Have you ever seen David Blaine do a magic trick? It’s incredible. He came to prominence performing street magic, meaning he was performing on a literal street for people he just happened to come across. With such a minimal setting, he has to use a high level of cunning. After all, a magician’s real job is to make sure you can’t tell how they do the trick. If you can see the cards up their sleeve, it ceases to amaze.
Really, magic is all about the experience. It’s about how you interact with the performer, the relationship you have with them. Creating the right environment to watch a performance is something to approach with great care. The same is true with creating the experience your customers have. Half the battle is creating an environment where great customer experience is possible. So, how do you go about doing that?
Our suggestion is simple: listen to your customers. There are plenty of ways that customers offer feedback. Whether it be through a survey you sent out, comments and reviews on your site and others, or even their behavior when interacting with you: It’s all feedback they’re offering and it’s all valuable in crafting a great customer experience.
In this article, we talk about using customer feedback as a guide to creating a great customer experience.
The value of loyal customers
Having a great customer experience is useful for many things, the primary one being that if the experience is good, customers will continue to use your products and services. They’ll be loyal to you. In fact, loyal customers are five times more likely to make repeat purchases from your business. Not only is there value in the purchase they make, but they are also don’t require the investment of acquisition dollars that new customers do.
Repeat purchasing is one way that loyal customers help improve your business. Another way is that they are often advocates of your brand. According to the article cited above, loyal customers are four times more likely to recommend your company to others. Personal recommendations are as strong a marketing tool as they come, so the more you can get, the better.
So, loyal customers are much more likely to bring repeat business and they also help bring in new business in the form of personal recommendations. Compiling all those results into a final stat that shows the cumulative effect: loyal customers have 10 times the LTV (life-time value) of your detractors.
Creating loyal customers
Saying, “all you have to do is create loyal customers” is similar to telling a basketball coach, “all you have to do is score more points than the other team and you’ll win the game.”
Whereas that’s true, technically, it doesn’t offer any real insight into how you actually win a game. The same is true with loyal customers. Knowing that you need them won’t magically conjure them. Even Beetlejuice had to have his name recited three times to show up.
As with most things, there isn’t one answer to creating a loyal customer, but we do have two main steps we think are critical: listen to customer feedback and take action based on that feedback. In fact, research shows that 67% of customer churn is preventable if a customer’s issue is resolved immediately.
If you’re assuming that companies are generally good at this, they’re not. The annual amount of collective revenue companies lose to providing poor customer experience is 136.8 billion dollars, according to CallMiner.
Collecting customer feedback
In order to utilize customer feedback, you have to collect it. There are plenty of ways to collect feedback, but for our purposes, we’re going to focus on collecting feedback through surveys and best practices surrounding that process.
Build: Creating a survey is an art in and of itself. It really comes down to asking the right questions. Starting with easier questions early can help a respondent in the flow of answering. Also, save any questions about sensitive information till the end, and make them optional. Last, be as concise as possible. The longer your survey, the less likely someone is to complete it.
Automate: Like most things in life, timing counts for a lot. When you send out your survey is as important a detail as any. Automating allows you to be very precise with your timing. Each type of survey will have different guidelines but things like CSAT should be sent soon after the interaction so it’s fresh (ever notice how Uber asks you to rate your ride immediately?). If it’s for a product review, you may want to wait a little bit so the customer has time to have experience with it.
Analyze: Information is only useful if you endeavor to learn from it. If you’re not analyzing your data, you could be missing a lot. Most survey tools offer some level of analytical tools but some are stronger than others. We’ve found that Salesforce’s analytics do a great job in helping uncover insights from customer feedback.
Act: Once you’ve collected and analyzed your feedback you need to put it into action. If you’re not going to put the feedback you receive into action, it’s probably not worth collecting in the first place. According to Service America, customers are 66% more likely to repurchase if their issues are addressed quickly.
Implementing customer feedback
The final step in the process, as mentioned above, is to actually implement the feedback you’ve received. Again, there’s no one right way to take action on feedback, but we do have some suggestions to try.
Create a CX Report: A CX report is something you can present to your company as a whole, or specific stakeholders to present customer sentiment. You could address things like common pain-points for customers and also areas in which you’re succeeding. The main goal is to get an idea of the overall customer experience.
Be Transparent: More and more customers want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Whether it’s access to a product roadmap or insights into the company culture, they want to be informed about who they’re doing business with. If you run a large survey, report the findings to your customers and also map out how you’re going to address any concerns you uncovered in your research.
Involve Everyone: The biggest trap you can fall into as an organization is believing that only your customer success team is responsible for the customer experience. Things like presenting the VoC are a great first step to involving the rest of the company. You may also want to look at creating some cross-functional teams to inject the customer’s voice in other areas of the company. When your customers win, everyone wins.
Remember, taking action is, realistically, the most important part of the process from the customer perspective. Data is useful as a means to influence action. If that’s not your intention from the start, collecting anything in the first place probably isn’t worth it.
Loyal customers are extremely valuable to your business, so it’s well worth investing in their experience to keep them coming back. First, you should ask how you can better serve them. Sending out a survey is a great way to collect feedback.
Next, analyze the information you get. The goal of collecting feedback is to learn about your customers. Taking a close look at the results is the only way you’ll be able to do that. Finally, you need to take action based on what you learned. Creating things like a CX report are a good place to start. Also, if you can, let your customers know what you found and how you’re going to address those findings. The more transparent you can be, the better.
Creating a great customer experience can feel like pulling off a magic trick. There are lots of variables to consider and twists and turns that can pop-up along the way. Though it may seem a daunting task, when you break down the process, it might make the mystical seem more apparent.
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