15 Apr Seven Ways To Improve Your Customers’ Experience
Great Customer Experience doesn’t just happen – it takes time to work out what’s important.
Get it right and you might find you can even enjoy a bigger margin because your clients will feel the added value you provide is simply worth paying more for.
Don’t believe it? Here are seven ways to build a Customer Experience strategy that will help you better meet your clients’ needs, reduce churn and increase revenue.
1. Create a clear vision.
The easiest way is to create a set of guiding principles. For example, high street skincare chain Lush puts ethical marketing at the centre of its operations, from ensuring all staff earns at least the National Living Wage to using recycled materials in its products.
This principled stance is now almost as famous as the smell that lets you know you’re near a Lush outlet and sets an attractive tone for the brand’s image.
For best results, great principles should drive your business culture. Everyone on your team should know them by heart and they should be embedded into all areas of training and development.
2. Understand your customers.
Now’s the time to build on your brand values by appreciating the people you do business with. To understand your customers’ unique needs and aspirations, so that you can give them the service they can only dream of, you need to know how they tick!
One great way to do this is via “personas” – theoretical “biographies” of the sort of people who might be looking for your services.
Take for example “Anne”. She’s 35, likes new tech and is savvy enough to follow a video tutorial. Compare that to “John”, 42, who needs clear, simple step-by-step instructions, in writing, on a web page.
Both personas represent the sorts of people the business needs to attract, and both need a different approach. Take time to work out your own customer personas and use them to design your business offering.
3. Create an emotional connection.
The best Customer Experience is achieved at a very personal level. A study by The Journal of Consumer Research found more than half of our decisions are based on “gut feelings” which shape the attitudes that drive decisions.
Customer loyalty stems from an emotional attachment – people remember how they feel when they use a product or service. Industry research shows that optimising for an emotional connection with your client – by providing great customer service – can help you to outperform your rivals by as much as 85 per cent.
A recent presentation in The Harvard Business Review entitled “The New Science of Customer Emotions” reveals emotionally-engaged customers are:
– At least three times more likely to recommend your product or service
– Three times more likely to re-purchase
– Less likely to shop around (44% of those quizzed for the study said they rarely or never shop around)
– Much less price sensitive (33% said it would take a discount of 20% or more before they strayed).
4. Capture feedback in real-time.
The sooner you know if you’re delivering a great Customer Experience – or not – the better. By capturing feedback in real time with post-interaction email surveys or tools (including automated calls), the sooner you can spot problems and turn them into opportunities.
Even better, if you can tie the feedback to a specific customer support agent this helps to show your team the difference they’re making.
5. Use a quality framework
Now you now know what customers think about your brand – and how closely it matches up to your stated core principles – it’s vital to identify any gaps and give your team the guidance they need to bridge them. This could mean individual coaching, e-learning or group training.
6. Listen to your team.
As important as customer comments are to your business, continuous employee feedback helps you to develop best practice techniques and gauge staff sentiment towards the business. Project management software – and even social media tools – can help create a confidential environment where continuous communication and knowledge sharing is the norm.
7. Measure RoI.
Measuring Customer Experience is any brand’s biggest challenge. One common measure of engagement success is the “Net Promoter Score” or NPS, developed by consulting firm, Bain and Company. NPS is calculated based on responses to a single question, commonly phrased as: “On a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend our company/product/ service to a friend or colleague?”
The actual score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors (replying 0-6) from the percentage of Promoters (replying 9-10). The higher the total, the more satisfied is the average customer.
In this article, we’ve seen how in just seven steps – applied creatively – you can improve your brand’s Customer Experience, meaning better brand loyalty, higher margins, more robust profits and even better staff retention. But they should also make your business a better one.