Customer experience is the core factor to gain a competitive advantage and create brand recognition. This is the universal truth that products and services are not enough to sustain your business in the market. You need to work to improve your customer experience as well.
In this blog, we have thoroughly discussed how you can improve customer experience and can boost your business profits.
Today fierce competition in every industry has created the requirements to stand alone for consistent growth. You can sustain yourself in the business market using the appropriate marketing tactics. Sometimes, the business could not realize their priorities and fail to meet their customer’s demands. This is why; businesses should learn how to keep their customers delighted and gain their loyalty.
The focus on improving customer experience is supposed to create opportunities to enhance the rate of customer retention, customer satisfaction and also increase the cross-selling and up-selling factors.
Expert Techniques To Improve Customer Experience
Customer experience begins with the interaction with your business. They come from different sources such as the website and referral. Therefore, you need to include the measures that may allow you to find out how to improve customer experience to achieve your business goals. You may follow these steps to boost your customer experience.
Develop Omni-Channel Platform For Improved Customer Experience
Tracking the customer’s issues and requests is the most important thing to improve their experience with your brand. They want their resolutions with no hassles and within a short span. The availability of the Omni-channel platform enables businesses to track their customer’s interactions and take action to resolve their complaints or meet their requests.
Initiate To Know Your Customer
This refers to realizing your customer behaviors and their specific demands. It is crucial to read out your customer needs and wants. Your effort will enable you to effectively interact with your customers. A better understanding of your customer behaviors will also help you to boost your customer-centricity.
Focus On Your Customer’s Feedback
Customer feedback lets you know about the quality of your products and services. Sometimes, customers suggest some quality improvement from their end. Thus, it is imperative to take a thorough look at what they suggest. This is mandatory for assessing the flaws of the business brand.
Evaluate Your Business Objectives
Another most important thing is to evaluate your business objectives. Different services and products have different audiences. This is why taking the relevant audiences into accountability is vital. It is needless to say that new customers also approach your business. But how much they are relevant to your business is a significant concern. You can approach to interact with them for the sure conversion.
Create An Affectionate Bond With Your Customers
The creation of an affectionate bond with them will strengthen your relationship with your customers efficiently. This will help you to analyze your customer’s needs effectively. On the other hand, they will also feel secure about their resolution factors. They expect an instant response for resolution when they approach you. This is why; you have to be responsive and polite with your customers to retain them for your products and services.
Why is improving the customer experience important?
CX is important for your brand. Further, you can find some of the important benefits of improving the customer experience which is as below:
Assist To Improve Customer Satisfaction
If your customers are satisfied with your services and products, then it is natural they will prefer to continue with your business for the long term. This in turn will boost your business ROI and will help you to attract new prospects for conversions.
Boost Customer Retention
This is one of the most significant factors for business growth. Retention of customers reflects the positive image of your services and products. That’s why; an effort to retain your customers can help you to get more engagement and referrals.
Reduce Customer Attrition
The poor quality of customer services is the main cause of customer attrition. You need to keep a check on your customer support functionalities to ensure an enhanced customer experience and create a positive impression of your business brand.
Superior customer experience leads to a boost in sales. Existing customers are the best source for the advertisement of your business brands. This ultimately helps you to reduce customer acquisition costs and improves the revenue of your business.
Customer experience is the real-time reflection of your business quality. Therefore, you have to be very considerate of your customer service approach to make sure every customer is satisfied with your brands. Further, you can opt to ask for the feedback of your customers to analyze the flaws of your products and services proficiently. Your approach will let you improve your business brand’s quality as per the customer demand.
If you’re mapping or want to track your customer journey, there are plenty of things to be kept in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to be avoided.
While customer journey mapping may not a brand new idea, the last few years have seen a steep increase in the impact, the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.
As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without even fully understanding what your goals are.
Customer journey mapping needs to embrace much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver a thorough understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.
A true customer journey map provides a robust framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.
Here are some critical Do’s and Don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.
DO have a robust plan. A journey map must produce value and drive change if it is to improve customer-centricity across the company. Are you going to use the map to boost the customer experience at specific channels? To engage employees? To refine and consolidate your brand? You will probably find that you can do more than you imagine at the start, but make sure you have measurable and achievable aims.
DON’T forget that your journey map as part of your broad customer experience program. Ensure that the feedback you gather through that program is linked to the touchpoints on your map. This enables you to spot the root cause of any issues effectively and take action quickly where you need to.
DON’T try to create your map in a vacuum. It’s important that you include people from across your company and from all levels. It’s a great rallying point for your business because you can see how different stakeholders fit within the framework and help them to understand their impact on the customer experience. For example, frontline employees have a pool of knowledge that must be included, and back-office areas like accounting or despatch will hold information about processes that directly affect the customer but are often virtually unknown outside their departments.
DO remember that your customers would see your brand as a single entity. They don’t know (or even care to know) that the website is handled by different people to the call center or the social media program. Or that some of your services are outsourced or in-house. As you build your map, think about all combinations of touchpoints that customers go through, and consider how well you can deliver your brand experience at each of them.
DON’T try to create a map based on generic customers. Create buyer personas, fictional characters who are trying to achieve something specific by interacting with your business. You may only require a handful, or you may need more, but the process of mapping the journey is much easier when you can focus on it.
DO remember that your customer journey map needs to show more than just the point of contact you’re defining. You also need to check, what customers are trying to achieve at that point, why they’re there, how they feel and what external factors might be influencing them. This will help you to build that meet customers’ needs effectively and efficiently.
DO remember that some things are beyond your control but will still impact how customers feel about you. It might not be entirely fair (roadworks outside your branch or your customer’s internet connection that makes your site slow), but the result is going to be the same. When you build your map, make a note of the things that have or can affect your key customer touch points. In some cases, you may be able to create strategies to mitigate against them.
DON’T forget to share. As well as your team of stakeholders from across the company, you need to ensure that the wider business understands what you’re doing and why. Most importantly, make it clear to your employees that they all have an impact on your customer journey. Whether directly or indirectly, they play a role in one or more of the key touchpoints, and being aware of that can be highly engaging for everyone.
DO review and renew/refresh your journey map. Once complete, you need to revisit and review the map on a regular basis. It may not need to amendment most of the time, but in some cases, a new branch, sales channel, or delivery company, for example, will have kicked in and you need to build that into your map. Otherwise, within a couple of years, you’ll have something that looks like an out-of-date atlas that doesn’t acknowledge a major road!
It’s the age of the customer and the world’s biggest brands are duking it out every day for a greater share of our hearts, minds, and wallets. Customers hold more decision power than ever in an era where information about any company’s products and services is just a mobile search away. Where does the Voice of the Customer (VoC) land in the priorities for your company’s overall strategy? Forrester’s Customer Experience Council survey shows that 79% of all respondents believe that measuring customer experience is a top priority.
Market research shows that the Customer Experience Management (CEM) market is estimated to grow from USD 5.06 Billion in 2016 to USD 13.18 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 21.1%.” If you’re not investing in CX, it’s very likely that your competitors are.
The stage has been set – now let’s jump right into the top Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience (CX):
The ROI customer experience
Building customer loyalty and increasing revenue go hand in hand. When compared with customers who had negative experiences, those who had positive experiences were more likely to recommend, trust, try new products or services, purchase more, and forgive your company after a mistake.
What gets measured gets done
Measuring customer feedback is the first step to measuring up to your customers’ expectations. Whether you’re an advanced scorecard-driven enterprise or just beginning to think about CX, the most important thing to do is to start actively listening and measuring your customers’ feedback.
Time to set new customer experience goals
CX is not as fluffy as it may seem. There are real science and methodology for measuring and improving customer satisfaction (CSAT). There are many metrics to consider as part of your VoC program, but Bain & Company’s Net Promoter System and Forrester’s Customer Experience Index stand out as the gold standard top-line measures in the CX industry.
Elevate your operational performance
Operational performance and CSAT are inextricably linked. For example, it’s no coincidence that airlines with the best CX ratings also boast the highest percentage of on-time arrivals. The best CEM programs cause cross-functional customer-centric collaboration, which requires your company to break down organizational silos to be more valuable, efficient, and enjoyable to your customers.
Put the customer at the center of every decision
Your customers see you as one whole cohesive brand, regardless of how complex your organization, systems, and processes might be. When your customer interacts with your company, they don’t care about any bureaucracy, different divisions, and departments, or roles and hierarchies.
Plug-in and empower your employees
Ready to take your CX program to the next level? Tap into your company’s most valuable assets – your people. The more customer-facing employees with access to a real-time view of customer feedback, the more awareness, focus, and unity there are around your company’s CX mission and goals.
Understanding the various touchpoints you have with your customers is key to delivering memorable customer experience.
Once you’ve mapped out your touchpoints, it’s often helpful to group them into channels. That’s the focus of this blog post.
The most common channels:
Websites: refers to customers visiting websites to gather information about a company. Can include both mobile and regular versions of the website.
Native Mobile App: refers to customers who download a company’s iOS or Andriod app, and feedback is gathered about their experience with it.
Contact Center: an important touchpoint where customers call for more information or assistance. Online chat is another part of modern contact centers.
In Location: refers to actual in-person customer experiences, such as a retail store, restaurant, or hotel.
Field Services: customers interact with a company in their home.
Mapping your touchpoints:
When you look at all the touchpoints on your map, each of them will likely fall into one of these five channels.
No matter how your customer interacts with you, the ultimate goal is to have a consistent “omnichannel” experience.
When your in-location experience is different from your web experience, or when your web experience is different from the experience a customer has with your native mobile app, this inconsistent CX will create problems.
Customers might feel like the company cares about them after a positive field service experience, but if the contact center fails to provide the same level of experience, the customer will be disappointed.
Keep in mind that if you’re working with a premium brand, all channels will need to deliver an outstanding customer experience. If you’re working with a mid-tier, value-oriented brand, the goal may be to achieve a certain standard throughout each channel, such as professionalism or efficiency.
Gathering Omnichannel feedback:
If you want a consistent omnichannel experience, make sure you are listening to your customers on each channel! You can gather feedback from these five channels in various ways.
For example, you might ask about their most recent experience with a field services representative through an email survey. How satisfied were you with our technician’s most recent visit to your home? Why? Were there any problems? If so, please describe them.
Or you can gather feedback via methods that are channel-specific.
For website feedback, pop-up surveys can ask the customer for feedback while they are on the website or after they leave.
When a customer uses a mobile app, a survey can be embedded into the app asking them to provide feedback.
An interactive voice response (IVR) survey or a computer-generated survey can be used after a customer interacts with a contact center—the system directs the customer to the survey when the call is complete.
We are also seeing more and more text surveys, or Short Message Surveys (SMS), these days as a substitute for email surveys.
The goal is to obtain feedback from the customer in whichever way they prefer to provide you with that feedback. It will largely depend on the customer. If your primary customers are millennials, they might prefer a text message survey. If you’re working with baby boomers, they probably prefer completing a survey via email at a time that’s convenient for them.
The buying experience often gets the most attention in customer service. Conversions are the name of the game for most businesses, so it would make sense that importance is placed on the process leading up to a purchase. For example, retail brands focus heavily on ensuring that sales associates help shoppers find the right sizes, greet guests warmly, create quick and easy checkout processes, and include thoughtful touches like water bottles in change rooms.
These are all important components of a great customer service experience, but so are the processes that take place after the fact. Indeed, the post-purchase experience can be just as important, if not more so, in securing customer loyalty. Customers want to feel that they are important even after they have handed over their money. So, how do you ensure you make your clients and customers feel valued after they’ve purchased something from your company? Here are a few strategies that can help.
Set Up Great Post-Purchase Policies and Processes:
Just as there are policies and procedures set up for sales associates and live chat agents, there should be policies and processes set up to ensure a smooth post-purchase experience for customers.
Firstly, maintain communication with your customers after they have placed an order or made a purchase at your store. For digital brands, this might involve an e-mail pathway that confirms the transaction, sends a shipment notification, provides an estimated delivery date, and seeks feedback about the customer’s level of satisfaction with both the service and/or the product.
Another important component of the post-purchase experience is the collection of feedback. Companies brands should reach out to customers after they have made a purchase to gauge how satisfied they were with the product or service they purchased. Not only does this help brands improve their own customer service, but posting reviews can help convert future customers as well. it is five times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. So, pay attention to your existing customers and get their feedback to improve and refine your customer service skills and product offerings.
Seek Out Dissatisfied Customers to Provide Help:
Nobody likes confrontation. However, ignoring dissatisfied customers is poor business practice. Brands should seek out customers who are complaining about their product or service on social media or in the reviews section of their website and then offer a resolution. For example, offering exchanges, returns, discounts, or even a simple ‘Thank you for the feedback’ can have a significant impact.
Additionally, it is helpful to have efficient ways for customers to reach a real person they can talk to about any concerns they may have post-purchase. This is where call centers with well trained agents and call-back technology are incredibly important. They ensure that customers can reach a real, live human without spending hours on hold.
Encourage Brand Loyalty:
Finally, post-purchase is the best time for brands to start to work on customer retention, brand loyalty, and creating brand evangelists. Brands can do this by sharing special offers and incentives with their existing customers. For example, birthday gifts or discounts, early access to sales and new products, and loyalty or referral programs can all help ensure customer happiness.
Implementing policies and procedures, seeking feedback, helping out dissatisfied customers, and encouraging brand loyalty are all key components of creating a successful post-purchase strategy. With a strong focus on these strategies, you can set your brand apart and create a great community of happy (and repeat) customers.