This post was originally published on Execs In The Know. Read the article here: https://execsintheknow.com/tips-strategies-for-improving-the-customer-experience/
Positive customer experience is at the core of every business’s mission-critical considerations.
By delivering effective customer experience, a company can improve retention (and long-term revenue) and even attract new customers. However, improving customer experience requires knowledge not only about your company’s internal processes and plans, but the needs and demands of your customers.
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Read on to learn how we define customer experience and how your organization can optimize that of its own customers:
Today’s Definition of Customer Experience
Customer experience can be summarized as the overall perception an individual has of your company after having interacted with it. A good customer experience carries positive implications, such as an uncomplicated series of interactions and high-quality products or services.
When your customer experience trends south, it can signal a drop in service quality, failure to recognize pain points your customers are experiencing and more. Issues that may otherwise go unnoticed can make a serious dent in a customer’s perception of your brand, causing them to choose competitors instead.
Losing customers is costly and can quickly rob an organization of the vital revenue. This is what makes understanding, analyzing and improving customer experience critical to long-term growth.
Customer Experience Strategies
Having a strong customer experience strategy is simply a practical approach to maintaining an optimal customer experience across every part of your company.
In your customer experience strategy, you should carefully consider each of the following facets of your business:
Product and/or service design
By designing products and services to benefit the customer from the start, you can create a much stronger offering and positively impact the customer experience across the board.
A simple way to improve products and services as they are developed is to make and use detailed customer profiles or “buyer personas.” These personas should be specific and provide an accurate foundation upon which you can build out your company’s offerings.
By basing design choices on such buyer personas, you can make important decisions about what matters most and what details can be left out. The most important step in using customer profiles is to work with real data to define their traits more accurately. Personas made up on the spot are far more likely to get the important parts wrong and wreck your actual users’ experience down the line.
Omnichannel Customer Service
Where you interact with your customers and how you do so can completely change their perception of your brand. With the rapid adoption of new forms of communication online, it is more important than ever for businesses to make use of the mediums most of their customers prefer to serve them.
Convenience is a defining factor for a positive omnichannel customer experience. If your company can meet its customers where they are online or offline, then it stands a much better chance of satisfying their needs and earning their loyalty.
The importance of understanding your customers and their needs is hard to overstate, yet there is no single most-effective route to take to learn more about the people you serve. Many companies have come up with their own approaches to surveying their customers and proven there are numerous paths worth taking. More important than your surveying strategy are the positive results it can produce.
In the case of companies like Virgin Mobile, whose online customer diaries initiative helped them steer clear of what would have been a disastrous service-structuring decision, the surveying method used was far less important than the questions they chose to ask their customers.
When asking your own customers about their experiences with your brand, it is important to ask the right questions – ideally these should tie in directly to your current development plans. Instead of asking how customers rate their experience overall, aim for more specific issues and refine your timing to catch customers when their most recent experiences with your company are still fresh.
Tips to Improve the Customer Experience
If you aim to optimize the customer experience within your organization, the following tips should prove helpful:
- Measure as much as you can. Measuring KPIs of all types can keep you in the loop on lapses in performance and shifting consumer trends before they make dangerous waves in your organization.
- Align products/services with your brand image. When your products fail to match up with customer expectations, they could turn to competitors, leaving you with lost revenue. By keeping your company’s actions in line with its values and brand image, you can keep customers’ confidence more consistently.
- Map out the customer journey. Taking time to map out the path customers take in interacting with your company can provide key insight into their overall experience and potential bottlenecks they regularly encounter.
Improving customer experience should be a top priority for every organization; it’s crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in today’s highly competitive markets. By adopting new initiatives that positively impact the customer experience, you’ll boost customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
How does your company cultivate a positive customer experience?