Without customers, your business would go nowhere. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to always be thinking of ways to improve their experience. After all, the more enjoyable the experience, the more likely those customers are to give you repeated business. And in this hyper-competitive climate, most businesses can’t afford one-and-done customers.
So it should be a top priority for your business to do everything you can to improve the customer experience (CX). Even the slightest improvement in CX can bring about a big bump in revenue. Isn’t that the goal? And shouldn’t you be placing a serious priority on anything and everything that might improve your bottom line?
If that’s the case, then customer experience should be near (or at) the top of your list of improvements to be made for your business.
But where do you start? It’s actually not nearly as difficult as you might think. Let’s layout a few key strategies you can implement to start your journey to a much-improved CX.
Know Who Your Customers Are
This has to come first. To improve their experience, you must know who your customers are. Are they of a certain age range, economical status, ethnicity, or religion? Knowing who your customers are will go a very long way to helping you fine-tune the experience.
For example, if you know the majority of your customers are millennials, you know they prefer interacting via text or mobile apps like Instagram. That being the case, you’d want to focus a good deal of your effort on improving the experience of your mobile and social presence. If those are your customers, and you spend more effort on traditional interactions (such as phones, mailing lists, and websites), you might be wasting valuable resources.
Lay Out a Vision
Once you know who your customers are, it’s time to lay out a vision for how you plan on improving their experience. This vision could be as simple as creating a mission statement for this one aspect of your business. That statement could be something like, “Make the customer feel as if we’re that friend they want to hang out with over and over.”
It might sound cheesy, but it’s something that can have overarching implications. You don’t just want repeat business, you want to make your customers feel like they’re doing business with a friend. That says a lot and can go a long way to help steer your vision.
Develop Deeper Connections
After laying out your vision, it’s time to not just turn that vision into a reality, but allow it to help develop deeper connections with not only your customers but those who can help continue to improve this experience.
You might have a powerful marketing department and a team of diverse developers, both of which are capable of helping to drive that vision home. By creating deeper connections between those teams and your customers, your vision will not only solidify but will also be empowered to evolve to ensure that, as things change, your business can change to meet trends and help you make smarter business decisions.
As your journey toward an improved CX continues, you must get feedback at every turn. This feedback isn’t just from your in-house teams but also your customers. Now that you know your customers (and have a solid vision for improving their experience), you’ll know exactly how best to communicate with them to keep evolving how you interact.
The importance of this feedback cannot be overstated. At the same time, however, you should avoid hounding your customers to give you feedback. This must be a voluntary thing and never forced. Give the customer the tools they need to offer their opinion and don’t constantly push it on them. Do that and you’ll lose a customer. Can you afford that? Probably not.
Implement The Necessary Technology
Improving customer experience doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, but you might have to take on some small added costs. This is especially true if you don’t already have the necessary technology to help improve CX. For example, you might need to deploy bots to serve as the first line of contact for customers. Bots can help prevent customers from having to wait around for an actual human to chat with them. Given how little people want to wait in a 24/7 connected world, this is crucial.
You should also consider adding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into the mix, as both of these technologies can not only help you make business decisions faster, they can help predict trends, which means you can always be ahead of the curve with CX.
Track the Right Metrics
Finally, you must track metrics. But don’t just track any metrics, focus on the metrics that will help you continually improve CX. You’ll want to monitor and understand metrics such as:
- Net Promoter Score: measures customer loyalty based on the question “How likely is it that you would recommend us or our product to a friend?
- Customer Satisfaction: measures how satisfied customers are with your products or services.
- Customer Effort Score: measures how easy it was for customers to interact with your company.
- Customer Lifetime Value: measures the total of how much money a customer has brought to your business.
- Customer Churn Rate: measures how loyal customers are to you.
- Average Response Time: measures how long it takes a customer to respond.
- Average Resolution Time: measures how long it takes for a support question or complaint to be resolved.
When trying to improve CX, each of the above metrics should be considered a must to measure.
Take CX seriously and you can find your business growing dramatically over the next year. This topic has become incredibly important as the world of business becomes more and more competitive. You’ll want to have every advantage you can over the competition and starting with customer experience is a sure-fire way to see improvement over the long haul.