In today’s data-driven business environment, it is more important than ever for businesses to provide great customer experience. Gone are the days where companies aim to achieve customer happiness and retention through good ‘customer service’. In the recent times, customers have a lot more opportunity to interact directly and swiftly with a brand and every aspect about the company right from its website, promised vs delivered service to the way they engage the customers to contribute to good or bad customer experience. Moving forward, Customer experience may very well be the top factor in influencing the consumers more so than the product quality and the price. Here’s a look at some of the best strategies you can employ to provide excellent customer experience.
1. Define your brand’s customer experience
Step one in your customer experience strategy is to have a clear customer-focused vision by creating a set of guidelines. It is important to set the standards and principles early — the ones that will be identified as your core values. These core values should be embedded into the culture of the organization, and drive the approach and behavior of the organization. To achieve this, every single member of the organization should follow the core values by heart.
2. Examine your customers’ evolving needs
Customers are not static beings who all expect the same things from a product/service. Brands should start acknowledging the differences and target personalizing the experiences of the customers based on their unique needs. By periodically conducting surveys and listening to customers, apart from understanding their unique needs, you also communicate the message that you care about your customers.
3. Identify the biggest customer pain points
Upon gaining a holistic understanding of the customer requirements, you can focus on identifying the areas which do not please them. Periodically and systematically evaluating all the touch points of customer interaction will go a long way to help identify these threats. This way, you can pretty much fix many problems well before the consumers report them.
4. Be convenient
One of the most powerful ways in providing great customer experiences is by being convenient. Be easy to reach, reduce friction and be readily available. Providing more than one platform for the customers to reach you will make the service more convenient. In market segments that are highly competitive, when most major factors being equal, customers will choose the one easy to do business with.
5. Be empathetic and create an emotional connection
When listening to customer’s problems, be empathetic; this helps put you in the shoes of the consumer and understand their problems in a better way. Specifically, when it comes to B2C industries, this is a no brainer. The best customer experiences are often achieved when the customer- facing representatives of the company make an emotional connection with the customers. It is proven that emotions determine more than 50% of the perceived experience which further drive the attitude of the consumer. Consumers emotionally attached to a brand are at least three times more likely to recommend your product or service.
6. Ease their problems at speed
Businesses should commit to solving customer complaints at a rapid pace without any hiccups. Appropriate technology and tools that help collect, organize, prioritize and follow-up customer complaints should be at place. Most market researches confirm that angry consumers are likely to share their negative experience with an average of 16 people. The faster a business solves a customer complaint, the less the damage to the brand.
7. Under-promise and over-deliver
In order to exceed the customer expectations, it is essential to under-promise and deliver slightly more than the expected service. Apart from providing added benefits, something as little as the time you take to return the phone call; delivering the product earlier than the promised date will add a great value to the consumers. It will work best if you personalize this a little!
8. Create proper balance between digital experience and human experience
AI-enabled customer interaction systems help provide auto-responses to routine customer queries by guiding them with carefully curated content. While this reduces the need to have a human representative attending each conversation, it is essential for business to create a proper balance between digital and human experience.
9. Measure and Analyze customer experience metrics
What is not measured, cannot be managed. Failing to measure and record the customer experience can lead to businesses missing out on valuable feedback and inputs from the customers. Quantifying the customer experience can be done by adopting the following methodologies and analyzing them frequently to derive valuable insights.
NPS – Net Promoter Score is an important tool to gauge the loyalty of consumers by measuring customer experience and whether or not they are likely to promote the product.
CSAT – Customer satisfaction rating. The traditional method used to record customer happiness over a delivered service or product.
10. Be consistent
To retain customers and build a loyal consumer base, businesses need to provide the customer with the same positive experience every time they interact with them. By achieving consistency across all the platforms, engagements and interactions, companies can gain more trust from its consumers and when a brand earns it, the customer-business relationship becomes solid!