Customer Experience (CX) is a widely discussed business topic. Companies across the world are starting to shift their marketing focus towards building a better, more intuitive experience for their users.
A survey conducted by Econsultancy shows that companies are most excited about the opportunities brought by customer experience for 2018, even beating out fierce contenders like content marketing and mobile marketing. In addition, a recent Walker study suggests that by 2020, CX will overtake price and product as crucial brand differentiators.
CX is defined as the customers’ perception of how a business treats them. It can affect customer satisfaction and build both positive and negative feelings towards a brand. Meanwhile, companies can transform CX by understanding their customers and delivering personalized experiences to foster loyalty.
Simply put, if a customer likes your business and continues to like you, they will continue supporting you and even recommend you to others. However, collecting customer experience data for in-depth knowledge and valuable insights takes a lot of work that requires speed and precision.
Now is the time to implement CX strategies for your business, and according to Customer Strategist Journal, these are six key areas that should be considered.
- Service convenience
- Purchase convenience
- Simplicity and ease of use
- Channel flexibility
Creating a Better Customer Experience
1. Segment Customers and Tailor the Experience to Match Each Group’s Needs
Knowing who your customers are is necessary if you want a customer-centric strategy. However, it shouldn’t stop there. You should group your prospects into relevant categories to create personalized functions based on your understanding of their needs.
Personalized communication at this level of detail will help to connect with their situation and help you deliver on your value propositions.
2. Create an Emotional Connection
If you want a unique CX for your business, establishing an emotional connection with your users is a must. The Journal of Consumer Research has proven that more than 50% of CX is based on emotions that help shape decisions. When emotions are involved in using a product or service, customers are much more involved, which is excellent for engagement and loyalty.
This is further proven by another statistic showing that businesses that use emotional connections in their CX typically enjoy 85% more sales growth compared to competitors that do not.
In addition, Harvard Business Review’s The New Science of Customer Emotions shows that emotionally-attached customers may repurchase and recommend the business, and 44% are less likely to shop around for options.
3. Get Feedback in Real Time and Work On It
The best way to inquire about your customers’ priorities and responses is to ask, ideally, in real-time.
Gain insightful feedback with post-interaction surveys that can be done through email, calls, and other automated tools to find out more about what they want. Real-time feedback will also determine if your products or services are still effectively fulfilling their needs and where you can make improvements.
4. Deliver a Consistent Experience by Utilizing Multiple Channels
In whichever point of the buyer’s journey the customer is at, and whether the process is done face-to-face or on mobile, it is essential to deliver a high-quality CX time and again.
Different channels are now available to buyers, but make sure to innovate and improve all your channels to offer fresh experiences and reliability on a consistent basis. Apply the right metrics and use customer satisfaction tools to measure each channel’s efficiency as well.
5. Don’t Use Technology for Technology’s Sake
Technology may be as beneficial as human interaction in CX today, but it shouldn’t be the center of transactions. Problems emerge when technology is used without considering the needs of your customers.
Some businesses don’t realize that technology should only enhance the customer’s experience in doing business, not overshadow it. Improvements must be founded in differentiation and its long-term value for the company—not just for innovation.
Excellent CX still needs human interactions. Strike a balance between the enthusiasm of your IT department and the psychological insights of marketing, and make sure that improvements are geared toward resolving consumer issues.
Once again, always remember that technology is there to complement and enhance human interaction, not replace it.
6. Avoid High-Effort Experiences
Another common mistake when using technology for customer service is to elicit amazement from your audience. Whether you utilize technology or not, reaching out should not require too much effort from your customers.
Most of them don’t need to be astounded. They simply want their concerns to be heard and addressed.
7. A Long-Term Commitment to Customer Delight
Effective customer service addresses real-time concerns, and in turn, results in customer delight and loyalty. Outside of technology, there are still many other ways to make your customers happy.
Making customers happy should become part of your company’s DNA—encourage stakeholders and employees to develop innovative ideas on how to make this possible. Value added through excellent service can establish your position as the go-to brand for your particular market.
8. Make Your Brand Personal
Human interaction is still essential in customer service. Technology can provide the means to make these interactions as personalized and relevant as possible.
Discover each individuals’ preferences, past purchases, demographics, and shopping histories, and customize the service based on those. Tie your brand to an experience that customers will remember as something that is their own.
Show your audience that there are humans behind your brand and inject a bit of personality into your content.
9. Use a Quality Framework to Train Your Team
Aside from utilizing technology, you should also develop your people to become better at customer service. Know what your customers are saying about your service quality, then compare that to the experience you have defined. From there, you can identify the training needs of each member of the customer support team.
A quality framework means you have to schedule and track your team’s development through coaching, learning, and group training.
10. Measure the ROI
To check if all your customer service efforts are paying off, use tools and metrics like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which collects information by asking things like, “Would you recommend this company to a friend or relative”?
NPS was created by Rob Markey and Fred Reichheld from Bain and Company and is considered a standard CX metric that many companies are using today. Feel free to use your tools and metrics to measure ROI if you deem it more useful.
Create a Competitive Advantage with CX
When your customers are happy with your product or service, you’ll not only see an increase in revenue, but you also retain your customers and even gain more along the way—thanks to the satisfied ones who continue to support you.
Remember that customer experience optimization is an ongoing process. No matter the nature of your business, taking the necessary steps to improve CX continuously is always worth the effort.
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