HOW TO PROVIDE A WORLD CLASS OFFERING
Quality service matters. So significant is the Power of Customer Experience, it’s rise has led experts to describe experience as the new “brand”.
Providing your clients with as optimal and enjoyable an experience as possible has to be high up on your agenda. Not least because there is an growing trend of experience based, not product based loyalty.
Whilst the majority of organisations acknowledge this, backing the concept up with with a solid strategy of action is where many companies fall down.
It’s all too easy to slip into a trap of focusing on revenue figures and forgetting that, behind the numbers, there are the individual contributors.
They are the face of the company. The people who’s daily actions influence and mould the public perception of the organisation they’re representing. Your people are the Customer Experience.
Without having robust processes for both current customers and prospects alike, you leave yourself open to inconsistencies in quality.
It is up to us to ensure the scales tip in our favour to earn the rave reviews.
In this guide we will provide you with actionable tips to shine a light across your own business, question current practices and ensure your Customer Experience is world class.
WHAT’S IN AN EXPERIENCE?
If you are serious about sustained growth for your organisation, the Power of Customer Experience dictates a remarkable service as critical.
Positive experiences promote loyalty and encourage brand advocacy.
Helping to not only retain clients, but organically create more through the provision of an experience so good, people want to shout about.
Every time a prospective or current client engages with your business, the interaction affects their perception of you and their behaviours.
Customers’ priorities have changed; loyalty is no longer based on price or product.
Instead, loyalty is given to companies who align with clients’ social values or provide a world class experience.
Creating consistency in your processes is the first step to creating consistency for the customer. It forms the building blocks of excellence.
If you can provide value at every stage in the buying cycle and continue to show a customer they are valued after acquisition, you are well on the way to providing the experience they desire and beating out competitors.
Now we’ve understood the Power of Customer Experience, we’ll begin to explore how it can be facilitated.
DEFINE YOUR PROCESS
Having a clear, well defined customer process is essential in maintaining high satisfaction levels when it comes to Customer Experience.
Process becomes even more important, when multiple teams, dispersed across locations or stages of the process, contribute to the same Customer Experience.
Using technologies to coordinate communication, illustrate the buyer journey and control how customers engage with your business will help ensure that any interaction with you is consistently excellent.
A useful task in defining your processes is to sit down with colleagues from across the organisation and map out the desired customer journey.
Doing so will help you establish a blueprint for success that can be easily rolled out to every member of staff and customer alike.
Consider the following questions to get the ball rolling:
- What needs to happen when?
- Why is it important for that experience to be the same for everyone?
- What processes do I need my staff to follow?
- What internal resource is required to support these processes?
- How should different teams share information and work together?
- Which current actions are essential and which can be streamlined?
- At every stage, are we putting our, or the customer’s needs first?
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Customers want conversations, not correspondence. They also want to contact you where they are.
What do we mean by that? Consider for a second, where are you speaking with your customers? If it’s not face to face in store, is it where they spend most of their time?
For example, is it via email, over the phone or on social? 84% of companies who claim to be customer-centric are now focusing on the mobile Customer Experience.
In essence, are you accessible and geared toward your customer’s preferred method of communication?
Now think about how you are speaking to them? Is it OK to use jargon? Can you include lots of technical terms in your conversations or is it best to keep things simple?
By knowing and understanding your audience, you can begin to predict their behaviour patterns and match your Customer Experience to their expectations ensuring their interaction is a positive one.
This means that not only are you providing them with the information they want, but doing so in their desired lanuage, tonality and location resulting in client communications that delight rather than disappoint.
TRACK, TRACK, TRACK
Data is invaluable, yet ultimately useless if never actioned upon.
Think what information would be most helpful in improving my customer experience? How effective are my current customer communications? Am I giving the customer everything they need or am I fielding several questions due to gaps in information provided?
Can you answer those questions? Are you tracking the right data to?
Your staff are the personable, smiling face of your business. Their attitudes are vital in making customers want to deal with you, share their great experiences with friends and return again in the future.
Tracking activity can highlight resourcing issues, knowledge gaps and training requirements, all of which contribute to Customer Experience.
Evaluating data allows you to provide your teams with more of the information they need, and less of what they don’t. Consider tracking:
- How many customer issues are being create and closed?
- What stages of the journey is producing the most customer problems?
- How long does it take your staff to resolve customer issues?
- What are the root causes of the issues?
- Which channels are our customer issues being submitted by?
- What is the satisfaction rate for customers following resolution?
Feedback is your friend.
Every company wants to have countless positive reviews, who wouldn’t?
And yet, the short term pain of hearing about a negative experience could actually be more beneficial in the long run.
Customer feedback enables you to unearth otherwise unknown issues or problems as well as providing an invaluable insight into how your processes are being both followed by staff and received by customers.
Using automated surveys, triggered at key stages in the customer process, can assist in keeping customer satisfaction on track; preventing damaging negative reviews from ever surfacing.
A proactive approach is far superior to being reactive.
A constant feedback flow is the way to address this and also ensure your customer feels like a valued partner to your business rather than a mere number on a financial spreadsheet.
REVIEW, LEARN, EVOLVE
Even the most intricately planned and creatively formulated projects in the world could be improved upon. Your Customer Experience is no different.
Using data is key in making sure that the decisions made by the management team actually work in the real world.
Here are seven discussion points for you to get your own Customer Experience revolution underway:
- Can we make it easier for customers to get in touch?
- Are our customers adequately informed throughout the sales process?
- Do staff fully understand the latest products and offerings?
- Where are our bottlenecks?
- Should we capture more data from customers to better serve them?
- Which marketing channels are the most effective?
- What part of the process can we automate for efficiency without compromising experience?
Leading customer centric businesses across the globe have set a new standard in experience.
Such is the Power of Customer Experience that we now unanimously expect the highest quality across the board.
Without the right tools in place to support staff, the risk will always be present that customers are being left frustrated. Rather than converting, they’re instead turning to your competitors.
Self reflection isn’t always easy yet it provides a clear path to stand up to the facts and make the changes you need to.
Only then can we deliver world class Customer Experience.
At the end of the day, the critical thing to have at the front of your mind is to question whether or not each interaction will leave a smile on your customers’ face.
In using best of breed technology, companies can turn disappointed customers into walking, talking brand advocates.
Your clients are your most powerful marketing tool and in an age where loyalty is determined by experience over price, there is huge opportunity to become an industry leader without the industry leading budget.
Make your Customer Experience a delight, not a disappointment.
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March 18th, 2021-