Most companies are beginning to appreciate the importance of outstanding customer experience (CX). But it seems that others haven’t entirely caught up with the trend and assume that it is just a new marketing concept. Probably the first part of a CX strategy is to realize that customer experience is now part of your business brand.
We are all aware of what excellent customer service and lousy customer service feels like. When you walk into a shop and kind, helpful staff greet you, you are far more likely to return and even recommend the store. CX is similar—but on a much larger scale. A customer’s experience starts from the initial point of contact and continues up until post-purchase follow-ups. It includes a company’s customer service, how easy the website is to use, the speed of delivery, and a range of other aspects related to company and customer interactions.
Positive customer experience is more than essential. Providing outstanding customer experience is one of the top business priorities for 2020 and beyond. It can make or break a company, especially in today’s challenging climate. How a customer views a company impacts their behavior and spending, and it will affect their loyalty to the brand.
The Importance of Customer Experience
Even companies that focus on customer experience may still not recognize its real value. Let’s start by looking at things from a customer’s point of view.
- An astonishing 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for better customer service, which means that factors such as price and product are becoming less significant.
- For luxury goods, customers are willing to pay between 13% and 18% more when companies provide excellent CX.
- Forty-nine percent of customers purchase on impulse because of a more personalized service.
- Seventy-four percent of senior executives asked in an Oracle study felt that CX impacts customers’ loyalty.
- One in three customers is likely to look for a different brand after receiving a lousy customer experience.
Times are changing, and customers aren’t just interested in finding the cheapest product. They are looking for the whole package—and CX is the critical component. Can any business afford to ignore the potential of excellent CX? So how do things look from the other side?
- In terms of exciting business opportunities, companies rated customer experience and the top (20%), far more than content marketing (15%) and video marketing (10%)
- Seventy-five percent of customer experience management executives agreed that CX was a high-priority
- Annual revenue can increase by 2.4 times per customer over ten years with positive CX.
Surprisingly, the number of customers who rated businesses good or excellent actually decreased. Forty-five percent of customers rated companies as good or excellent in 2017, but this dropped to thirty-eight percent in 2018. The challenge of delivering an outstanding CX is becoming harder as customers are expecting more.
Here’s the challenge with a robust customer experience strategy—it’s challenging to accomplish but essential to your business success.
To help boost your company’s CX strategy, we’ve put together a list of things you can start implementing today.
10 Easy Ways for Companies to Improve Customer Experience
1. Define your customer experience
First, develop a list of guidelines that fall in line with the values of the company. Then make sure that everyone works towards them.
Customer experience isn’t the same as customer service. If employees still work on that theory, customers will not receive the complete package you want to deliver. This happens because there is no consistency across the organization.
2. Get to know customers
A company that knows a lot about its customers will be able to personalize their service. Customers all have different needs and likes. If a company doesn’t understand its customers, it’s unlikely to meet the demands of all customers. You could excel at CX for some, but end up lowering it for others.
For example, not everyone who orders flowers will be female, so a pink flowery website isn’t going to delight everyone.
3. Personalize the service
Customers are after a personalized service as it makes them feel part of a community. Here are a few examples:
- You walk into your regular coffee shop, and the barista knows your name and your order.
- Ikea—the ultimate company for personalizing services and focusing on customer experience. No matter where you are in the world, customers have the same experience. The company also sends gifts to regular customers on birthdays.
Those are just two examples. But they show how excellent customer experience is essential to running a successful business.
Related reading: 5 ways to build a loyal customer base.
4. Understand the benefits of emotional connections
Once a company knows its customers, it can establish an emotional connection. A small act of kindness like a free coffee when a customer’s relative has passed away can show that they mean more to a business than profit. Studies show that more than fifty percent of an experience is based on emotion. By creating an emotional connection, a company can increase sales by up to eighty-five percent.
5. Feedback is critical to know how customers feel
“Ask, and you shall find.” If companies don’t ask for feedback regarding their customer experience, they will never know how and where they can improve. There are so many tools available that allow for real-time feedback, especially live chat tools. Live chat tools enable companies to respond faster, which significantly enhances CX. Companies could also use follow up emails, text messages, and if the circumstances are right, an after-sales phone call.
6. Put the feedback into practice
Plenty of companies work hard to get feedback. But often, they focus on the good and positive but ignore the rest. But it’s vital to pay attention to negative feedback. This contains essential information that you can use to improve CX.
Based on feedback from customers, you need to implement this across all departments of an organization. Some people need to learn more about people skills over the phone, or your web developer might not be aware of glitches in the checkout process. Training employees also provides an excellent opportunity for employee feedback.
7. Use social media
Organizations that take advantage of social media can encourage customer engagement. They can interact with their favorite companies, and this allows them to feel like they are a part of something. Having a strong online presence also develops brand awareness. This way, more people can see what a company is all about—more specifically—how valuable their customers are to them.
8. Get the technology right
More and more customers use their smartphones to shop, get directions, read reviews, and sometimes even call someone. So, the customer experience must include the mobile experience. If a company’s mobile page isn’t user-friendly, the majority of customers are likely to stop visiting. The biggest frustration is when the display is not correct, or customers can’t navigate easily.
9. Measure Return on Investment (ROI) from customer experience
Measuring ROI is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. But a company needs to understand if its CX strategy is working and worth the investment. Again, there are tools available that find out whether a customer would recommend the service and their levels of satisfaction. Implementing such tools will provide further feedback and allow companies to take the next steps in improving customer experience.
10. Get more reviews to improve customer experience
One excellent way to improve customer experience is to ensure you get plenty of reviews. Making it easy for customers to leave reviews allows them to interact with your company. It also gives you a chance to respond to reviews and address any concerns. Reading reviews from real customers also provides you with invaluable information you can utilize in your customer experience strategy.
Find out how Starloop makes getting more Google reviews easy. By using Starloop’s review management software, you can make it straightforward to engage with your customers to get their feedback.