How to Make Sure Customer Experience is Always a Top Priority
Keeping the customers you have and impressing new ones so they stick around are two of the top things you can do to grow your business. Customer experience (CX) is the crux of how loyal your clients become and whether they tell others about what you do.
PWC recently released a report about what drives consumer purchasing decisions. They found 92% of those surveyed cited brand trust as a key component of who they buy from. One way to gain confidence is by offering excellent customer service.
However, it’s easy to get distracted by the other roles you must play as a small business owner. You’re likely scrambling with marketing, inventory control, and hiring excellent employees. CX can fall by the wayside unless you make it a top priority.
You might assume you have good CX, but how can you know for sure. What key factors would make a good customer service experience?
1. Know Your Audience
It might sound obvious, but knowing who your customers are and what they prefer helps you create the best CX possible. Dig into what drives them to your business in the first place. What pain points are they experiencing that you can solve?
Look at both demographic and psychographic factors. Study location, age, and gender alongside the cultural and emotional factors driving your customers.
2. Create an Omnichannel Experience
Many companies drop the ball when it comes to keeping customer service agents informed through all touchpoints. In a study by Forrester and commissioned by LiveVox, researchers found 70% of consumers said agents don’t have all the relevant info needed to engage them. Lack of cross-channel interaction details created massive frustration for users.
Make sure you invest in data management that allows for agents to pull up notes about previous interactions. Train your people to understand how different processes within your company work.
3. Embrace a Vision
Spend time thinking through what your vision is for your brand and how it impacts CX. Talk to your employees and top clients about how they see you. Does your image mesh with what customers expect?
Your CX needs to permeate everything you do, so you want to create a customer-first approach and reward employees for taking any action to achieve your vision.
4. Connect Emotionally
People are more than just a bunch of data. They have individual concerns, life experiences, and preferences. Figuring out what drives your customers gives you a chance to connect on a deeper level.
Train your workers to go above and beyond when a client has a problem. You’ve probably seen the legendary story of Zappos and how they made things right for one customer by not only paying for shipping when she forgot to return her shoes due to her mother dying, but they sent her flowers the next day.
The brand has a generous 365-day return policy that is practically unheard of. They get how busy customers are and they make shopping from them as easy as possible. Think about what your audience wants most and offer it. Take the time to fix issues for individual clients.
5. Develop Your Team
A highly trained live chat agent can make your CX positive. Take the time to develop good customer service skills and train your staff.
Invest in software and tools that make your agents’ jobs easier. If they can pull up a customer history at lightning speed, they can glance over past issues and jump right into the heart of the matter.
Encourage your employees to come up with creative solutions so customers walk away wowed. Reward people for glowing reviews. Ask customers for feedback on customer experiences and fix any issues immediately.
If you see the same issues creep up repeatedly, host workshops to improve skills in those areas.
6. Consider the Customer Journey
To create excellent CX, you must look at the journey buyers take. Tweak processes through each phase.
Even the language and offers for someone in the awareness stage will be different than for someone in the decision stage. How can you be of the most help to your customers at each point?
Make sure you plan through follow-up after the sale. Many companies forget about the CX after the person buys. Their experience should be consistently positive from the first contact to the last.
7. Gather Feedback
Don’t make feedback a one-time thing. Embrace complaints as an opportunity to improve CX. If a customer writes a positive review, pay attention to what made them happy and strive to repeat it.
Ask your employees for feedback on how well customers respond to policies. Your sales reps and customer service agents are the ones who have first-hand experience with how well-received your rules are.
Do customers hate your return policy? Change it. Perhaps you’ve received complaints about your website and how it functions? Do a redesign. Make customer experience your top priority and you’ll retain customers.
Optimize Your CX
Does your CX work for your customers? Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool but people will only share your business with others if they love you. Seek out new ways to meet their needs and improve speed, efficiency, and friendliness.
Happy customers feel confident in sharing your brand with others. If you focus on CX first, everything else will fall into place. You’ll wind up with a collection of highly loyal customers who bring new leads to your business.