Nowadays, more than ever before, increasing competition and customer expectations are forcing brands to constantly improve the customer experience that they deliver. Regardless of the industry that you’re operating in, you should take a customer-centric approach. Create a competitive customer experience to turn your customers into brand ambassadors and boost sales. Read on to learn more!
The customer experience (CX) is the holistic perception of a brand. Every interaction with a brand contributes to creating this overall impression. That’s why companies must pay attention to each of every customer’s touch-points with brands.
Today, this term refers not only to experiences in brick and mortar stores but also to interactions via social media or email, payment or delivery processes, and browsing a website, etc.
As a customer, you probably have an opinion about the products and services that you have purchased. Think about what led to that opinion, and why do you like or dislike certain companies? Is it because of intrusive advertising, a long waiting time when calling the contact center, or some other negative experiences? Sometimes, even the smallest details can be all-important when it comes to feelings about brands and products.
Fortunately, you can have a great influence on how your customers perceive your brand.
“Customer experience management (CEM) is the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”
To deliver positive experiences during every step of a customer’s journey, you need to take a customer-centric approach and improve your products, marketing, and customer service. It’s also important to understand the role of customer service in the customer experience.
First, go through the customer journey and try to visualize what your customers’ motivations, needs, expectations, and pain-points are. The journey is no longer a linear one, because customers sometimes take a step back, analyze competitors’ offers, or take their experience multi-channel. You can make use of some free tools to help create a customer journey map for your business. For example, Uxpressia provides CJM templates, so all you need to do is find the right template and fill it out with your content, or start from scratch to create your customized CJM.
Don’t just trust your gut instinct when it comes to the perception of your brand. Analyze your customer relations team’s reports and talk to your employees to find out which issues are the most common. It might be extremely helpful to run a customer satisfaction survey to learn about your clients’ opinions first-hand. This way, you can fill out your CJM with actual quotes and facts, not simple assumptions.
While creating a CJM, take a customer journey yourself and find out if it’s as intuitive and pleasant as you thought. This process will result in a list of pain-points and steps of the customer journey that can be improved.
Once you know your customer journey’s flaws, you should start work on fixing them. First, write a clear customer-centric vision, so that you and your team know what your goals towards pleasing customers are. Focus on long-term relationships with your customers in order to increase customer lifetime value (CLV). An intent statement can’t be the same as the company’s mission. The former should be customer-centric, while the latter has a different purpose. Once you prepare such a document, you should share it with employees and, together with your team, always have it in mind.
If you run your business online, then your website usability is crucial. Make sure your webpage is intuitive, not only for you but also for your visitors. How to do this? Use UX tools such as LiveSession to record real sessions and check out how visitors are interacting with your website. Analyze users’ behavior to find out what they are clicking on and where they look for options, etc.
Moreover, a fast-loading website optimized for mobile devices is a must-have nowadays. Depending on the specifics of your products or services, your customers may use smartphones or tablets to browse your website and make purchases. Slow-loading pages or illegible text can effectively discourage customers from purchasing your products.
UX doesn’t only apply to your website. If your brand is present on social media, if you write a blog or send newsletters, think about their usability as well. For example, make sure the images you post on social media are mobile-friendly, your campaigns link to the right pages and newsletters have just one clear CTA. These details have an impact on the overall impression of your brand. The way you communicate with customers is essential.
Find out how customers want to contact your brand in case of any issues or questions. More and more brands are deciding to provide many channels for this purpose, like e-mails, phone calls, live chat on their websites, Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Each customer can then choose how to reach out to your agents in a way that is most convenient for them.
Omnichannel means not only enabling contact via the channels mentioned above but also integrating them. With solutions such as LiveAgent, you can get all support tickets in one unified place, called the universal inbox. Additionally, it’s helpful to sync customer support tools with a CRM system. As a result, your agents can have all of the essential information at their fingertips. Avoid customer frustration and enable your customer-relations team access to purchase histories and previous interactions, for example, regardless of the channel. Please your customers with polite and informed customer support with a personal touch.
Check out our guide on how to provide jaw-dropping omnichannel support.
Don’t take your customers for granted. Encourage feedback to show that you care, and really listen to your customers’ opinions and suggestions. This way, you may gain helpful insights to develop your product or improve other aspects of your business. Feedback & Suggestions is one of LiveAgent’s features, so you can easily place a customized feedback button anywhere on your website.
Measure customer satisfaction by running regular surveys. One of the most popular metrics is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which indicates how many customers would recommend your brand to a friend. It would be wise to also analyze your customer retention rate and time to resolution.
There’s no universal recipe for creating a flawless customer experience for every brand and industry. The key to delighting your customers is to understand their needs and monitor your performance. Team-up with the best service providers and choose the most reliable tools to improve your brand’s performance. Automate tasks where possible in order to gain time and resources to think outside the box in other situations. Most importantly, show empathy and pay attention to your customers’ feelings.
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