Customer experience is now predicted as the biggest brand differentiator. Let thank sink in…
That’s right – CX is what sets your apart from your competition more than any other factor; including price and product.
What does that mean in real terms? Well, simply put, it doesn’t matter how cost effective you are or how great your product or service is. If you can’t look after your customers – you lose them. Meeting consumer expectations whether it’s in a B2C or B2B transaction has never been more important.
77% of consumers say inefficient customer experiences detract from their quality of life.
In addition, 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
It’s pretty compelling evidence that what matters most to customers, is feeling like they matter to a business. Consumers need to feel valued, heard, and have an experience designed for them that makes their life easier, adds value, and ultimately meets their expectations.
But what is customer experience?
Firstly, let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not just customer service, answering phones or responding to emails.
It’s much bigger.
The customer experience starts the moment your customer first hears of your brand, and spans every single interaction they have with it all the way through to the last time they deal with you. It’s not just who they speak to, it includes technology like your website or chat functions, it includes marketing they might see from you, how quickly their payment or refunds are processed and even how clean your business premises are. It’s everything they see, hear, feel, and touch relating to your brand and their purchasing and receiving of goods or service. Every employee in your organisation can impact the customer experience and everyone should know how they fit into it.
If it helps, consider customer experience as an umbrella that covers all other departments in your business.
Now that we know how important Customer Experience is, and what it is, let’s look at some ways you can make sure you build the best customer experience possible.
Seven ways to build a great customer experience:
1. Look after your staff
Having a happy and productive workforce should be a goal in and of itself. It’s good practice to look after your people - after all, they spend most of their time helping you build your business, but did you know how happy your team are also impacts your customer experience?
In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%.
There is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, so make sure you understand what’s important to your team and that you listen to their needs.
2. Invest in training
Knowledgeable, confident staff are more likely to be engaged, happy, and stay with an organisation longer. This can help improve your customer experience in so many ways, from having happier staff talking to customers, empowering them with the right answers to help your customers, and ensuring consistency is maintained because you don’t have to keep hiring new people. The benefits to investing in the right training for your teams are huge and what’s more…
Professional development seems to be of particular importance to the younger generations, of which a huge 87% claim it is a necessity.
3. Step into your customers’ shoes
When was the last time you tried to walk in your customers’ footsteps and actually experience your brand? Is that even possible for you now, or are you so familiar with how your business works (and why), that it’s difficult to view your processes exclusively through your customers’ perspective. If that’s the case, you aren’t alone.
Did you know that 84% of mid to large sized businesses hire consultants (and are satisfied)?
It can be useful to get an unbiased view of your customer journey and gain insight from someone who doesn’t yet know your business so well they could potentially be blind to some areas of frustration. Whether you hire someone to help you, or you look at it yourself, make sure that you regularly take time to reflect on what your customer is seeing, hearing, and feeling. Try to make the experience as easy for them as possible.