Customer experience is THE defining competitive battleground of the here and now.
So much so, that deals, incentives and long standing loyalties can be cast aside in favour of an experience that leaves customers feeling valued. With a beaming smile writ large across their face.
“86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.”American Express
It’s no longer enough to simplify your engagements down to a single transaction.
Experiences begin long before your first direct interaction and can last for years, even decades, beyond the point of sale.
This means that whilst quality and cost will always remain influences, being able to boost customer experience and create active advocates is what will set you up for long term success.
The Difference Between Customer Service & Customer Experience
Traditionally, beating the competition was achieved via different means.
One of which was service throughout the buying process.
And whilst that was, and remains to this day, a hugely important factor; there is a discernible difference between service and experience.
“Customers that rate companies with a high customer experience score spend 140% more.”Super Office
Customer service is only one aspect of the entire customer experience.
In most cases, a customer’s first direct point of contact with a company is usually interacting with an employee.
They’ve already been able to get a feel for your operation through observations and recommendation but this is the first opportunity for your business to deliver great customer service.
Now consider how the various aspects and legacies of these interactions dictates a difference between service and experience.
For example, if you buy a brand new work surface and the person you are speaking with is friendly and helpful, that’s good customer service.
Yet, if your goods arrive on time, the store keeps you well informed and provides an FAQ guide for easy installation, then that’s a great customer experience!
Service is the standard expectation.
Experience is how companies can stand out and connect with their customers in new and exciting ways.
11 Strategies To Boost Customer Experience
So how can companies stand out from the crowd? What tactics can they employ to boost customer experience.
Anthill have pulled 11 tips and tricks together for you to explore and enact.
It’s time to put your customers first. Here’s how…
Create A Clear Vision
Do you know precisely what you want your customer experience to be?
If not, how can you know which processes to change or what to optimise for?
The first step to boost customer experience is to have a clear customer focused vision.
Once you’ve got that in place, you can begin aligning teams on your underlying principles for long term customer satisfaction.
Understand Your Customers
If your organisation is going to really understand customer needs, and align action toward your vision, an understanding of your customers is essential.
Without the ability connect and empathise with the situations that your customers face, how can you provide the best possible experience.
Consider what do they like? Where do they like to do it? And how can you provide it for them?
Segment & Personalise
Within your customer base however, there are countless, critical distinctions.
Your audience can vary in age, gender, location, income, hobbies and interests.
“Customers expect you to treat them as real people and have an honest conversation while interacting with your brand.”Ameyo
Each of these demographics and personal choices determines the buyer’s persona.
Using a particular strategy might work for one audience but not for others.
You should segment your audience and personalise your communications according to their persona.
That is the key to creating an inclusive experience while interacting with your brand.
Cross Channel Consistency
A sure-fire way to boost customer experience is to ensure no matter how, where or why people engage with your business, the experience is of the same, high quality.
This means communications should not be siloed.
This can be incredibly useful for empowering customers to connect with the brand through their preferred channels.
Having such a seamless journey across all channels, both online and offline, is the key to a consistent cross channel experience which makes space for the quirks of your customer journey.
Technology is here to help.
Whether by ensuring adherence to best practice process or in creating a one stop shop for all service enquiries.
Those companies excelling in experience are universally utilising the power of technology.
Free your experts up to focus on the task in hand and let then technology support their efforts and actions.
Involve Your Customers
The best customer experiences are achieved when a member of your team creates an emotional connection with a customer.
When you tap into the motivations and involve the customer directly to create a sense that you’re working together toward finding the solution.
Customers become loyal because they are emotionally attached and they remember how they feel when they use a product or service.
Bring them in.
Utilise Social Proof
Customer testimonials and reviews are part and parcel of every buying journey.
“85% of customers trust online reviews and 91% check online reviews before making a purchase.”Bright Local
And you can know for sure that your customers trust the honest opinions of their fellow consumers more than your marketing content.
By focussing on creating an outstanding customer experience, you’ll have a direct impact on the number of positive reviews people are willing to write about you.
Capture Real Feedback
Still wondering how you can boost customer experience?
There is nobody in a better position to inform you of your strengths and weaknesses than your own customer base.
Collating social proof is one way but if feedback can be collected on the spot and recorded anecdotally you’ll get a better range of views rather than either extreme.
Burying your head in the sand may be the easy option. But doing so will leave you vulnerable to to falling behind companies showing customers they care.
Enact A Development Framework
Once you’ve collected your feedback, harness the results.
This will be a process of iterative improvement owing to the ever shifting nature of customer desires and demands.
Reviewing the results is a fantastic way to identify the training needs and process gaps across the board.
Incentivise Support As Well As Sales
Depending on your operation, bonuses such as comission could be exclusively sales focussed.
In other words, there is no added or performance based incentive to continue wowing your customers after the sale.
And yet… an outstanding customer experience is what keeps customers coming back and spreading the word of your prowess.
To make sure your customers are completely satisfied, incentivise all staff to deliver on the promise of excellent service.
When customers have problems, it becomes even more important. Empowering your employees to do what is best for the customer will avoid negative experiences.
Last but not least… after all your hard work searching for ways to boost customer experience, how do you know if all this investment in your teams, process and technology is working and paying off?
The answer is in your results.
Tangible improvements should translate into measurable ROI meaning higher satisfaction scores, a greater number of referrals and a bigger number in he profits column.
The impact may not be instant, but individual memories can last a lifetime.
It pays to prioritise a positive customer experience, doing so will let your reap the rewards for years to come.
Ready to explore how Anthill can boost customer experience? Schedule a demo today.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
April 14th, 2022-