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How to Improve Customer Experience: 7 Things You Need to Know

January 17, 2020

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, then you need to deliver a solid customer experience. The reason is simple. Customers are the bedrock of any business. If you fail to satisfy them, you’re potentially putting the success of your business in jeopardy.

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According to American Express, consumers in the United States are ready to spend 17% more to do business with companies that provide high-quality customer experience. This shows that delivering a great customer experience is now more important than ever.

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This is why most businesses invest heavily in providing a good customer experience. In a recent survey by Adobe, most business owners mentioned that customer experience is the most exciting opportunity that they want to focus on in the coming year.

Image via Adobe

What this means is that if you fail to focus on how to improve customer experience in your business, you’re allowing other businesses to outshine you.

In this post, you’ll learn 7 things you must keep in mind, as you improve the customer experience your business delivers.

However, before that, let’s try to understand what customer experience is.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience (CX) is the experience that your customers get when they interact with your brand. This is formed over time from the way your company treats your customers.

In most cases, it affects how customers behave towards your company and interact with you or your representatives.

What this means is that, if you improve the customer experience you’re delivering, there are chances that your customers will do business with you for a long time. Not only that, they might also recommend you to their families and friends.

If you don’t improve the CX you’re providing, retaining your customers will become an uphill task for you.

CX includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The first interaction the customer has with your business
  • Your site navigation and architecture
  • How your business customer service is structured
  • The delivery of products/services to your customers after purchase

Customer Experience and Customer Service: Any Differences?

Customer experience, as mentioned previously, is the holistic perception which your customers have about your business based on previous interactions. Customer service, on the other hand, is just a tiny bit of customer experience.

For example, let’s say you bought a course online. When a representative reaches out to you and provides further details, it counts as customer service.

On the other hand, after gaining access to the course, if you found the course to be well-designed and didn’t experience any glitches, then that’s customer experience.

In essence, CX is more encompassing than customer service. It includes all of the tiny details of the interaction a customer has with your company. It starts right from the moment they land on your website or place an order for your product.

It also extends to when they reach out to your customer service team for any complaints, and the way you respond to them shapes it too.

Although customer service is still important for businesses, it’s no longer the main focus of customer experience. Delivering a great customer experience helps you get qualified leads for your business. Leads that can turn into customers who will be loyal for a long time.

The Importance of Good Customer Experience

The truth is, as a business owner, improving your customer experience will help you in many ways. If your customers have a good experience while interacting with you, they’ll likely become repeat buyers and may recommend you to others. That is why it’s crucial to figure out how to improve customer experience.

That’s perhaps the reason why nearly 41% of mature companies described their company culture as more customer-centric.

Image via Hotjar

Here are some benefits that your company stands to gain by improving customer experience:

1. Increased Customer Loyalty

When you create a great customer experience, your chances of getting loyal customers improve. Customers who have a good experience dealing with your business will most likely stick with you.

2. Better Customer Satisfaction

When customers have a good experience interacting with your business, there’s a great chance that their end goal was satisfied. This can improve your customer satisfaction.

3. More Customer Inquiries

One of the best ways to remain in business for long is to have people inquiring about your products or services consistently. To get more inquiries, good customer experience is key.

Good customer experience leads to more positive reviews, recommendations, word-of-mouth promotions, and so on. This can drive customers to your business.

And the sweetest part is that all of these will happen on autopilot without you spending any money to market your business.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can improve your customer experience.

Improving Your Customer Experience

To improve your customer experience effectively, you should have a solid strategy in place.

Here are seven things that you need to know to achieve it.

1. Understand Your Customers

You can’t create a good customer experience without knowing your customers well.

This is why you need to identify your customers first. Doing so can help you better understand their needs, motivations, and so on. Based on these insights, you can create a customer experience to address their concerns and problems.

To get this important information, you should record the types of customers that you interact with daily. Once that’s done, you can create buyer personas for each type of customer.

When you create buyer personas, you’ll see that it becomes easier to create a brand experience that is better suited for them.

You should give each persona a name and a personality. For instance, a buyer persona can be named John. He is a 23-year-old freelancer, who is looking for ways to grow his income. On the other hand, another buyer persona could be Juliet. She is a 45-year-old, isn’t tech-savvy but is looking for ways to make money online.

A good customer experience will mean different things for both of them. With this information in hand, you’ll be better placed to understand their problems and provide customized solutions.

2. Have a Clear Customer Experience Vision

Once you’ve identified who your customers are, you need to have a clear vision for your customer experience. This vision should be communicated to every member of your team and should serve as a guide.

One way to go about this is to write down this vision. This will ensure that everyone on your team will be on the same page when they interact with your customers.

It’s also recommended that you include this vision into your team’s onboarding, training, and development phases. That way, everyone will know these principles by heart and abide by them whenever they interact with your customers.

Another way to chart out your customer experience vision is to understand clearly what your short-term and long-term business objectives are.

By understanding these objectives, you will be able to create a customer experience strategy that aligns with them.

3. Hire the Right Employees

Your employees are the fuel for the success of your company’s customer experience. This is because, in most cases, your employees are the ones who interact with your customers regularly.

This is why you need to hire employees who will make the customer experience a delight in your company.

To get the right team for your business, you should focus on hiring people who have great interpersonal skills. This will help them interact with your customers in a calm and professional manner.

Also, you should have a customer experience template for your team to follow when they interact with your customers. This can help make your communication with customers consistent, seamless, and structured.

Another good practice is to have a measurable CX indicator. This helps you track how customer experience is faring in your company.

Here are the top 4 metrics which you can use to track customer experience in your business.

1. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score is used to measure the experience your customers have with your products or services. In most cases, you can use it to evaluate if it’s difficult or easy for them to complete an action.

2. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score is used to determine if customers are loyal to your company. It’s usually a close-ended question that asks them specifically if they would recommend your company to others on a scale of 0 to 10.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT is used to check if customers are satisfied with your product or service. This focuses specifically on areas they were satisfied or dissatisfied with for each product or service.

4. Time to Resolution (TTR)

This is used to determine the average time it takes for your customer service team to attend to a client’s complaint. This can be measured based on the number of business hours or days that this takes.

4. Have a Good User Experience Structure From the Onset

Customers discover your business or brand from various sources. It could be from a Google search, social media, app, and somewhere else. That’s why it’s crucial to have a good user experience structure in place for all channels of interaction.

A bad user experience on any of your channels can cost you lots of customers in the long run. So, you need to plan a well-thought-out multi-channel customer experience strategy.

With this, you can figure out exactly how you want to interact with customers at every stage on your channels. You must define it for all the stages of your customer journey.

Take, for instance, many customers are turned off by contextual ads. This is because they interrupt the user experience and make it difficult for them to navigate your website or app better.

So, you should try as much as possible to eliminate or reduce them to improve customer experience.

Other things you can do when creating a user experience structure include:

  • Have a consistent design and message across all channels. This includes your website, email, social media channels, and apps.
  • Make it easy for your customers to find the information or products they’re looking for.
  • Be human in all your interactions with the customers. You must be empathetic and understand their problems.

5. Utilize Artificial Intelligence

One of the best ways to improve customer experience is through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is one of the reasons why AI is becoming popular and more businesses are embracing it.

AI technology such as chatbots can help improve your customer experience by addressing their problems instantly.

Here are some other ways through which you can use AI to improve your customer experience.

  • You can configure chatbots to work with your website or app. This makes it easy for customers to communicate with you.
  • Chatbots aren’t unavailable at any point in time. So, you can handle multiple customer requests 24/7.
  • By using a chatbot, your customers will know more about your products and services. This is because it pulls information related to customer inquiries from different pages on your website.
  • When you use a chatbot, it reduces the time taken to respond to customers’ queries.
  • It uses predictive personalization. This helps it predict what your customers will likely do next and gives them relevant content too.

6. Make Customer Satisfaction Your Watchword

If customers aren’t satisfied with your company, then it’s likely that they won’t be interested in doing business with you again.

This is why you should make customer satisfaction a priority whenever you want to improve the customer experience in your company.

Here are some things you can do to make this happen.

  • Always ask for feedback. It’s always good to understand how customers feel when they interact with your brand. Feedback helps you discover areas where you’re doing well and ones that need improvement.
  • Be honest in your dealings with customers. By being transparent, you can win the trust of your customers and this can improve their satisfaction as well.
  • Be prompt in the delivery of your products. If you promised to deliver a product in 48 hours, you shouldn’t deliver it 96 hours after. Also, whenever someone purchases anything from you, thank them for doing so. A simple thank you email will go a long way to improve customer experience.
  • Measure the metrics and focus on what works. This helps you know exactly what your customers think about your brand. Some things to look at include app downloads, customer lifetime value (CLV), and reaction to special offers.
  • Provide your customers with the information they need. Don’t bombard them with irrelevant messages. This will help ensure that your customers know that you value them and aren’t just focused on selling.

7. Establish an Effective Communication Channel

Communication is key when you want to improve customer experience. If you don’t communicate with your customers in the right way, you’re potentially affecting how they perceive their customer experience.

To do this effectively, you need to streamline your communication process and create a customer journey that is easy to manage.

Here are some things you need to keep in mind to improve your communication.

  • Be proactive when communicating with customers. Don’t keep your customers wondering what happens next at each step of the journey. Let them know, even before they ask.
  • Make sure that you communicate with your customers in a way that’s cohesive and comprehensive.
  • Keep your team members updated about the latest happenings in the company and collaborate with them. This can help ensure that accurate information is passed on to your customers. Collaborative tools like Slack, Trello, Workplace, etc. can come in handy.
  • Know exactly which communication channel is the most effective. This helps your team know where to focus their efforts and how to provide better service to your customers.
  • Invite your customers to subscribe to your emails. This can make it easier to communicate with them. That way, you can send them information about the latest offers, products, and so on. You can use email marketing tools such as AWeber, GetResponse, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit to do this effectively.

Conclusion

Regardless of the industry in which you operate, delivering a good customer experience will make your brand stand out and distinguish you from your competitors. Having a good customer experience strategy will help you win loyal customers for your company.

Understand your customers thoroughly so that you can develop customized experiences for them. Additionally, you must hire the right people to deal with your customers. This can help improve their experiences while interacting with your brand.

You should also consider leveraging AI-powered tools such as chatbots wherever possible. It’s also essential to prioritize customer satisfaction to ensure that your customers stick with your brand.

It’s also necessary to measure a variety of customer experience metrics to check the effectiveness of your current strategy. Lastly, establish effective communication channels with them. This can help you communicate with them better throughout their buying cycle.

What other ways do you improve customer experience? Let us know in the comments.

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