A company’s success is reliant on many things, but one area which can make a huge difference to the way your brand is perceived can be generating a positive customer experience, each and every time someone interacts with your business. A happy customer is often likely to become a loyal customer and one who prefers your brand over many others. This is hugely important for driving repeat business and ultimately increasing revenue.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience – also known as CX – is quite simply, the relationship between a business and its customers. This can be any type of communication at any point of their customer journey, from marketing and sales, to customer support or anything in between. Today, however, customer experience is much more than just a series of interactions. It takes into account how your customer feels each step of the way in doing business with you.
Each customer touchpoint has become an important opportunity for you to make sure that they have the easiest and best experience of your brand. Customer service teams will certainly be able to offer advice and answer questions, but they can now make each experience personalised to offer the best experience possible. Customer experience also means delivering a proactive and seamless approach to each customer, regardless of which channel they use to communicate with you.
Why is customer experience important?
Customer experience is hugely important in setting your business apart from your competitors that offer similar products and services. In today’s crowded markets, customers have many different options to choose from when it comes to purchasing a product or service. It’s very important that you make sure that they want to continue to do business with you. It’s much less expensive to keep your current customers than to attract new ones.
The huge advantage of building up a loyal customer following is that it can have an important hand in promoting your business for you. This could be through many channels, for example a mention of your business to someone else, a positive review on Google or a recommendation on social media. This will also help to build up and cement your brand’s reputation, giving your company a positive image – which can play an important part in helping your business grow.
How can you improve customer experience?
So how can you start to improve your company’s customer service experience? There are a number of steps you can take to start to understand the journey your customers make when they interact with your business and your staff. This could include making a ‘journey map’ to track all the different touch points that you have with your customers. Then you can look at each of these and see how you make it the best experience possible. Your customer service team has the power to make customers feel special and understood, but first they will need to understand exactly who they are dealing with.
Understand who your customers are. It’s important to understand your customers so that you can better tailor each interaction to their needs. One way in which to get to know your customers better is creating a set of personas. These are basically fictional descriptions of your clientele or the businesses that you deal with. In terms of customers, it could include details of their age, job, hobbies and income. For businesses it could take into account their industry, location, size and budget. This insight is invaluable for understanding how they are using your product or service, as well as planning successful marketing strategies.
Collect customer feedback. Your customers themselves can be a great source of information and one of the best ways to understand them is asking them for feedback about your business or service. This could be collected through a survey asking them about what they like or dislike, or what they would like to see more of in the future. You may already do a post-sales call to follow-up on an order, but make sure to maximise this opportunity by asking questions that will inform you for the future. Alternative, if there is a specific area in which you are keen to work on, you could hold a focus group session.
Once you gather the information that you need, make sure to put a plan in progress to act on your findings. This could be identifying areas in which your customer service staff are performing best, but also the ways in which you can improve your products and/or services. This process of customer analysis is key to ensuring your customers, both old and new, will stay loyal and help you to drive your business forward into the future.