If you are a customer experience manager, one thing you must have been assigned is designing a great customer experience strategy. It is not easy, but once you figure it out, it will be the best thing to ever happen to your company. Last week, we looked at one company called Della Ricca Hair Color, founded by Karen Anne Jacks, and her strategy for a great customer experience. In this blog, we will look at the various ways to create a great experience strategy to upscale your business.
What is Customer Experience?
Simply put, customer experience is how customers understand their interactions with your company. If they perceive these day-to-day experiences as good, it means that your business will upscale. Happy customers most of the time will become loyal customers, who in turn will help boost your revenue. Today, with all the uncertainty revolving around most businesses, customer experience and customer services are becoming the two most hot topics we cannot ignore. The best marketing for a company is the one in which the customers themselves are actively marketing its products and services.
How a customer experience manager perceives experience with customers and service will have a profound impact on how they see the business or the company as a whole. As such, they need not just create a great customer experience strategy; they need to obsess over it.
Creating a great customer experience
Now that you know and understand that customer experience is how customers perceive your brand, a customer experience manager has to understand that the two focal points with a great customer strategy are people and products.
- Are you satisfied with the product?
- Are you happy with the way the company customer contact person is treating you?
- Has the company helped you solve your problem?
These are some of the questions that customers ask themselves and in order to create a great customer experience, you need to view every problem from their point of view. By looking at your products and people, you will be able to discover the pain points that a customer may be experiencing and fixing them.
Typically, the first step towards creating a great experience for the customers is clearly defining the vision of your strategy. As a customer experience manager, you need to have a clear vision that is customer-centric and that you can communicate to your organization. To create a great customer vision you need to create a set of statements and guidelines that will act as your guiding principle.
After you have your vision clearly stated and trickled down to every department of your organization, the next step would be building upon the laid-out principles to try and understand who your customers are. If you are going to create a great customer experience strategy based on the needs and wants of your customers, then you need to be able to connect with these customers and truly empathize with them to create solutions to the problems they face.
Understanding what your customers are asking for
A great experience with customer service from a customer’s perspective is where the company representatives are able to connect emotionally with their customers. There is a phrase that says, “It is not what you say, but how you say it.” This goes to show you that the best customer experience strategy is one where the customer experience manager is able to connect emotionally with the customers. There are numerous researches that have been conducted and all support this fundamental truth. In fact, research by the Journal of Consumer Research found out that more than 50 percent of an experience is based on emotion. Emotions are largely responsible for the attitudes that drive our decisions.
One thing to keep in mind for a great customer experience is that customers become loyal to a company because they feel an emotional connection between them and the company. It has been also found that a business that optimizes itself to accommodate emotional connections outperforms competitors by 85% in sales growth. There are so many other studies that support this including a study from Harvard Business Review titled “The New Science of Customer Emotions”, that found that customers who are emotionally attached to the company are;
- At least three times more likely to recommend your products and services.
- Three times more likely to come back.
- Less likely to choose other businesses over you.
Capture Customer Feedback and Act Accordingly
A great experience with customer service is where a customer feels that their needs, wants and, their views and opinions are heard and respected. You need to capture what the customers are saying in real-time. You can ask the customers directly how they are feeling in real-time with regard to their experience with customer service.
Another way is through the use of live chat tools which enable the company customer service desk to chat live with customers among many other ways. After you have received feedback from the customers, the next step ideally is to act upon this feedback. Most companies have an annual survey process where they sit down and look through the feedback from the customers and capture the overall feedback from the support desk. This is where the company will look at how lively the support desk has been and the ability of the business to deliver exceptional services.
The loop of feedback between the support desk and the customer should be a continuous one. Employee feedback is crucial and plays a critical role in allowing the customer experience manager to devise tools that will allow the company to improve its customer services.
Customer expectations from your company are high and the way you treat your customers travels fast! Today, unlike in the past, customers have become more empowered, which means, now more than ever, we need a strong customer experience. In addition, it is good to understand that customer experience is not a one-time affair, it needs constant nurturing and care. With a great focus on a great customer experience strategy, companies will realize a positive impact on their market share and growth, leading to higher retention and increased revenue growth.