The coronavirus has changed the business world.
This is because it has affected our lives and the way we do things. As a business owner, there is no better time to focus on a better customer experience than now.
If you don’t, chances are that you’d lose your customers and most likely run out of business.
A recent report by McKinsey & Company shows that a lot of businesses are shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the US alone, 60 retailers—representing $370 billion in annual sales and over 50,000 physical retail locations—have closed temporarily. This has reduced the market capitalization of physical retail space by more than 35%.
While this is happening, tech giant companies are becoming more profitable and powerful.
This shows that customers haven’t stopped buying, and your business can still stand tall despite the pandemic.
To do this, you need to show an uncommon and unparalleled interest in your customers through an awesome customer experience management.
When you do, you will give your customers a reason to knock on your doors and want to buy from you even if the economic situation isn’t favorable.
Not only that, with an excellent customer satisfaction, you’ll find it easier to retain your existing customers, acquire new ones, and build a holistic marketing scene for increased profits.
In this post, I’ll show you why investing in a better customer experience for your business is the way to go, and also how to do it right.
Let’s get started.
Customer Experience: The Blend of Customer Support and Customer Service
You may already know that customer experience originates from the blend of customer support and customer service.
While customer support is the aspect that provides technical assistance to customers by helping them resolve issues relating to their use of your products or services, customer service, on the other hand, provides value for customers by helping them achieve optimal use of your product or services.
In a broader light, customer experience is the overall experience that a customer has from their first point of how customers interact with your company, products, and services, to their period of committing to it with their hard-earned dollars and even after.
It is the ultimate mark you leave in your customers’ hearts which results in how they perceive your brand across every point of contact they have with it.
It goes beyond the responsibility of one department of customer service or customer support which focuses on certain interactions at a time. It consists of the overall thought of your customer journey map which leads to building a long-lasting relationship with them.
Why You Should Focus on Customer Experience
If you’re concerned about the growth of your business, then you should focus on ensuring that your customers have continually refined and top-quality experience.
This should go beyond your product or service—it should include the gesture of smiling at them during physical or online interaction. Also, note that the way you treat your employees also influences customers’ perception of your brand.
Customer experience management is vital to the steady growth of your business so all your employees must know exactly what it entails from the onboarding process.
This is because when you deliver an awesome customer experience, they grow to become advocates of your brand, and they will go all in to recommend your products and services to their family and friends, even to those they have no close affinity with.
That’s truly a costless marketing edge for you as you’ll garner more revenue and new customer base.
Gone are the days when companies competed on the grounds of quality product and price alone.
These days, companies compete on the basis of true care and connection with their customers. Smart companies reach out to their customers to show concern, not to market to them.
They stay true to their purpose and values and prioritize their employees and community.
If you focus on better customer experience strategies for your business, here are some benefits you’re likely to get.
High Customers Preference
Wouldn’t you rather prefer the CEO of your preferred company to personally address you?
Personalized experiences thrill customers and make them become more loyal to your brand.
According to HubSpot, personalized calls to action performs 202% better than basic calls to action. Businesses who pay apt attention to their customer experiences across key points have increased customer loyalty.
New Customer Gain
Customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention. Those who have trusted you with their money are more likely to buy more from you. Excellent customer experience helps you achieve this.
However, customer acquisition through an already retained customer is always seamless. This is because you’ve already convinced them and they’re not carried away by price or quality.
Increased Customer Advocacy
When you leave an exhilarating experience in the hearts of your customers, you can be assured that the happy customers will become your brand advocates and will sing your company’s praises to every Tom, Dick, and Harry they come in contact with.
By nature, humans are not receptive to spreading the good news. Sincerely caring for your customers will push them to talk about you and your brand.
Improved Business Revenue
Quite obviously, when your customers are satisfied and happy, they refer more people; as your customer base grows, so does your revenue, sales, impact, and more value to your business.
How to Use Customer Experience the Right Way
Customers are the lifeblood of any business.
No business will thrive in continual growth if no one is buying from y0u. Companies who are growth driven do not focus on new business models—they strive to make sure that their customers have a satisfactory experience with their products.
What this means is that if you don’t improve customer experience in your business, you’re giving your competitors an opportunity to outperform you.
How do you implement customer experience the right way such that you can drive success in your company through the reliability, convenience, relevance, and responsiveness embedded in the strategy?
Here are some key steps to adopt and adapt to if you really want to focus on better customer experience.
Document your customer experience end goal
To delight your customers in their engagement with your brand, you have to, at first, understand what you intend to achieve.
Are you interested in making them become repeat buyers or do you just want to mine their data for innovative product design?
Having a clear customer-tied end goal helps you to harness the style of communication that will drive that success.
This guides you to create the guiding principles that your employees, irrespective of their departments, will follow when dealing with customers.
Understand your customers deeply
No business can succeed without the KYC (know your customers) methodology.
Truth is, In reality, we’re not sure it’s possible to someone without understanding them.
After all, when you understand your customers, you treat them right.
If you know their pain points, needs, hopes, aspirations, and fulfilling conditions, you’ll serve them right and they’ll be glad to partner with you.
It won’t stop there. They will likely share their aspirations with anyone who cares and if those agree, they quickly send them your way.
Create an ideal customer journey
Now that you know your customer experience end goal and also have an idea of the kind of customers you’re dealing with, the next thing is to outline the path to getting there.
This is where you create your ideal customer experience journey mapping. These include what your website copy should communicate, the tone to use when inviting customers to try out your product, and so on.
This process will detail the way you want your customers to feel about your company.
After doing this correctly, next is to research the best way possible to take your customer through the charted experience.
Connect emotionally with your customers
For customers to have the best experience from your brand, you must create an emotional connection in every way, beginning from the navigation of your website to the way your employees relate with them.
One of the best ways to have an emotional connection with your customers is to ask them questions about the kind of solutions they’re looking for with your product/service.
When you do, you’ll have a better understanding of their needs, motivations, and so on. That way, you can create customer experience strategies that addresses these concerns and solves their problems.
If you don’t have customers yet, you can create a buyer persona based on your market research about the kind of customers you want to serve and how you plan to serve them.
Adopt a customer experience system
You should have a system that monitors the way customers interact at every process of the customer journey map. A system that controls, tracks, and shows if your brand meets the customer demands at all times.
Such systems can measure detailed consumer behavioral patterns, demographics, and other customer experience metrics in real-time. This will later sum up to increased loyalty, engagement, and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that all your channels of interaction with your customers provide a good user experience.
This is because a bad user experience on any of your channels of communication could lead to the loss of customers in the long run.
For instance, if your customers have shown that they don’t like contextual ads on your website, then you should turn it off completely from your website. If you do, you can improve customer experience in the process.
Hiring the right team members and investing in their development
Employees are important stakeholders in the customer experience pathway. This is why you should take your time to hire the right set of people for your business.
Not only that, you should also provide them with the necessary skills and expertise to help customers transition smoothly.
Make sure you track employee-customer communication, analyze them, and provide well-tailored professional development for your employees so that they can attain top-quality interaction with their customers.
Also, you should regularly request your employees to give feedback about their tasks and engagement with customers.
This helps you learn how to improve the process so that it suits both the employees and the customers.
Utilize artificial intelligence
Another strategy you can use to improve customer experience is artificial intelligence (AI). Businesses have understood this and that’s why AI is becoming more popular.
This is because with an AI technology such as chatbots and conversational marketing, you can address your customer concerns immediately.
That way, you don’t keep your customers waiting before attending to them.
Also, when you use AI technology, customers would find it easy to resolve some problems they’re facing without reaching out to any of your employees at all.
Irrespective of your industry, having an excellent customer experience will make your brand stand out and last long.
This is because a better customer experience and engagement leaves everyone happy—the customer, employee, and the brand.
While doing it the right way might be a bit difficult, the strategies shared in this post will help you do so effortlessly.
Owen McGab Enaohwo is the CEO and co-founder of SweetProcess, an easy-to-use and intuitive business process management software founded in 2013. The software makes it possible for company executives and their employees to collaborate together to quickly document standard operating procedures, processes, and policies.