What is customer experience?
Your customers try to interact with your brand multiple times through different channels like your website, social media, and emails before and after making a purchase. Customer experience is the process of making a holistic perception that customers form about their interactions with your brand.
As per the Hiver’s Customer Support Through The Eyes of the Consumers survey report, 60% of consumers tend to switch to an alternate brand after two or three bad experiences, and around 30% switch to an alternate brand immediately after a single bad customer experience.
Delivering great customer experiences is about resolving queries and fixing customer issues. You must cultivate a customer-centric culture in your organisation where the motto of every team is to work to delight customers.
What factors can negatively impact customer experience?
Proactive customer experience management will build a loyal customer base and also help you gain new customers through positive word-of-mouth.
But, before we ponder upon how to improve customer experience, let us look at what dampens it:
Taking time to respond: According to research by Hotjar, there is a probability of one in five customers dislike long response times. 46% of customers expect a reply within 4 hours, but the average response time for most companies is 12 hours which is a huge gap.
Not understanding the needs of the customer – Understanding queries and resolving them are two significant factors that impact your customer experience.
Not providing a personalised experience – Personalization is the best way to attract customers. More than half of all buyers are ready to pay more for products if they get a personalised experience.
Ways to Improve your CX – Customer Experience
1. Empower the employees of your organisation
Find out what is keeping your employees from delivering a great customer experience. Make use of an employee pulse survey to uncover any common points in the employee experience, and apply those insights to review systematic processes.
2. Value the ideas provided by your employees
Employees are in the front interacting with customers in a unique position. They are just like the rubber that meets the road when it comes to delivering on your brand promises, and they perform a pivotal role when it comes to perceiving and communicating customer expectations, moods, and perceptions.
When this connection suffers, your understanding of your customers and their perception of you also suffer and take a back seat. Employees who feel that they are of some value are more engaged at work and more willing to help customers. Giving employees a voice to raise their concerns can offer valuable insight.
Most importantly, you must learn to take action on the feedback your employees provide.
3. Make use of tech to create breakthrough customer experiences
From chatbots that are created for customers, 24/7 to natural language processing employees allow you to understand what people mean in free-form text messages. The latest digital technology has made time-to-insights faster at new levels of personalization and service that are both scalable and affordable. You must explore the possibilities with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning tools that are specially designed for experience management.
5. Learn to embrace an omnichannel mindset
Those days are gone when you used to sit at a desktop computer to connect with a brand. More than 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices giving birth to multi-device digital journeys which have now become the standard. You must embrace omnichannel as it is one of the most important shifts you can make in your business thinking.
Personalization is the process where the experience adaptations are based on what you know about the customer. It makes customer journeys smoother and strengthens the bond between brand and customer.
Ways you can use personalization:
- Use the accumulated data to personalise survey questions.
- Use geolocation technology to personalise CX based on location.
- Keep offering recommendations based on past purchases.
- Do not forget to follow up with survey responses personally.
- Make the necessary upgrades to adapt your website to offer dynamic content based on user preferences
7. Try to adopt a top-down approach
The best organisations that are customer-oriented start at the top. CX and company leaders must model the importance of customer-centricity and set an example for the employees to follow with confidence.
8. Make use of customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping visually illustrates the processes of the customers. Their needs and perceptions are observed throughout their interaction and relationship with your brand.
9. You must include open-text feedback in surveys
CX is especially powerful when it is expressed by the customers in their own words. By hearing directly from customers, for example through their open-text responses to surveys, you understand their thoughts and sentiments.
10. You must improve your customer service
Customer service is the backbone of an industry and can be a powerful differentiator in the eyes of your customers. People do not just cling to your product to meet their needs, they buy because they feel confident to get support when they need it.
You must adopt these ways to improve your customer service:
- You must offer multiple channels for support – an omnichannel approach.
- You must optimise wait and response times which is a strategy that mixes digital and in-person support.
- You must close the loop with customers by turning every experience into a positive outcome.
- You must use benchmark metrics like CSAT, CES, and NPS to ensure that you are continuously improving.
11. Implement Voice of the Customer programs
Voice of the Customer or VoC is feedback about the experiences of the customers with you and what their expectations were of your products or services. The main aim of VoC is to focus on customer needs, expectations, understanding, and product improvement. Creating a program for capturing customer voice in the form of feedback and acting on those insights help you understand your customer’s needs to create better products, and attract and retain customers. A VoC program should be closely aligned with your goals.
Customer relationship management is a sensitive and difficult task. People reach out to customer service with the expectation to have an awful time. But, it is in your hand to prove them wrong and give them a great customer experience. You must give your brand a competitive edge against the others in the market.
The right technique tends to help you increase your customer lifetime value and satisfaction scores.