Begin Today To Improve Your CX For Tomorrow
Customer Experience (CX) refers to customers’ overall perception of your brand throughout the buyer’s journey. When done well, the customers can feel it. For example, think about when you enjoyed a shopping trip. The first thing you may have noticed is how people treated you. The customer experience is delivered by the greeter at the door, the sales representative on the shop floor, to the customer support agent at the service counter. The other main touchpoint is the product. How the product is displayed, packaged, designed, and used as part of your customer experience.
Customer experience is not organic; it is designed. There is a team of professionals at many companies whose full-time job is to analyze customer feedback and share this insight with the rest of the organization. The global customer experience management market size in 2021 alone was worth over 8 billion USD and is expected to grow 18% annually from 2022 to 2030.
But in case you don’t have a customer experience team, there are things you can do to start upgrading your customer experience strategy today. It is better to start now as 86% of a survey found respondents engaged in or leading customer experience expected to compete based on it by 2021. And, 74% of consumers in another survey said they were at least somewhat likely to buy based on customer experience alone.
Related Link: Don’t Stop at Customer Support, Think Bigger
Better To Start Now Than Never
So, where to begin? Here are 6 areas that you and your team can start to look at to develop and improve your customer experience strategy today:
Many software platforms can help you manage and record your company’s and customer’s interactions. Customer relations management (CRM) software like Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar CRM, or Microsoft Dynamic 365 all help companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and manage accounts. Other leading customer experience management (CEM) platforms examples are Freshdesk, Zendesk, and Monday.com.
Suggested Action: Review your current practices and see if any technologies can help you manage, collect data, analyze, or offer other insights into your customer experience programs.
Customers interact with your company across multiple outlets, from online to offline. Offer consistency over everything. Ensure your messaging online is complementary across your app, website, advertisement, and social media. At your physical location, train your sales and customer service representatives. Also, look at the store layout, product display, and check-out counters. The goal is to create a seamless customer experience, whether they’re shopping online, by telephone, or at a brick-and-mortar store.
Suggested Action: Integrate all teams from marketing, sales, support, and R&D into the customer experience conversation. Ask for their cooperation in making the customer experience consistent across your brand.
Customer Journey Mapping
Visually map out how everyone engages with customers from the beginning to the end. For example, show how you expect customers to look at your advertisement, find information about your product offering, and are incentivized to make repeat purchases. Illustrate on the map all the processes, needs, and perceptions you anticipate your customers to feel. Use this map to show everyone in your company where they fit and how they are expected to interact with the customers.
Suggested Action: Work with your team to build a framework for how everyone’s actions are connected. Use the customer journey map to develop your customer experience strategy that involves all groups. Use it as a tool for everyone to monitor changes in customer perceptions over time.
Ask For Plenty Of Customer Feedback
There are many places where you can monitor and ask for customer feedback. On the digital side, there are your social media platforms where customers may leave comments and messages. During customer interactions, your representative can ask for immediate feedback and insights. There are also post-interaction surveys and interviews to get customers to offer their input without reservations.
- Tools like Brandwatch and Brand24 can help you derive insights from your brand mentions across social, news, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews, and more.
- Training will help customer service representatives to ask for immediate feedback.
- Add consistent after-call surveys through automated systems integrated into your customer service programs.
Create Self-Service Options
Zendesk’s research found that 67% of customers preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative. Make it easy for customers to find and educate themselves about your products from different resources.
Suggested Action: Build and maintain a library of self-service resources for your customers. Some examples are FAQ pages, knowledge libraries, blogs, community forums, AI-powered chatbots, and automated call centers. Make sure to update and allow customers to give suggestions to make the resources reflect customers’ needs.
Build A Customer-Centric Culture
Strategy is great on paper but making them a reality takes people and adoption. Support your customer experience initiatives by first building a customer-centric culture. Make it part of your company’s mission and brand before expecting your teams to drive it down into their daily work.
Suggested Action: Help the company define what is expected of employees when dealing with customers and the value you place on customer satisfaction. Create training programs to help your teams practice and role-play. Put customer-centric actions as part of teams’ KPIs and reward them for behaviors that align with the company’s mission.
Related Links: Applying the 7 P’s of Customer Support
Build A Foundation That Will Last
These 6 areas of customer experience and our suggestions are only the tip of what you can do. Although they seem fundamental to some, many companies struggle to build a strong customer experience strategy. In truth, it takes a lot of resources and energy to develop and maintain excellent customer experience strategies. It only takes a few harmful interactions to lose all the hard work everyone has put in. Make sure your company always stays ahead of the game and works always to exceed your customer’s expectations.