A customer experience (CX) strategy is designed to improve the overall experience of customers with your organization. It outlines the actionable plans you will use to deliver a positive experience across all customer-centric activities, both pre- and post-sale. Businesses that focus on CX strategies reduce churn, boost customer loyalty and increase their revenues.
A 2020 Digital Marketing Trends Report by Econsultancy and Adobe found that companies regarded customer experience as their most exciting opportunity for 2020. Customer expectations are rising and they expect every interaction with a company to be a great one. So, how can you create the best customer experience?
1. Understand your customers
If you are going to understand customer needs and wants, you must be able to see things from their perspective. What are they most concerned about? Where do they have difficulties? Conducting some surveys can help you to find out.
Creating customer personas is an important step on the way to becoming truly customer-centric. Give each persona a name and personality.For example, Peter is a retiree who likes to follow written instructions. Anne is 29, tech-savvy, and likes following video tutorials.
Amazon’s Prime Service developed out of understanding what its customers wanted. It decided to make its own Prime shipping network because customers were complaining that shipping times were too long. It also introduced one-click ordering for Prime customers to make check-out super easy.
2. Develop your customer support team
Any investment you make in customer service can minimize customer attrition rates and improve the perception of your brand. If your customer service isn’t up to scratch, customers quickly lose trust in your company.
If your team understands how much you value customer experience, it can give them the incentive they need to go the extra mile. For instance, if a customer is having difficulty deploying a software product, he or she doesn’t just want to be told by a support representative that the terms don’t guarantee instant deployment.
Creating a culture that values customer service is a top-down process. You will need to identify the training needs for every member of your support team, starting with managers. It is also important to schedule and track development through eLearning, group training and coaching.
Ask yourself these questions:
Can your support team handle customer inquiries well and in a timely manner?
Are the metrics regarding first-contact resolution and service level good enough?
Can customers communicate via their preferred channel in a seamless way?
Do you have quality assurance measures in place?
Do your support representatives have the information they need at hand, such as a
client’s purchase history, to provide the best possible help?
Upgrading your customer service technology solutions can be costly, but if you understand the better business outcomes the change will offer, it could be a worthwhile investment for you to make.
3. Give your customers choices
Customers value flexibility and being given choices. There are many choices you can give them, such as offering flexible pricing plans to suit different budgets.
Customers also appreciate brand accessibility through a variety of channels and devices. Make sure that your website is mobile-responsive and develop an app if necessary, to make interaction easier. Customers should be able to choose how they interact with your company – email, SMS, live chat, social media, or phone.
Giving your customers choices when it comes to payment methods is worth looking at, depending on your customer demographics. Credit card, debit card, cash, and PayPal are obvious choices.
It can be difficult to find a balance between offering enough choice and offering too much. Offering too many choices, such as multiple pricing plans, can simply confuse your customers and make customer support more difficult.
4. Closely monitor customer feedback
One way to tell if you’re delivering great customer experience is to ask. Live chat tools enable you to have real-time conversations. Post-interaction surveys can provide immediate feedback.
It is important to monitor social mentions and customer reviews. You need to be quick to respond when concerns are raised. Responding quickly and in-depth shows customers you care and when they know this, they’re more likely to be loyal.
The best customer experiences happen when you manage to create an emotional connection with customers. A Harvard Business Review study titled The New Science of Customer Emotions states that emotionally engaged customers are at last three times more likely to recommend your product or service or repurchase.
They’re less sensitive to price and less likely to shop around. It’s worth closely monitoring what your customers have to say if you want to create that emotional connection with them.
Wendy Attenborough, customer service head at a resume writing service regularly works on academized.com review and reviews on essay writing services based on customer feedback, has something valuable to share.
Wendy says, ‘’be good with the numbers and reports when you work on deriving data output for analytics purpose. Understanding customer feedback helps immensely in building a new customer base and maintaining the existing customers.’’
5. Expand your self-service options
Self-service offers convenience for customers and tends to make them buy more. They experience fewer problems with check-out and it’s cheaper. When customers are able to do things themselves, there are fewer mistakes. Employees can spend their time efficiently and deal with more complex issues.
Expanding self-service options doesn’t have to be that difficult. If your business sells a software product, you could create a quiz to help customers decide which plan or product is best for them.
Rather than explaining every detail in person of what your product or service has to offer, you could run an interactive demo on your website. You can also invest in web apps to help your customers make the right decisions.
You could create a knowledge base with all the information your customers need and structure it well into sections, topics, video demos, etc. to make it easy to search.
6. Incorporate AI in your CX strategy
Incorporating AI in the CX strategy is a way to create unique, personalized experiences
that will delight your customers and build loyalty. We’re all familiar with Amazon’s personalized product recommendations and a number of other companies have followed suit.
To truly stand out, your brand has to provide a seamless experience from beginning to end across all channels, and this can be an impossible task. Machine learning tools are able to discover patterns in customer behavior and offer highly personalized offers for individuals.
Of course, introducing AI into your CX management strategy may seem a step too far for your company right now and it certainly won’t happen overnight. However, understanding your audience through machine learning is a first step towards shifting your focus from generalized marketing to offering a more personalized experience. What you can do is to work towards unifying your data and leveraging it to guide your marketing strategies.
Customer expectations are rising and as customers become more empowered, the importance of the customer experience cannot be underestimated. CX is an area that must be constantly nurtured because, ultimately, you want to create brand ambassadors who will spread the word about your products or services.
If you are more responsive, more convenient, cheaper and offer a more personalized experience or a better-quality product than your competitors, your customers will share your products or services without having to be encouraged to do so. A greater focus on customer experience strategies will give your company the benefit of customer loyalty, higher retention, and growth in revenue.
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Editor’s note: This article reflects the personal opinions of our guest author.
About the guest author
Isabell Gaylord is a professional content writer, academic writer, and journalist for college paper writing services, professional essay writers, assignment writing services and academic writing services UK. Her main spheres of interest are management, IT and digital marketing. In her free time, she loves to read fiction, write poems and play outdoor games.