Companies that focus on providing quality customer experience increase revenues and drive growth for their brand.
You don’t believe this?
Well, a lot of proof has been published over the years, making CX the priority of modern companies.
Temkin Group has established that companies who earn $1 billion annually can increase their earnings by $700 million by simply investing in CX for three years. This equals a 70% increase in revenue in as little as 36 months.
On top of that, American Express’s research showed that 86% of buyers are likely to pay more for a product or service if the company offers a great experience.
Times have changed a lot in the world of marketing and customer service. According to an Adobe and Econsultancy’s report, B2B brands believe that customer experience was the most exciting opportunity for businesses in 2020. This year, the need for it is even bigger.
But, enough with statistics. If you have a brand and want to see it succeed and grow, you need to take action.
Are you ready to do this? Let’s get started.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is dependent on how well you do business. Its success is defined by the experiences and interactions that clients have with your business from the beginning to the end of the journey. This is a crucial piece of the puzzle that is Customer Relationship Management.
Ideally, brands want their CX to be at the highest level. Why? It’s because positive experiences equal more purchases, better word-of-mouth, and more loyal customers. According to a global study by Oracle, 74% of senior executives believe that this impacts the willingness of people to become loyal advocates of a brand.
Simply put, better CX means happier customers. Happier customers mean more sales, higher revenue, and growth for your business.
Is customer service and customer experience the same thing?
Far from it. Customer service is just a tiny part of what makes the customer experience. Before digital sales were an option, speaking with an employee was the first point of contact that customers had with a brand. This is why many still mistake the two even today.
These days, many people don’t even speak to an employee when they buy things, or they only communicate with them to complete their purchase.
Think about it. If you go online and can put everything you need in a cart, have no questions whatsoever, and can pay with your card instantly, will you even get the chance to find out how their support works? Even when you go to those big stores and markets, get everything in your cart, and go to the checkout to pay, speaking to a representative of the company is the last thing you’ll do. A lot of the time, this will be limited to: ‘’that would be $20’’ and ‘’Thank you’’.
With that in mind, customer experience can be affected by the quality of the support, but it is not limited to it.
5 ways to improve customer experience
The sooner you realize how important CX is for your business, the better. If you wish to improve it and drive growth for your brand, here are 5 great tips to take you in that direction.
1. Analyze the market
Before you take any kind of action that can affect your customers, you need to understand who they are and what they need. Market analysis is a key step in any decision-making process for your business.
According to AskaTest, a popular place to create your target market analysis template, this can be defined as:
‘’Market analysis is the process of understanding your target audiences, market trends, competitors, and other vital market variables like behaviors and preferences.’’
When you know exactly what your target market expects of you, what kind of problems they have, and who your buyer persona is, you can make crucial decisions to improve their experience. With this information in your hands, you can train your customer support properly, tweak your products to offer the ideal solutions, and come up with a strategy that provides a seamless experience from start to finish.
Whether you sell in a store or online, this step is a no-miss if you wish to keep customers happy.
2. Build an emotional connection with them
Have you ever heard of the saying: ‘’It’s not what you say – it’s how you say it’’?
People are much less likely to choose your company or buy your products if the person they speak to is not nice, professional, or friendly to them. Building a relationship with them is key to turning potentials into leads.
Think about it this way. You are not the only one on the market selling the same products, services, or solutions. So, what makes you different from the rest?
You need a flawless website design and easy navigation that will allow customers to see your offerings and take action. You’ll need several employees to give them access to information at all times while they are searching or are in your store. In case they want to get some answers on social media, you’ll need people working on these channels who can respond promptly and professionally.
But, if you don’t train those people and motivate them to handle requests and answers in a friendly and professional manner, people won’t care how fast you responded to their answers – or if you’re there around the clock. According to the Journal of Consumer Research, over 50% of the overall experience of customers is based on emotions.
Emotions drive decisions, which is why you need to appeal to them to outperform the competitors in sales growth.
3. Use customer feedback to improve
You can try hard and still not outperform the competition. This is why analytics are important at any stage of your strategies. You don’t just have to analyze the competition or target audience to create a strategy. Even while you’re operating on that strategy, you need to perform analytics to see how well it works.
How else will you know if your actions delivered an amazing customer experience?
In this case, analyzing your success is easy. Why? Because all you need to do is ask. People are often willing to share their experiences with others. Customer feedback serves not only to tell others what to expect of a brand, but also to show the brand how to improve and where.
There are many ways to ask for feedback that will show you how well your strategies performed. If you’re using live chats, give customers the option to rate the conversation at the end of it or on their email. If you’re selling in-store, have a box for comments and complaints in case someone wants to share things with you.
On top of this, you can get post-interaction surveys, read what people say about you on forums, and encourage them to leave feedback on your website and social media channels. If you have loyal customers, you might want to throw in a question or two regarding this when you send them some gifts or communicate with them.
Once you collect this information, you can use it in the following ways:
- Learn if your product or service meets people’s expectations and solves their problems.
- Show customers that you value their opinions and build a closer relationship in the process.
- Provide more opportunities for sales conversions.
4. Request employee feedback, too
Feedback is a very valuable tool when you’re trying to improve CX. But, it is not only customer feedback that matters. Many organizations have survey processes where they discuss such matters with the employees. Since these are the people who directly communicate with your potential and existing buyers, they can bring fresh and actionable insight in improving customer experience.
Even though this is the case, most companies do such surveys once a year or every 6 months. Some do it to make employees feel involved, but never actually review their thoughts and ideas.
This is wrong. If you want to improve the satisfaction of customers, you need continuous employee feedback. The ideas of people who are directly in touch with customers can be of great value for your business.
5. Use artificial intelligence
AI has taken over many parts of the work industry. It has also yielded amazing results in improving the customer experience. Start with chatbots that provide consumers with instant responses and eliminate the need to wait for the simplest answers. These will even reduce up to 30% in customer support costs, so it’s a win-win for you.
If you want to improve the experience of people who choose your brand, leverage the great powers of AI. You can use it to automate replies and tell people that you’ll get in touch with them soon, get the answers to them automatically, send them thank-you messages and build your relationships, etc.
People have high expectations when they buy from you. Why wouldn’t they – when they are investing both their money and trust into your brand! As customers become more empowered thanks to the option to spread word-of-mouth and increased competition in almost every industry, it is more important than ever to create seamless experiences for them. This is something that needs constant work and nurturing, so the tips above are just the starting point.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.