Giving the best customer experience is not something any business can do effortlessly. Surely we’ve all had some bad experiences with different brands that left us thinking “I’m never using their services/products ever again!”? That statement usually builds up from a series of unsatisfactory experiences from the minute you engage with that specific brand.
In essence, we can say that customer experience is the aggregate of a person’s perceptions, feelings, memories and associations around their engagement with a brand. Businesses cannot make an experience – they can only afford the customer the chance to engage.
Today, many businesses through the help of contact centre agents and customer service representatives are working to foster a better experience for their customers. With customer experience being a new area of focus for many, not all of them can get it right.
Let’s take a look at some guiding principles for providing quality customer experiences:
1. Engage, engage, engage with your customer!
It sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many organisations are so internally focused or competitor driven they have completely forgotten the customer.
Taking the time to involve your customers and gathering their feedback (good or bad) is hugely beneficial, saving time and money in the long run. Looking at the same processes from a customer’s perspective often sheds a very different light on something you thought was perfect.
When gathering customer feedback, use live chat tools to have real-time conversations and when done, send a follow-up email to every customer using post-interaction surveys and similar customer experience tools.
2. Know your customer
Leading companies today are moving beyond traditional quantitative segmenting. They’re developing much more sophisticated customer analysis that draws from a variety of sources, including customer behaviour and psychographic data gathered online and offline, real-time information collected from sensors and other tracking mechanisms, and geographic and mapping data using specialized new-age customer-centric technology.
3. Always be easily accessible for your customer
Nothing is more frustrating than being told “system is offline” and trying to access your service provider with no luck or waiting on a call for over 10 minutes only to be disappointed and not given any solution.
Businesses in the customer services industry need to have multiple channels of communication because, at the end of the day, there is no such thing as an “offline customer” in 2020.
Whatever industry you are in, you can be sure that your customer can be present in several channels, often at once – make use of those channels.
4. Empower your team
Being at the forefront of interactions with customers, your employees are your most important asset. Equipping your staff with all the training they need to fulfil their role is crucial, as is training them on customer centricity to help them understand what the overall customer experience is and the part they play in building a customer-centric culture. Let them actively own issues and give them the power to solve customer problems without always having to get authorisation from managers.
The list goes on and on and we can spend a lifetime trying to highlight the various strategies that businesses can use to provide the absolute best customer experience, but in reality, it is quite impossible.
Customer expectations today are higher than ever and word of mouth travels faster than you think, and as the customer becomes even more empowered, it increases the importance of the customer experience.
Customer experience is an area that needs constant nurturing and care and, with a greater focus on customer experience strategy, companies will realize a positive impact on customer loyalty, higher retention and increased revenue growth.