% of customers use at least three different communication channels to contact a business. Here are some of the most common platforms that customers use.
Customers are hesitant to drop what they are doing to make a phone call, and emails can quickly get buried in customers’ inboxes. Texting cuts through the noise to establish a clear line of communication between businesses and their customers.
Make the customers’ needs your focus. By responding quickly to messages, personalizing your communications, and being polite, you can deliver great customer service that will improve your overall experience.
Respond promptly. While most businesses are unable to respond to customers immediately 24/7, there are tools that can reduce response time. Installing a chatbot on your site is one way to do this. Chatbots can be set up to instantly answer FAQs your customers ask on live chat. By using a chatbot, your employees can focus on answering the more detailed customer queries. Chatbots are also useful if it is after business hours or an employee is unable to respond.
Personalize your communications. Customers want to feel special, and increasing personalizations is one way to do this. Even simple personalizations in your communications can go a long way. Start by addressing every customer by name. If you don’t know their name, just ask! Another effective personalization is to send your customers a fun email on their birthday with a small discount code or a free item. Personalizations boost engagement and make your customers feel valued.
Be polite. Treat your customers with respect and kindness. Remember, if a customer is being rude, they are likely frustrated by a negative experience they had with your business. Keep a level head and assure them that you are here to help. The kinder you are, the more likely you are to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
It’s important that you don’t have a purely transactional relationship with your customers. Transactional relationships do not build lasting brand loyalty. Instead, find ways to grab your customers’ attention and encourage them to continually engage with your business.
Instagram is a great resource for brand engagement. Posting something like a “question of the week” in your Instagram story can be a fun piece of content that your customers look forward to.
If you’re looking to get more followers, host a giveaway. A giveaway is when customers share your Instagram page for the chance to win a product you are offering. This is a quick way to spread the word about your business and to reward a customer for doing so.
Finding fun ways to engage your customers throughout the year improves your brand awareness and leads to customer delight.
Customer experience is not a one-time solution. For your business to reach its customer experience goals, it takes a conscious effort from everyone in your organization.
Start by collecting customer feedback to see what your business is doing well, and where you are missing the mark. Then, prioritize customer communication, customer service, and customer engagement.
With a clear focus and the right tools in your arsenal, your business will quickly become a CX superstar.