5 Tips on How to Improve Customer Experience
The interest in Customer Experience (CX) is only growing day by day, with many companies seeing the opportunity to delight their customers and drive their business forward. However, almost every part of a business impacts the customer experience – from product to marketing to sales to service – which makes it a complicated area to plan for and see improvements. This leaves many companies stuck on where and how to start on their journey towards improving their customer experience strategy.
We are all making this too complicated. Every journey starts with a first step. So, where should companies focus?
1. Make it Easy
A common mistake companies make in their customer experience is not making it easy to do business. There must be a continuous focus on removing friction from the customer journey by letting the end customer engage when and how they want to and helping them find information when and where they need it. Furthermore, the effort required should be closely tied to the outcome desired, or in other words, the effort should match the intent. It is not acceptable to ask a customer to go through multiple screens, clicks, or agents to accomplish a simple task like finding a shipping policy or order status. Complex tasks may still require a customer service agent, but the repetitive and low–value questions should be solved quickly and easily with self-service.
2. Respect Your Customer’s Time
Speaking of solving problems quickly, customers have very little patience these days. Time is short for all of us and no one wants to spend time on hold dealing with a customer service issue. Part of delivering an outstanding customer experience is understanding that the customer’s time is as valuable as the company’s time and operating accordingly. Maybe that means offering self-service options like 24/7 support through AI-powered chatbots, or simply offering to call me back when an agent is available. In fact, more than half of all consumers now expect a customer service response within one hour. And they expect the same response times on weekends as on weekdays. This need for instant answers has forced organizations to remain accessible and on-demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This must be a priority in your customer experience strategy.
3. Know Who I Am
There is nothing worse than getting a generic answer that either doesn’t answer the questions or worse requires even more work to get to the actual answer. Even in our global marketplace, customers expect to be known as an individual – especially if they are a frequent customer. According to research done by Accenture, 75% of customers admit being more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them by their name, knows their purchase history, and recommends products based on their past purchases. It is critical as part of building a differentiated customer experience to make it personalized. There are some very easy ways to do this through using simple context data like knowing their current location or browsing history on your site. More advanced context can be used but it is fine to start with a few key triggers that make the experience more personalized and expand from there.
4. Value What I Value
This is a relatively new trend that will become more and more important as the next generation of consumers gains more buying power. Consumers want to feel good about the companies they are doing business with. Whether their focus is on social consciousness and investing in companies that give back, or simply shared lifestyle values like convenience and price. Customers want to walk away feeling good about where they spent their hard-earned money. As part of a customer experience strategy it is vital that a company includes content around their values, mission, and how that can be seen through their employees and broader corporate efforts. Little things like this can have big impact on the overall customer experience and creating brand loyalty.
5. Think About Your Employees as Customers
The final area that is too often missed in creating a best-in-class customer experience is a focus on the employee. At the end of the day, so much of a company’s success depends on the employees that make up that company. Furthermore, so much of customer experience and customer service is dependent on front-line employees delivering an amazing experience. As a customer experience strategy is developed and updated there must be a focus on the employee experience and empowering them with what they need to be successful. This can be as simple as improving access to customer data, simplifying the tools and workspaces they use each day, or enhancing their training. In addition, it can include giving your customer-facing employees access to tools like chatbots through smart assistants or AI-powered support centers.
By focusing on these five simple tips to improve your customer experience you are already setting a path towards long term CX success. Getting there is not a destination, it’s a never-ending journey. A good customer experience strategy is continually evolving – so that every interaction is an amazing one.