101 Customer Experience Tips: CX in the Contact Center, Planning & Strategy, Customer Experience Tools & Technology, and More

Today’s consumers readily tell others when they have a negative experience with a company, meaning that brands must prioritize the customer experience to foster loyalty and satisfaction. We’ve rounded up 101 expert tips to help you leave a lasting, positive impact by creating an innovative, meaningful customer experience.

101 Customer Experience Tips: CX in the Contact Center, Planning & Strategy, Customer Experience Tools & Technology, and More

Customers want, expect, and deserve outstanding experiences. And, when they don’t get them, they are quick to tell others about their poor experiences; in fact, studies show that nearly 85% of people stop doing business with companies as a result of a bad experience, and nearly 80% tell others about the experience. The more customer-centric your company becomes, the better your chances of delivering the unique, engaging experiences today’s customers demand.

We’ve curated this list of 101 tips from innovative marketers, customer service leaders, customer experience officers, customer-focused technology companies, and other CX authorities to help you deliver meaningful customer experiences. Our tips come from articles, guides, white papers, eBooks, and other resources that inspire companies to boost their customer experience strategy and delight customers. The following 101 CS tips aren’t ranked or rated in any way, but they are grouped by category for easy reference.

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Contact Center Customer Experience Tips

  1. Align call center agents’ skills with customers. “Regular interactions with customers let agents have access to specific insights into their psyche. This cognizance can go a long way in helping the business in making informed customer related decisions. Involving the front-end employees who have first-hand exposure in handling customers in proposition development can prove beneficial. Aligning their expertise in primary stages of process design to leverage customer preferences can lead to higher accuracy in developing customer-centric solutions and strategies.” Effective Ways to Improve Customer Experience in Call Center, Orchestrate; Twitter: @TechOrchestrate
  2. Become truly customer-centric. “A customer first strategy needs an organization to re-center itself behind this company-wide objective.It can make a real difference in terms of both sales and profits to those who follow this direction. But it is essential to have executive support and true commitment from every employee to think customer first. Creating a customer-first culture that your entire organization embraces makes all the difference in how your brand is perceived by customers.” – Blake Given, Optimizing Call Center Customer Support for Increased Revenue, Tenfold; Twitter: @growtenfold
  3. Ensure employee satisfaction to keep customers happy. “This is the simplest step. Happy Employee, Happy Customer! It is very important that managers keep their agents happy. An agent might answer a customer negatively if he/she is in a bad mood. Hence, it is important that managers guarantee that their agents are happy with their work and the work environment to ensure satisfied agents will take care of any issues or challenges.” 8 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in Contact Centers, Microtel Technology; Twitter: @MicrotelTechno1
  4. Ensure your agents demonstrate empathy. “Research shows that the tone in which a message is delivered represents 38% of the way the message is received. As call centre interactions usually don’t benefit from being able to see body language or facial expressions, tone becomes the biggest contributor to the way a customer (and the advisor) feels the call is going.

Consequently, it’s important that advisors understand the impact their tone has on improving call outcomes. To get this message across, try providing advisors with a list of empathy statements that help improve customer–advisor rapport. Or you could create your own using interaction analytics to detect words and phrases which customers seem to respond well to.” 20 Things Advisors Can Do to Improve the Customer Experience, Call Centre Helper; Twitter: @callcentrehelp

  1. Establish minimum on-hold times during calls. “Nobody likes being put on hold during calls. While it is mildly annoying when an acquaintance or a family member does it, it becomes downright infuriating when a call center agent does it. The customers wouldn’t care if their issues actually need time to be resolved and the agent can’t help but make them wait.  Most customers feel that a call center should be a one-stop solution for all their problems. They don’t see the company as an organization having different sections. They see it is a single monolithic structure and thus, can’t help but feel angry when an agent puts them on hold because he needs to contact the support team immediately.

“While eliminating waiting time is an impossibility, at least in the current time, there are many practices that companies can employ that the on-hold time becomes as less as possible. Shorter waiting time keeps the customers happy and ends up making them a lot more satisfied with the services.” – Deepanshu Gahlaut, 5 Easy Ways to Improve Customer Experience in Call Centers, MyCustomer.com; Twitter: @MyCustomer

  1. Hire contact center employees for their values instead of for their skills. “There are people in this world who do things impetuously. They don’t pause to think of repercussions of impulsive behavior. They do not behave well under stress and pressure. These are not people who should be working in your contact centers. The hiring process for your contact centers should be critical–as critical as engineering hires. Remember70 percent of buying experiencesare based on how the customer feels they are being treated. I told you last week it’s absolutely key to hire people who are great with people. These employees are good listeners. They have sound judgement. There is a world shortage of common sense. You can easily train employees but you can’t change the fabric of who they are. Hire contact center agents who have a wealth of common sense.” – Blake Morgan, 5 Ways Company Culture Can Improve Your Customer Experience, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
  2. Make your contact center more efficient. “Making it easier for customers and your agents to accomplish some tasks can improve the contact center experience all around.

“Consider tools like an interactive voice response system that lets customers quickly get basic information – like business hours or addresses for your offices and stores – and make payments; or bots that provide automatic responses to standard questions.

“Automate repetitive tasks like creating tickets for follow-up service, logging recordings and resolution of calls, and routing sales questions to the proper team. Cutting down on administrative tasks your representatives perform frees them up to spend more time helping customers.” – Mike Rajich, 4 Ways to Turn Your Contact Center into a Customer Experience Dream, AT&T Small Business; Twitter: @ATTSmallBiz

  1. Meet your customers’ expectations for interactive, multi-faceted customer-driven experiences. “Forward-thinking companies are recognizing that if they are to deliver
    the interactive, multi-faceted customer-driven experience that their customers expect, they have to rethink the channels through which they connect with customers. They have to go beyond standard call center metrics like number and length of calls, and incorporate customer satisfaction, which are often driven by proactivity. It’s one thing to respond when a customer initiates a call. It’s quite another for the company to initiate the conversation after reading, say, a Twitter post in which a customer complains about a product or service. The difference often translates into improvements in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, online reviews and recommendations, and ultimately, brand reputation and bottom-line sales.” Shifting from Call Center to Customer Relationship Center, North Highland; Twitter: @northhighland
  2. Put multi-channel speech analytics in place to deliver a consistent customer experience. “With customers increasingly using multiple channels (calls, chat, email, social, etc.) to communicate with companies, it’s critical for agents to be able to provide a seamless customer experience across channels. However, efficiently collecting and analyzing data via multiple channels can prove challenging, especially with customers expecting quick, efficient responses to their concerns (studiesshow leading brands respond to customer queries via Twitter in under an hour!).

“With multi-channel speech analytics in place, call center managers and supervisors can analyze every agent-to-customer interaction – regardless of the channel. Because it’s not uncommon for customers to use multiple channels to resolve a single issue, multi-channel analytics also analyzes linked interactions across channels, which creates a complete picture of the customer experience journey.” – Scott Kendrick, How Can Call Centers Improve the Customer Experience? Speech Analytics for the Win!, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner

  1. Share knowledge internally and with customers. “The third strategic pillar driving customer experience in these industry-leading companies is sharing knowledge, both internally and with customers. Customer-centric organizations understand that knowledge generated by both organizations and customers should be shared. Openly sharing information not only improves agent efficiency, but can dramatically lower customer effort. In fact, delivering contextual knowledge to an employee or a customer can reduce response time by 20 to 80 percent.” – George Despinic, How to Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy for Double the Revenue: Part 2, Mitel; Twitter: @Mitel
  2. Teach employees that all feedback is equal in value. “Customers frequently experience a tale of two worlds when interacting with a brand. For example, if you tweet at an airline, you may get a reply within minutes, but if you submit feedback via a post-flight survey, you may never hear back.

“Companies must treat social, surveys, calls, emails and any other customer correspondences with the same level of attention.

“To maintain cohesive service across platforms, make call center employees responsible for monitoring all types of feedback, not just calls. By consolidating the tracking, analyzing and reporting of customer data, call center employees can not only elevate their job effectiveness, but deliver a cohesive customer experience across channels.” – Lorraine Schumacher, Call Center Employees: The Superheroes of Customer Experience, CMSWire.com; Twitter: @cmswire

  1. Transform the contact center into a customer experience management asset. “Because customers’ needs, perceptions and influences have a much greater impact in shaping a company’s direction, most experts agree that the contact center needs to play a more prominent role. Not only do daily customer interactions provide a barometer for a host of key business issues, but a properly trained and empowered contact center can be instrumental in increasing customer profitability as well as strengthening customer relationships and building and positioning the company brand.” – Beth Stackpole, Contact Center Strives for Strategic Role in Customer Experience Management, SearchCRM.com; Twitter: @SearchCRM
  2. Use cognitive computing to recognize how callers are feeling. “Cognitive computing systems can recognize the sentiment behind a caller’s words in real-time and help agents to respond in a more effective manner. The ability to convert upset customers into neutral or happy customers during a phone call helps lead to better customer retention for a company. It also aids in stress reduction for agents, which helps stop employees from feeling burned out.

“Overall, cognitive systems are more skilled than humans at making complex, real-time decisions on a daily basis, over and over again. By taking over the urgent work, cognitive systems allow human agents to focus on the important work, which is first-call resolution when it comes to call-centers.

“Cognitive computing services for contact centers also extracts valuable data about customer interaction. When analyzed, this information can provide insights that improve the customer experience by predicting churn, coaching agents to provide a personalized experience, and identifying what actions to take in order to prevent customers from having to call in the first place.” How Cognitive Computing Improves the Call Center Customer Experience, RTInsights.com; Twitter: @RTInsights

  1. Leverage data from multiple channels to better understand your customers and personalize the customer experience. “Every company interacts with their customers in one or more ways. For the largest omni-channel companies it includes: web, mobile, phone, chat, in person, through sales people, ordering systems, loyalty programs, etc. Every one of these channels helps you paint a more detailed picture of that customer, allowing you to personalize their user experience.

“Mckinsey research suggests that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend. The main reason companies have been held back is because they weren’t able to harness all of the data (and sometimes even different data by source) that they are collecting.

“In the past, it was tough given that in the example above we’re collecting both structured and unstructured data from eight distinct sources. This changes with big data technology becoming more accessible and affordable. In the personalization example above, we could learn all of these things: the customer looked at three different products and four categories, hovered over a certain promotion, responded well to a AB test on a certain call to action test, visited our physical store three times in the last month, has two kids and a wife, is in the loyalty program. As the marketer, it’s up to you to personalize the user experience using this excellent treasure trove of data.” – Michael Reddy, as quoted by Robert Stanley in How Marketers Can Leverage Big Data for Customer Experience Insights: 35 Marketing Experts and Customer Experience Pros Share Their Top Tips for Leveraging Big Data to Improve CX, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner, @digitalacumen

  1. Use live chat or chatbots correctly. “It’s not a bad idea to experiment with new technologies such aslive chator chatbots (a 2018 customer experience trend to watch out for). But make sure you’re not frustrating your customers who prefer to speak to a person on the phone. They may spend more, and be more loyal, than customers who use other channels.

“According to customer strategist Rachel Barton, many organizations unconsciously assume that their digital-savvy customers are the most profitable. It’s true that they generally have a lower cost to serve. And businesses can woo them through personalised content and tailored services.

“However, ‘this belief has led them to over-invest in digital capabilities and channels so they can give customers (particularly millennials) more digital experiences that they supposedly crave,’ Barton says. ‘However, the assumption is not entirely accurate.’

To find out who your most profitable customers actually are, make sure you’re using data analytics to quantitatively measure the ROI of CX initiatives.” – Cathy Reisenwitz, 16 Call Center Stats to Help You Stay On Top of the Trends in 2018, Capterra; Twitter: @Capterra

  1. Use speech recognition technology. “Speech recognition technologycan also make life easier for your operators. In addition to having a web-based option for messaging, hospital staff can simply call into your speech system and say the name or role they wish to message, and our speech-to-text engine will get that message out. This can help offload a portion of routine internal requests, such as transfers, directory assistance, messaging, and paging, that can draw operators’ time and attention away from offering a high level of service to patients.” – Gerard Shallo, Create a Consistent Customer Experience Through Your Hospital Contact Center, Spok; Twitter: @spoktweets

 

Tips for CX Planning and Strategy

  1. Always work to improve the customer experience. “Total Quality Management speaks to the fact that once you’ve reached the final stage, you start over again! You see, as you improve your services and business, customer expectations change and what was once ‘exceptional’ becomes the norm and the expectation.

“If you’re aiming to continuously exceed customer expectations, it’s essential that you’re constantly coming up with new innovations and ideas so that you continue to improve your existing systems and tools.” – Hutch Morzaria How to Use Continuous Improvement Strategies for Customer Experience Improvement, Comm100; Twitter: @Comm100

  1. Be consistent. “People expect consistent customer service, regardless of how or whom they interact with from your company. Therefore, it’s important to get all levels of your organization involved. Have an internal feedback and review process in place to ensure all team members are on the same page.” 7 Tips to Continuously Improve Your Customer Experience, Bill Hogg & Associates; Twitter: @BillHogg
  2. Consider behavior and personas. “Personalization goes beyond brand awareness, and organizations should think deeply about how they approach persona marketing. Segmentation is a good start, but it’s not enough.

“Build a language of loyalty with your customers based on understanding individual personas, subpersonas and multipersonas. Experiment by creating new digital experiences (based on understanding behavior and intent) and test the dynamics and results of these campaigns. Test different marketing messages to different groups of customers and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.” – Andy Betts, A New Era of Personalization: The Hyperconnected Customer Experience, MarTech Today; Twitter: @martech_today

  1. Consider the entire customer journey across touch points. “Companies have traditionally looked to improve customer experience by focusing on particular touch points. This often leads to misleading results as customers could rate an individual interaction highly yet be unhappy over the course of an entire journey.

“Customer journeys are at the core of customer experience, as customers interact with companies across touchpoints, channels, and over time. Only by looking at a customer journey in its entirety across channels and over time can real pain points—and therefore opportunities for positive change—become visible.” – Steve Offsey, How to Improve Customer Experience Using Journey Analytics, Pointillist; Twitter: @PointillistView

  1. Consistently create an outstanding customer experience. “Second, the basic rule for creating a good CX is to be consistent on all steps. If you want to create an image of a professional company delivering the highest quality of services to corporations, do everything to reinforce this image. This includes choosing graphics for your ads, website design, etc. Even language used by the customer service team matters.” – Lucjan Kierczak, Improve Customer Experience, Survicate; Twitter: @Survicate
  2. Continue learning about your customers. “Building customer relationships is much like building rapport as a salesperson.  Just like a good salesperson, you need to know your customer. You must remember the client’s name, their needs and wants, what kind of dog they own and so forth.

“The key to learning about your customer is to continue the conversation after the transaction. After the sale, do a little research on them. Connect on LinkedIn, find commonalities within your industries, connections, job roles and more. Start thinking about ways you can add value to them, whether that be through referrals, forwarding blog posts or offering training sessions.

“In today’s world the easiest way to differentiate your business is by the customer experience you deliver, not the products you sell. Continuously learning about your customer every time you meet will extend your customer relationship beyond ‘hi, how is your dog’, and will go a long way to improving customer service.” – Ross Beard, Building Customer Relationships (6 Tactics), Client Heartbeat; Twitter: @ClientHeartbeat

  1. Create a clear customer experience vision. “The first step in your customer experience strategy is to have a clear customer-focused vision that you can communicate with your organization. The easiest way to define this vision is to create a set of statements that act as guiding principles.

“For example, Zappos use their Zappos core family values and these values are embedded into their culture; which includes delivering wow through service, be humble and embracing change.

“Once these principles are in place, they will drive the behavior of your organization. Every member of your team should know these principles by heart and they should be embedded into all areas of training and development.” – Steven MacDonald, 7 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy, SuperOffice; Twitter: @SuperOfficeAS

  1. Create a culture that supports CX innovation. “Innovation requires a certain appetite for risk. But for most businesses, eliminating risk is key. So there needs to be a shift by which people in the organisation are incentivised to take the right sort of risks. Give people customer communication and customer engagement projects to which the business doesn’t necessarily know the answer and allow people to make mistakes and fail. However, the business must learn from these mistakes and take these lessons into future projects.” How to Improve Customer Experience with Innovation, B&T Magazine; Twitter: @bandt
  2. Customer experience never ends. “The enablement of great/easy customer experiences is never finished. It stretches much further than, for instance, marketers believe. Other reasons: customer expectations change, customer expectations differ, there will always be bad decisions and none of your employees will ever be perfect. Finally, with each new technology, channel, societal evolution, etc., both customer expectations and the factors defining customer experience will continue to change as well (note that we don’t use the word “evolve”).” Customer Experience: The Guide to Customer Success, i-SCOOP; Twitter: @iscoopbiz
  3. Develop customer journey maps. The first step in being intentional about your business’ Customer Experience training program is to develop Customer Journey Maps. These outline the individual touchpoints that each customer could encounter through their journey.

“It is important to break down the touchpoints as specific as possible, and whether they are direct or indirect… Once the specific touch points have been identified, they can be arranged in the order a customer takes over their whole journey. Different types of transactions will have different maps, so it is important to develop a few different ones depending on the services you offer.” – Brian Welke, The Customer Experience Management Guide: Improve CX Strategy, RenegadeWorks; Twitter: @RenegadeWorks

  1. Eliminate friction in the customer experience by focusing on the customer journey. “Need a loan to renovate your kitchen? Don’t expect the fact that you already have a mortgage with your bank to make the application process any simpler.

“These are all what bank analysts refer to as ‘pain points’ — interactions that frustrate a customer, potentially driving them away. But while these encounters may still be common across the industry, a handful of banks are on the forefront of a movement to eliminate this kind of friction in the customer experience. They are re-engineering how their businesses operate with a focus on what’s called the ‘customer journey.’

“The idea is to identify where customers hits snags in any process, whether that just slows them down or causes them to discontinue what they are doing. Fixing the process so that doesn’t happen is hardly ever simple.” – Rob Garver, Mapping a Way Toward a Frictionless Customer Experience, American Banker; Twitter: @AmerBanker

  1. Eliminate pain points. “Considerate brands now strive to eliminate attention-hogging pain points in their customer’s lives, even if they are outside the brand’s ‘responsibility.’ Meanwhile, a wave of entrepreneurial startups continues to launch new solutions for old problems.” – Maxwell Luthy, The Future of Customer Experience, TrendWatching; Twitter: @trendwatching
  2. Embrace the power of storytelling. “Personal, authentic and relevant stories are the newest tool in a marketers’ arsenal. Learning how to tell your brand story in an engaging way is more critical than ever.” – Scott Davis, Five Brand and Customer Experience Trends for 2018, Prophet; Twitter: @ProphetBrand
  3. Empower employees to resolve problems when they occur. “It’s not enough to get employees to own the guest experience. They must also be empowered to fix problems when they occur. There is nothing more frustrating to an engaged employee attempting to fix a customer service problem than having no power to do anything about it.

“Top brands such as Disney, Zappos, Apple, Ritz-Carlton, etc., understand this. That’s why they are leaders in the customer experience arena; and why they have been able to stand as pillars of customer loyalty.  They have earned that reputation, despite being enormous companies where the personal” in personalized service can easily blend into the backdrop.” – Chris Miller, To Improve Customer Experience, Employees Must Own It!, Digital Dealer; Twitter: @DigitalDealer

  1. Empower your marketing and customer service teams to collaborate effectively. “The first step to ensuring your customers have a positive end-to-end experience with your brand is to shift your internal structures to enable your marketing and customer service teams to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

“Once your marketing and customer service teams do start working together, your organization will almost automatically begin seeing improvements across the board.” – Josh Brown, Customer Service + Marketing = Improve Customer Experience, Help Scout; Twitter: @helpscout

  1. Encourage employees to take the customer perspective. “The first step in shifting to customer experience optimization mode is to inspire employees to take thecustomer perspective, seeking to know your customers’ world better than your competitors do.

“This mindset constantly explores what the customer is doing and why, and how the company can contribute to buyers’ well-being, as the means toward both revenue and profit growth naturally. To see things the way customers do, you have to make as much effort to thoroughly understand their frustrations as you do to learn their delight factors. Until you can see the customers’ world as they do, you’ll be speaking a foreign language to them, to some degree, in what you deliver as the customer experience.” Customer-Centricity Goes Beyond Customer Experience Management, ClearAction; Twitter: @clearaction

  1. Ensure employees are flexible. “Customer experience processes though should not be maps providing one route only that must be followed at all costs, but instead they should provide multiple routes and allow for employees to make their own new routes.

Creating retention winning customer experience means having flexible customer experience processes.” Why Your Customer Experience Process Needs Flexibility, CustomerGauge; Twitter: @CustomerGauge

  1. Find the lessons in customer feedback. “This one applies to all social media channels. Whenever you get negative feedback from your customers, don’t try to fight it. Give yourself some time to think about what somebody said and consider if they might be right.

“Many people, when they get negative feedback, immediately feel the need to protect themselves. They either say it’s untrue or attack the person who is the source of the “bad news.” Try to be a bigger, mature person who can handle negative comments the right way.” – Olga Kolodynska, Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Customer Experience, LiveChat; Twitter: @LiveChat

  1. Gather support for the CXO. “For long-term success, a strategic mandate to differentiate the company based on the customer experience is a must. The CXO needs the support of the entire company in order to make a positive impact. Without this cooperation, creating a customer-centric culture and a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints will be extraordinarily difficult. This should be addressed before the CXO is brought in or hired from within.” – Steve Durney, Customer Experience Officers and Contact Center Agents in the Customer Experience Management Age, Avaya; Twitter: @Avaya
  2. Gather the right customer data. “One of the keys to a successful customer experience program lies in the data accumulated from everythingthat’s happened to this point. The data gathered needs to be both actionable and all-inclusive. In other words, it needs to include real-time knowledge across significant customer satisfaction metrics that can be applied directly to specific operational and frontline areas that impact the account holder experience. Measuring net promoter score may only scratch the surface of what your financial institution would like to learn.” – Andrew Huber, How to Create a Successful Customer Experience Strategy, CSP; Twitter: @csprofiles
  3. Get employee buy-in. “According to expertMichael Lowenstein, employees are the key to optimizing the customer experience. First, organizations need to make sure they have hired loyal employees who are committed to the company and fully understand the company’s mission.Employee loyalty and satisfaction play a big role in improving the customer experience — an unhappy employee usually won’t provide the type of customer experience the company is after.

“For organizations looking to get employee buy-in for their customer experience initiatives, expert Lior Arussy recommends building a business case that explains why the initiative is important from a customer’s point of view.” – Karolina Kiwak, How to Improve the Customer Experience in 15 Steps, SearchCRM; Twitter: @SearchCRM

  1. Give customers choices. “Being able to choose what you want is key to a good customer experience. The brands of the future will give you choices and use your selections to improve the customer experience of every potential consumer.

“Those brands will use data to anticipate their customers’ needs and deliver on products or features their customers may not even know they wanted. In addition, those brands don’t trap you in a bubble like today’s recommendation engines. People have ad blockers because they didn’t choose to see your ad. Now they choose to block them.” – Lavall Chichester, The Importance of Improving Customer Experience, Conductor; Twitter: @Conductor

  1. Have the courage to treat customers differently. “Sales experiences are different for each customer. Amazon invested in ‘One-Click’ – the ability for its customers to store payment and delivery details for reuse, enabling a purchase with a single click of a mouse. One-Click was so revolutionary that Amazon got a patent for this concept, and Apple now pays a royalty to Amazon every time a one-click purchase is made through iTunes.

“But Amazon recognized that One-Click wasn’t for everyone. While it’s perfect for one-off product replacement purchases like chargers or headphones, the traditional and more familiar shopping basket may be a better option for large, multiple item purchases (like birthday or Christmas gifts). Having both shopping options readily available allows customers to create the experience which is most convenient and comfortable for them.” – Derek Corcoran, Three Customer Experience Lessons From Amazon, The Financial Brand; Twitter: @FinancialBrand

  1. Improve your customer experience strategy. “SMBs need to have a clear defined strategy on creating thought leadership for their brand, e.g. how will their brand have a more human look and feel? What are the pressing pain points of my target customers and how does my brand uniquely solve their problems?

“…This is the perfect time of year to carve out some time to gain clarity of vision and focus for what you wish to create for 2018. What do you want? What are you going to DO to get it? Then DO it!” – Tamara McCleary, as quoted in Customer Experience Tips for SMBs to Conquer 2018, SmarterCX; Twitter: @SmarterCX

  1. Improve your online reputation by generating customer reviews. “At the end of the customer journey, after purchase, many consumers use the opportunity to share their voice and opinions. Your existing customers wield a huge amount of power and influence over future customers. The trouble with existing social content—particularly reviews—is that they are from a small sample of customers and often represent the voice of the extremes. This is particularly true at the channel level, such as a dealership, bank or restaurant. Often volumes are so low for these local channel locations that the voice of the vocal minority represents the experience as a whole for future customers. The goal for CX pros and frontline managers at the local channel level is to increase the volume and representation of their social presence to aid in prospective customer conversion. The trouble is that right now, providing a review is not a natural part of the customer journey for the mass majority.

“While there are several models for generating more reviews from customers, many rely on an ‘ask’ via a unique touch point or review solicitation. The traditional customer experience program offers an opportunity to solicit everyday customers who are already engaged in a CX survey process to generate positive reviews. Those reviews can be posted to company sites and/or third-party review sites to provide a more comprehensive and representative look at the experience.” – Michelle Turner, Taming the Social Beast to Improve Customer Experience, American Marketing Association; Twitter: @AMA_Marketing

  1. Increase your customer service team’s knowledge. “Ultimately your customers rely on you for their knowledge of your product. Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and know where to turn if the questions become too detailed or technical for you to answer. But don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ either. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.” 6 Keys to Improving Your Team’s Customer Service Skills, SurveyMonkey; Twitter: @SurveyMonkey
  2. Involve CEOs in CX strategy. “If you plan on going through a customer experience transformation the conversation needs to start in the boardroom. The CEO must drive the leadership conversations about the importance of pivoting to become a customer-focused company.” – Blake Morgan, Five Trends Shaping the Future of Customer Experience in 2018, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
  3. Look for the little elephants. Sweat the small stuff. Tiny changes can make or break the CX. Try to find the ‘little elephants’ – small ideas that will have big impact. Not all ideas are equal, and seemingly small ones might make all the difference. CX leaders should always start small, but aim big.” – Christy Pettey, Five Innovation Tips to Improve the Customer Experience, Gartner; Twitter: @Gartner_inc
  4. Maintain a positive attitude. “This is the most important element in delivering a positive experience to your customers. Appear eager to solve their concern. Take a long-term viewpoint of the importance of maintaining a relationship with each customer. Such goodwill will produce repeat business.” – Dr. Stephanie Parson, 12 Tips for a Positive Customer Experience, Customer Service Manager
  5. Prioritize customer retention. “Customer retention is a growing concern, and one that many B2B companies are struggling to address. With the increasing number of touch points and customers’ changing expectations, it is more difficult for firms to meet prospect needs. In fact, ‘customer satisfaction and loyalty’ is one of thetop three challenges for B2B organizations in 2016. As retention moves up the agenda, customer experience is beginning to take on a more central role in B2B organizations.” – Shelley Cernel, 5 Ways to Improve Your B2B Customer Experience, SAVO Group; Twitter: @SAVO_Group
  6. Put the customer at the center of the universe. “For a small business, the process of putting the customer at the center is crucial for survival. By nature, smaller businesses are much closer to the customer than larger organizations, and tend to be very attuned to their needs and wants. But if a business wants to scale, performance benchmarking early on can be extremely useful. By managing the business early on based on metrics, when it comes time to make decisions, particularly difficult ones, it makes things easier. The other practical tip is to outline the CX strategy, then communicate that strategy back to employees. This begins to build the foundation for the ‘employee experience’ which is so crucial as companies grow — as employees are your first line of defense in a competitive marketplace.” – Luke Williams, as quoted in What Every Company Leader Needs To Know About Customer Experience In 2018, Inc.; Twitter: @Inc
  7. Reorganize your marketing department around your customers’ experiences. “Brands need to reorganise their marketing departments around the experiences of their customers. Where are these customers? What are the big moments in their life journey? Do you have a 360-degree view of when these are, and how important they are to your customers? These questions are becoming increasingly important when shaping how brands use their customer data to greater effect, especially when improving customer experience.” Why Is Personalization Crucial to Improving Customer Experience, Teradata; Twitter: @Teradata
  8. Stay one step ahead of the customer. “When we were creating our product, we wanted to empower companies to create outstanding customer experiences and make customers happy. One of the best ways to do that is to solve your customer’s problems before they realize they exist.

“By staying one step ahead of the customer, not only are you able to proactively solve problems and create a seamless customer experience, you are able to plan your customer outreach and personalize it. For example, if you notice a problem with a particular user segment, you can pull their contact information and user history and incorporate that into a personalized email or in-app dynamic message. Being proactive allows you to remain in control of the user’s experience at all times.” – Rob Carpenter, 10 Quick Ways to Improve Customer Experience, Evergage; Twitter: @Evergage

  1. Tie your CX strategy to the corporate vision, mission, or values. “Keep your eyes on the road: tie-in to corporate vision, mission or values. Rally everyone around a shared passion. Show how customer experience feedback ties into the shared passion. Show everyone how they can bring the shared passion to life by acting on CX inputs.” – Lynn Hunsaker, 5 Steps to Improve Your Organization’s CX Strategy, SecondToNoneCX; Twitter: @SecondToNoneCX
  2. Understand what your customers consider an ideal customer experience. “Before rolling out a strategy to ensure better customer experience, it is essential for contact Centers to identify what an ideal customer experience would be like. Once you freeze on your version of an ideal customer experience, focus all your efforts on providing the experience you intend to.” – Nancy Seby, 16 Surefire Tips to Improve Your Contact Center Customer Experience, CustomerThink; Twitter: @customerthink
  3. Use data as an ally. “Data can offervaluable insightsabout your customers and they may transform the customer experience by understanding the behaviour of your audience.

“Whether it’s an improved understanding of your demographics, a proper analysis of the customer journey, or even new ideas on how to improve your sales by tweaking the browsing experience, data can be your best ally to the challenge of improving the customer experience.” – Tereza Litsa, Five Trends to Improve Customer Experience in 2017, ClickZ; Twitter: @ClickZ

  1. Use reachability as a competitive advantage. “Business communication plays a big part in shaping your customers’ experience. If you’re not meeting customers where they are, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage them when they are most interested or in need of help.

“Succeeding in this area of customer experience means your business must first determine which channels your customers are most active on so you can adapt your approach and serve them there.

“From there, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the channel — whether it be social, email, live chat, or something similar. Ask yourself: How are our customers communicating on this channel already? And how can we use this information to make our outreach feel more native?

“Reachability can serve as a helpful competitive advantage if you execute it properly, so it’s important that your business has a handle on your customers’ preferred channels, and are providing reliable, consistent service through them.” – Carly Stec, How to Design a Customer Experience Strategy, HubSpot; Twitter: @HubSpot

  1. View customer experience as an ongoing relationship between your brand and customers. “While offering a superb product or service to your customers is still essential to the success of your company, you now also need to ensure your customers’ overall experience with your brand is top-notch, as well.

“Not only that but since we live in an ever-connected world, you also have to do everything you can to ensure your customers remain engaged with your brand – even when they aren’t actively using your services.

“In other words, rather than seeing the customer experience in terms of a finite transaction, you need to look at it as an ongoing – hopefully never-ending – relationship between your brand and your customers.” – Stewart Dunlop, as quoted in How to Improve Customer Experience with Email, Woodpecker.co; Twitter: @Woodpeckerapp

 

Tips for Improving Relationships and Engagement with Customers

  1. Ask customers about their experiences. “Measuring customer experience is tough. Surveys can help and are usually one of your best options. Ask questions, and then try to find trends in the answers. The Salesforce App Exchange offers Survey Force, which allows you to create and distribute your survey and then aggregate your data so you can draw conclusions.

“A great time to present a survey about your brand is on your Thank You page.” – How to Ensure the Very Best Customer Experience Each and Every Time, Salesforce; Twitter: @salesforce

  1. Be empathetic and compassionate. “Truly care about your customers, and remember that no matter how good an actor you are, faking it simply won’t work. Ask questions, take notes, and lean in to show that you’re engaged in their answers. When you take an interest in people, they remember you – and when people remember you, it’s good for business.” – Colleen Francis, 9 Ways to Create a Positive Customer Experience, SalesHQ; Twitter: @SalesHQ
  2. Be flexible. “Be quick and attentive to a customer’s problems or complaints. In the past, some companies would simply say, ‘I’m sorry, it’s policy’ in response to a customer complaint. That answer doesn’t really work anymore, as customers are savvy enough to take their business elsewhere if they’re not getting the service and attention they want. You should set aside some strategic ideas for dealing with an unhappy customer, but you shouldn’t waver far from the old mantra that the customer is always right.” – Lou Dubois, How to Build Personal Relationships With Customers, Inc.; Twitter: @Inc
  3. Be responsive. “There may be nothing worse than non-responsiveness to a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what you’re selling. It’s important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none so the customer doesn’t feel ignored.” – Alyssa Gregory, 9 Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service, The Balance; Twitter: @thebalance
  4. Build relationships. “While some business are turning to chatbots, building relationships with customers is still key for small businesses. In fact, during the interviews, everyone said open communication, with the goal of creating an environment where customers truly wantto engage with the business, was crucial for their success.

Through the conscious creation of an environment where your customers like you and want to do business with your company, you will increase word of mouth and build a loyal base that wants to see you succeed.” – Dianne Denton, 7 Tips from Small Business Owners Who Get Customer Experience Right, CMSWire.com; Twitter: @cmswire

  1. Consider all customer touchpoints. “Customers interact with your organization using a variety of different ‘touchpoints’ – the channelsthat they use to engage with your organization. These may include in-store activity, online searches, telephone calls, blogs, help desks, email campaigns, online chat services, conferences, product demonstrations, or sales calls.

“It’s also important to think about the touchpoints that customers use to access information about your organization. Where can they find information about delivery times? Who can they contact if there is a problem? Is it easy for them to get your contact details?

“You might have a great customer service team, eager to deal with enquiries, but, if your website or sales team are giving out misleading information, then your customer’s experience will be one of confusion rather than of great service.” Customer Experience Mapping, Mind Tools; Twitter: @Mind_Tools

  1. Consider interactions through the customer’s eyes. “Technology has handed customers unprecedented power to dictate the rules in purchasing goods and services. Three-quarters of them, research finds, expect ‘now’ service within five minutes of making contact online. A similar share want a simple experience, use comparison apps when they shop, and put as much trust in online reviews as in personal recommendations. Increasingly, customers expect from all players the same kind of immediacy, personalization, and convenience that they receive from leading practitioners such as Google and Amazon.

“Central to connecting better with customers is putting in place several building blocks of a comprehensive improvement in customer experience.” The CEO Guide to Customer Experience, McKinsey & Company; Twitter: @McKinsey

  1. Consider your users’ desires. “When they land on your site, will they want to compare prices? Will they want to get more information? Make their needs the highlight of the site and create an obvious button so they don’t have to search for what they want.

“Build engagement, relationships and fun. Sometimes, we forget that our customers and prospects are armed with virtually perfect economic information. All they have to do is Google your product or service or scan a bar code and they can get the lowest price instantly. Your job is to set yourself apart with the experience that you create.” – Ivana Taylor, 6 Techniques to Improve Customer Experience, OPEN Forum; Twitter: @AmericanExpress

  1. Create an emotional high. “Even as marketplaces evolve with technology, most businesses are still aiming to fulfill a customer need with their product. What e-commerce platforms such asTophatterhave realized is that shopping for its own sake can spark moments of fun and fulfillment. Tophatter’s live, 90-second auctions are revolutionizing discovery shopping, and they’ve made an exciting, fast-paced game out of the shopping experience.” – Rahul Varshneya, Improving Customer Experience With the Power of Psychology, Inc.; Twitter: @Inc
  2. Engage with customers at each touchpoint. “It’s no secret that today’s customers are super connected. As a result, companies must make sure that their customer experience strategy and investments align well with the expectations, behaviors and motivations of connected customers.

“The digital customer has given way to the rise of digital transformation: the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital consumers. The point of digital transformation isn’t just to beef up a company’s technology capability; the end goal is to ‘understand how innovation can shape the new customer experience,’ says Solis.

“To pull off digital transformation, companies must realign or fund new investment in technology or business models to more effectively engage digital customers and create new value at every touchpoint of the customer journey.” – Kelvin Claveria, 3 Tips on How to Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy, Vision Critical; Twitter: @visioncritical

  1. Focus on the customer journey. “Always start with the needs of the customer in mind. Design personal and memorable experiences from your customers’ point of view. Identify hotspots to improve with process or system changes. Empower your agents to be informed and efficient stewards of your customer journey.” Use Customer Experience to Break Away from Your Competitors, Genesys; Twitter: @Genesys
  2. Improve customer service. “Enhancing the customer experience involves making sure your customers receive the best possible service. And customer service includes all the interactions before, during, and after the purchase.

“It’s unacceptable to give poor-quality service to your buyers. That’s replying to emails two weeks late or being rude to a customer who has a question. Buyers don’t have tolerance for lackluster service.

“Studies discovered that ‘47% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service.’

“Allocate the necessary resources to offer your customers top-notch service. It’s one of the best ways to build relationships with your audience.” – Shayla Price, How to Reinvent the Customer Experience to Increase Customer Lifetime Value, Kissmetrics; Twitter: @Kissmetrics

  1. Keep things simple for your customers. “Most of the time, this innovating-ahead-of-the-customer isn’t what’s causing your blind spots. What’s going on is more likely that you’re simply unaware of how your business comes across to your customer, how you’re abusing your customer’s patience and aesthetic sense while the poor customer is trying to do business with you.” – Michah Solomon, How To Improve The Customer Experience By 180 Degrees, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
  2. Know your customers as well as possible. “Who is your customer? Customer journey mapping gives you the big picture on your customer’s experiences as they interact with your financial institution. Do they respond to loan offers? Make deposits at the branch? Pay bills online? Mapping helps you better understand your customers’ behaviors, which enables better decisions regarding how to speak to them and when.

“In fact, you need to know your customer exceptionally well —  beyond their demographic information. If you only see customer ‘Bob’ as a 42-year-old male who lives in the suburbs, before you know it, you end up pushing auto loan information to the newlyweds who came in last week about a home loan.

“Consumers increasingly expect brands to know them and anticipate their needs, meaning companies need to leverage their data to create a personalized message and deliver it when it’s relevant to a consumer’s immediate situation.” 3 Tips for Financial Marketers: How to Improve the Customer Experience, RRD Marketing; Twitter: @rrdonnelley

  1. Listen and respond to customers immediately. “Listen and respond to customers immediately. Whether online or in private, you need to ensure that personal interaction is there. If you find out that they had a bad experience, give them a call. If you find out they had a great experience, let them know they are always welcome back. Also, respond online to ALL reviews: both positive and negative. Let customers know that their voice has been/will be heard.” – Ajay Prasad, as quoted in CX Strategies: 48 Experts Reveal the Single Most Effective Way Companies Can Improve the Customer Experience, NGDATA; Twitter: @ngdata_com
  2. Love complaints. “When a customer takes the time to share suggestions or vent frustrations, you can bet they’re representative of a larger number of customers that share that sentiment — or soon will, unless an improvement occurs. Better for you to hear it and make the change before your competitors take that revenue stream.” 10 Tips for Customer Experience Innovation, ClearAction; Twitter: @clearaction
  3. Offer advice on what is best for customers rather than focusing on selling. “Instead of focusing on selling your product, offer expert advice on what’s best for your customers’ needs — even if it’s outside of your product offering. This type of professional guidance will build trust with your customer and contribute to a positive experience and long-lasting relationship.

“Just like in the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street, offer alternative options if your product is not what they’re looking for. This may result in a lost sale initially, but customers will remember your support and come back for repeat purchases in the future.” – Peter Karpas, Create an Unforgettable Customer Experience With These 5 Tips, Entrepreneur; Twitter: @Entrepreneur

  1. Personalize the customer experience. “Customers like to feel like the companies they work with understand their needs, so it is important to customize customers’ experiences, where applicable. For example, you can send email marketing campaigns to customers based on the items they purchase from your company, send birthday and anniversary greetings and promotions, and remember their preferences, so you can make purchase suggestions when they visit your website or store.” – Miranda Brookins, Top Ten Ways to Improve a Customer’s Experience, Houston Chronicle; Twitter: @HoustonChron
  2. Replace irrelevant communication with personalized, educational resources. “Marketing’s role in boosting customer experience is simple. Cut out as much irrelevant communication as possible. Then offer, in its place, personalized,educational resources. Resources that actually help consumers find the information they need to make a buying decision and get the most out of your product.

“That looks like top to bottom educational content designed to guide customers through every stage of the buyer’s journey. From learning about a problem to comparing solutions to leveraging your product. Personalized, relevant email marketing creates an effortless experience. One that runs all the way from lead nurturing to onboarding to support follow-ups.” – Kiera Abbamonte, Improve Customer Experience with the Help of These 4 Teams, Kayako; Twitter: @Kayako

  1. Reward loyal customers. “According to global management consulting firm Bain and Co., a 5 percent increase in retention yields profit increases of 25 to 100 percent. And on average, repeat customers spend 67 percent more than new customers. So, your most profitable customers are repeat customers. Are you doing enough to encourage them to work with you again? Stay in touch and give them something of value in exchange for their time, attention and business. It doesn’t need to be too much; a coupon, notice of a special event, helpful insights and advice, or news they can use are all effective. Just remember: If you don’t keep in touch with your customers, your competitors will.” 5 Key Ways to Build Customer Relationships, Entrepreneur; Twitter: @Entrepreneur
  2. Solve your customers’ most pressing problems. “Solve your customers’ burning problems. Are there relevant problems within the niche that have yet to be solved? How can you improve your product to solve other problems? But it even goes beyond the products themselves. Maybe your competitors don’t offer free shipping or don’t respond to customer inquiries. The problem you solve might be more about customer service accessibility rather than the product itself.” How to Improve the Customer Experience in 2018, Oberlo; Twitter: @OberloApp
  3. Spark a connection with your customers. “Whether it’s on social media, on the phone or in person, try to go above and beyond in maintaining a personal connection with your clients. Behind the screens, you are both people. It’s important to let your clients know that you have a personal stake in their satisfaction.

“You can do this by directly responding to mentions of your company on social media or reaching out to specific clients for their feedback. Reminding them that they are important to you and your company as individuals can help increase customer loyalty.” – Mike Michalowicz, Help Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy with These 7 Tips, OPEN Forum; Twitter: @AmericanExpress

  1. Speak like your customers. “Chase Clemons of Basecamp makes this point with gusto in A Brief Guide to Sending Better Support Emails, but the quick takeaway is that your customers want conversations, not ‘correspondence.’ You’re not talking with the Queen of England.

“… The overly formal tone creates the feeling that a letter is being written to a 16th century nobleman—is this an ‘inquiry’ or a conversation with a real person? Be friendly, personable, and casual.” – Gregory Ciotti, 15 Tips from World-Class Customer Service Teams, Help Scout; Twitter: @helpscout

  1. Use reviews as a learning tool. “Your reviews aren’t just valuable to the potential customers reading them; they can be equally as valuable to you and your business as well. With the right tools, reviews can help you understand a lot about the way customer perceive your business and how you can improve those perceptions in order to better the overall customer experience.

“52% of customers who have left a bad review expect to receive a response from the business within 7 days or less and 21% expect a response within 24 hours. This expected response time is reduced even further for comments and reviews that are left on social media, with 46% of consumers expecting a response within just 6 hours!

“Having the ability to quickly respond to both positive and negative reviews is a powerful tool for understanding and improving your customer’s perceptions. First, responding to negative reviews and inviting the conversation offline allows you to dive deeper into what went wrong and help you make the right changes moving forward.” – Brandon Martinez, How to Improve Customer Experience with Review Management, Chatmeter; Twitter: @chatmeter

 

Tips for Using Customer Experience Technology and Tools

  1. Create an omnichannel customer experience. “Instead of adopting a multi-channel approach, go omnichannel and allow your customers to interact with you and be serviced via any channel. It eliminates disjointed systems and interaction siloes between various departments.” – Nitish Gautam, 13 Surefire Ways to Improve Customer Experience, Ameyo; Twitter: @AmeyoCIM
  2. Deliver a consistent experience across all touchpoints. “Start by defining the optimal customer experience you want to deliver across all of your platforms. This should be reflective of your brand personality and the expectations that your customers have of your business. Once you have set out your goals, you can accurately create objectives and put in place tactics to start developing and delivering effectively.” How to Improve Customer Experience with Digital Technology, Business Wales; Twitter: @_businesswales
  3. Do not rely on technology alone to improve your customer experience. “Whatever the state of an organization’s technology and organization — whether they are building out clouds, data analytics or blockchain — the only thing that matters is how the customer is being served. Despite all the technology companies have thrown at their customer experience, it is still in a state of crisis. It’s time to bring the entire organization into the process — as well as customers themselves.” – Joe McKendrick, Enterprises Seek To Sharpen Their Customer Experience, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
  4. Empower customers to do things for themselves. “McDonalds recently rolled out cashier kiosksso customers don’t interact with a person when paying for their food. While some have economic fears that robots will replace people, many customers and corporate leaders prefer efficiency and speed of automation. Will we see more companies opting for automation? Or companies taking a hard stance against automation to build a people first experience? I think artificial intelligence lends itself nicely to fast food – because these customers are there because they want fast experiences. You would not find this experience at a sit-down restaurant with local produce. There are some nice aspects of having people, such as the human touch, the education about the products or services, and the showmanship of the experience. While giving customers tools to do things themselves doesn’t always mean payment kiosks, McDonalds knows its customer base. Its customers want fast service. If you give them efficient tools so they can do things themselves, it might be a win-win for you and your customers.” – Blake Morgan, 5 Fresh Examples of Customer Experience Innovation, Forbes; Twitter: @Forbes
  5. Engage customers on social media instead of bombarding them. “While some less savvy companies might think of their social media accounts as a publisher of free ads, this is not the case, thanks to the ever-declining reach of organic social content. Besides, no one is delighted by an endless deluge of promotional materials, after which you might find people tuning you out, and probably, unfollowing you.

“When creating a content calendar, you need to consider what your social media followers likely expect to get out of following you. They probably want to hear about sales and promotions; maybe they like to find out about new products the moment they launch; or they might be interested in news from your industry.

“In addition to occasional sales messages, you should be showcasing your culture and creating a conversational environment where customers feel welcome to provide feedback. Ask for their opinions. Instagram’s new poll feature in Instagram Stories (aka Snapchat 2.0) is a prime example of a fun way to engage your customers in a genuine way while learning about their likes or dislikes.” – Alison Zeringue, 4 Steps to Enhancing the Customer Experience with Social Media, Marketing Land; Twitter: @Marketingland

  1. Enhance customer service with virtual reality (VR). “Despite increased accessibility to customer service by technological advancements like chatbots, remote troubleshooting is an area that remains clunky at best. VR has the potential to be a game changer in this regard, with both parties able to visualize what the other is looking at.

“From rudimentary tasks like reconfiguring a router, to more complex ones like implementing a central heating repair, VR can enable both the customer and the customer service representative to arrive at a solution much faster than ever possible.” – Jolina Landicho, How to Improve Customer Experience with VR (Virtual Reality), Infusionsoft; Twitter: @Infusionsoft

  1. Have infrastructure in place to ensure customers can interact with companies on their terms. “Kolsky’s advice to companies is to focus on their job. The company’s job is less about knowing what the customer wants, and more about building the infrastructure to enable customers to freely choose, personalize and optimize their experience at every single interaction based on their needs. Companies must utilize the right technologies to build a self-learning infrastructure, designed for continuous improvement based on measured customer feedback. Ultimately, convenience wins. The infrastructure must be adaptive, flexible, scalable and intelligent.” – Vala Afshar, 50 Important Customer Experience Stats for Business Leaders, HuffPost Tech; Twitter: @HuffPostTech
  2. Help customers help themselves. “The majority of consumers will always check a website for information before calling or e-mailing a business, so make it easy for them to find answers to their questions quickly and easily by deploying an online FAQ knowledge-base, Virtual Agent or Live Chat.” – Peter McKean, 10 Quick and Key Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience, MyCustomer.com; Twitter: @MyCustomer
  3. Help staff collaborate with good CRM tools. “What good is customer information if only one person has access to it? Good CRM tools make it easy for your entire team, from sales to customer service, to share important information about customers. Choose a product that makes collaboration easy so everyone has access to the data needed to provide a seamless customer experience.” 8 Ways to Enhance Your Customer Relationships, AllBusiness; Twitter: @AllBusiness_com
  4. Implement RPA to deliver a more holistic experience. “RPA enables companies to research what customers want to see, hear, think and be told throughout their customer journey. By implementing RPA at key points, companies can deliver a fast and intuitive experience, giving consumers an overall experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Steve Harris, Chatbots and AI will Improve the Customer Experience, Orange Business Services; Twitter: @orangebusiness
  5. Interact with customers using live online engagement. “Live online engagement is critical for retailers who are looking to appeal to multichannel shoppers—those that come into the store and those that shop online. This type of hybrid engagement allows customers to interact with retailers in real-time, and is known to increase conversion rates by 10 times and increase average order value by over 35 percent, according to  Vee24 data. By connecting with customers on mobile devices and in stores whether through voice, video chat, text chat or co-browsing, the retailer-to-customer interaction drives a significant emotional connection that goes beyond the product and price, increasing the likelihood of a sale and brand loyalty.” – Priya Iyer, Three Ways Online Retailers Can Improve Customer Experience, DigitalCommerce360; Twitter: @DigitalComm360
  6. Make perfecting the omnichannel experience a priority. “Today, businesses are supporting an average of nine customer contact channels to deliver a multichannel experience. We expect that to rise to 11 in the next six months or so. It’s therefore not surprising that delivering a seamless customer experience across all of these channels is an ongoing struggle for most organisations.

“Providing a seamless customer experience means organisations must be able to react to communication that doesn’t fit into their traditional contact centre model. When adopting a mobile-first strategy, businesses also need to consider whether their networks can support an increase in this kind of traffic. These channels need reliable and highly secure network connections.” – Joe Manuele and Rob Allman, Top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2018, Dimension Data; Twitter: @DimensionData

  1. Make the customer experience seamless. “A great customer experience isseamless. It’s cohesive across channels and devices, so no matter where, how, or when a customer interacts with a company, the experience always looks and feels the same. Processes run smoothly, user interfaces are carefully considered, and everything is optimized for the customer, down to the ‘Submit” button.’” – Jana Barrett, What Makes a Great Customer Experience Great? [VIDEO], GetFeedback; Twitter: @GetFeedback
  2. Make the mobile customer experience interactive. “A sense of control enhances the quality of the experience a customer has interacting with your business’ mobile website or application. People fall in love with brands because of the way they interact with them, and the adjustments the brand is willing to make in its dealing based on attributes that are important for the customer. One way to translate this in mobile interactions is by making the customer experience more interactive.” 7 Ways to Improve Customer Experience on Mobile, Smart Insights; Twitter: @SmartInsights
  3. Offer mobile customer support. “The use of mobile devices to improve customer experience was anearly Gartner prediction that’s here to stay.Everyone has a mobile device and it’s the first thing they often turn to when they’ve got a problem. And this is what businesses have to take advantage of — customers using their mobile devices to search online for customer and product support.

“But when these consumers use mobile devices to seek information and ask for help on company websites, what kind of CX are they having? In many cases, not a good one, with incorrect display/difficulty to navigate being one of the top concerns.

“While mobile web browsers have gotten better at rendering online content on small screens, it’s still not as perfect as on a desktop or laptop. And when customers have a bad CX on a mobile device, they’ll often call the company directly — increasing demand for the more costly Tier One agent support.” – Craig Borowski, 5 Must-Have Tools for Improving Customer Experience, Software Advice; Twitter: @SoftwareAdvice

  1. Personalization using Big Data. “Big data analytics is changing how businesses operate and communicate with customers. The availability and democratization of information is bringing insights into customer behavior, preferences, and issues that impact the customer experience.

“By leveraging big data, brands have an opportunity to treat customers more like individuals — and build meaningful long-term relationships. The result is a customer more likely to buy services or products over time. Big data serves brands by enabling them to anticipate what customers will ask for in advance helping them improve customer interactions, and identify customer pain and passion points more effectively.” – Donna Peeples, 4 Technology Trends Improving Customer Experience in 2016, CustomerThink; Twitter: @customerthink

  1. Unify customer service channels. “Your customers are reaching out to you via so many different customer service channels that it’s hard to keep up, let alone systemize it. You need to accommodate these new expectations and streamline your customer service to ensure you offer a consistent customer experience to everyone.” Ross Beard, 3 Customer Experience Ideas You Can Still Implement Before 2014 Ends, Client Heartbeat; Twitter: @ClientHeartbeat
  2. Use a CRM software solution to foster relationships with customers. “One way you can start creating a unique relationshipwith a customer is through personalizing your communication.

“Customers can contact your company through a variety of channels, including email, phone and website. They can also contact you through different departments, such as sales, marketing and customer service.

“CRM software captures all of these conversations over time, regardless of the channel or department they occur in – giving you and your entire company access to the same information. That’s a lot of useful information!

“You can use this information to give the customer a unique experience by addressing him by his name, or when he calls, knowing exactly what the issue is without having to ask him to repeat himself.

“By personalizing your communication, you will see how your customers’ perception of your company starts to improve.” – Zarema Plaksij, How to Use CRM to Improve the Customer Experience, SuperOffice; Twitter: @SuperOfficeAS

  1. Use artificial intelligence-powered tools. “Artificial intelligence has taken the business landscape by storm, owing to the enormous potential benefits it projects for business growth. With the help of artificial intelligence-powered tools, businesses can pump up the business process automation and can strike up conversations that are relevant to the individual customers.

“AI is empowering customer support conversations and improving decision-making abilities within organisations through automation. AI helps humans to provide proactive and actionable responses to customers quickly, improving customer satisfaction, eventually.” – Nick Ismail, How These 5 Technologies are Improving the Customer Experience Journey, Information Age; Twitter: @InformationAge

  1. Use CRM to quickly respond to customer complaints. “One of the most important business segments wherein you should use your CRM to its fullest is to deliver supremely quick response to the queries and complaints of your customers. For a customer, there is nothing better than a quick response from an organization’s side to his/her query or complaint. In fact, it can even be said that from a customer’s point of view, the quality of a business organization majorly depends on the customer service provided. Hence, as a business owner you cannot and should not take any chances as far as acknowledging the queries and complaints of your valued customers is concerned, and you should utilize your CRM for this very purpose.” – Christopher Meloni, Top 5 Ways To Improve Customer Relationships By Using CRM Software, Maximizer CRM; Twitter: @maximizercrm
  2. Use direct-to-agent routing across all channels to improve first contact resolution rates. “Routing originated from linear, queue-based legacy systems that provided little flexibility into how customers were handled. These routing limitations led to long wait times, multiple transfers, underutilized personnel and unhappy customers.

“Routing with full customer context helps you orchestrate the end-to-end customer journey. By connecting valuable customers with the best available resource, while providing all relevant information and interaction history to your agents, your organization can drive increased customer loyalty and profits.

“Routing customers correctly the first time with full context eliminates repetition and reduces frustration – whatever the customer issue or need. It can be the difference between an unhappy customer and a loyal brand advocate.” 3 Strategies to Improve the Customer Experience, Genesys; Twitter: @Genesys

  1. Use in-depth customer journey analytics. “Of course, the idea of customer journeys for understanding business processes is not new, but now the time has come for brands to think differently about journeys, and marketers will need to set aside budgets for placing in-depth journey analytics into their strategies. This information is key to understanding customer behavior, evaluating the impact of interactions, and generating actionable insight that can be used to optimize experiences across the customer journey. Yet, as Gartner and Forrester analystshave noted, to ensure accuracy, brands should be careful about the technology they select. Individual preferences and habits are constantly evolving and to keep conversations on track, brands need solutions that offer real-time insight to business users to get the most out of their investment.

“The most forward-thinking brands will be able to build rich, insightful profiles of customers over multiple journeys, joining insight from all of their existing technologies to providing a comprehensive view of their customers.” – Jason Hemingway, 2017: Time to get Serious About Customer Experience?, American Marketing Association; Twitter: @AMA_Marketing

  1. Use technology to convert feedback into actionable insights. “Businesses have numerous tools at their disposal to convert VoC data into insights that help employees do their jobs (speech analytics, digital dashboard/visualization tools for reporting customer activities, real-time reporting and alerting).

“The use of customer experience analytics helps VoC practitioners take large sets of historical and recent data and analyze them to reveal trends, identify correlations, and conduct root-cause analysis.  For example, a business using business intelligence tools would be able to identify customers that are most likely to share positive feedback about their interactions with the brand.  This information would then be used to target other buyers with similar attributes through marketing campaigns designed to drive earned-media results.” – Omer Minkara as quoted in 7 Tips for Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences, CallMiner; Twitter: @CallMiner

BONUS TIPS

Turn Negative Reviews into Net-Positives
“Brands look at negative reviews as a disaster, but that’s not the case. Negative reviews help build trust with buyers, increase conversions, facilitate public customer engagement, help product team improve their offers and encourage customers to be honest with brands.” – Levi Olmstead, Community Manager at G2 Crowd “How to Handle Negative ReviewsG2 Crowd

“The best way to continually develop a great customer experience is to draw from the collective knowledge of intelligent, creative, and passionate people. Establishing a designated group of such individuals to candidly communicate about the best ways to identify and solve problems can lead to a wickedly successful CX strategy. It not only helps promote a culture of openness and honesty, but also defines success criteria for design, product development, customer service, and every other step along the customer journey.” – Tom Hardin, UX/UI designer at G2 Crowd

Which tips will you use to improve your customer experience?

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Posted in Customer Experience