Recent surveys have shown that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer service experience. Which is why it’s worth taking the time to find ways to give your customers a memorable experience that will keep them coming back for more.
However, great customer experience requires more than attentive customer service. The more focus you put into the details of your business, the easier it will be to find ways to enhance your service and the experience you provide.
If you’re wanting to boost customer loyalty and your brand reputation, read on to learn more about creating a great customer experience.
The Importance of a Strong Service Experience
Many businesses confuse strong service experience with simply having quality customer service. While customer service is an essential part of the overall service experience, there are a number of other elements that need to be considered.
Your customer service experience includes everything from how easy it is to find your contact details through to your after sale process. Perfecting your customer service experience means being able to anticipate the needs of your customer and over delivering.
A great place to start is by putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. Start from the moment you arrive at a top of funnel touch point, and go through the full process of learning about, engaging with, and buying from your business; all from a customer’s point of view. This will bring some insight into where improvements can be made.
What You Need for Your Customer Experience Strategy
Creating a stellar customer experience requires a solid strategy that can be implemented in every area of your business.
However, creating this strategy also requires some elements to ensure it suits the needs of your customers. There are a number of essential information pieces you should gather before crafting your customer experience strategy. This include…
Knowing Your Competition
Your competition is a great place to start when it comes to creating a positive customer experience. Not only do you want to see where your competition is excelling, but you’ll also want to look at any holes they may have in their service and customer experience.
Try to view your competitions customer experience as the minimum bar. Your goal is to offer above and beyond this.
Researching Your Audience
While there are some tried and true techniques used to improve your customer experience, it’s important to remember that your audience is unique and so are their needs.
For example, if you had an offline business near a school, you may notice that many of your customers come in with their children. By adding an indoor playground or play area, you’ll be catering towards the unique needs of your audience. If you have an online only business, consider what your customer might need from you to make doing business with you easier, enjoyable, productive etc. How can you WOW them and make them feel welcome, appreciated, special, served?
The best way to learn more about your customer’s needs is to simply observe. Look for areas in their experience that may take extra time or seem like an added burden. For online businesses there are a plethora of tracking tools you can use, or simply ASK your customers! With time, you’ll also begin to recognise “clues” in questions and feedback from customers that will help you improve your service experience.
Not only do you want to analyse what’s going on within your business, but you’ll also want to know what’s happening in your market as a whole.
Whether it’s through organised focus groups, simple surveys, or “listening” in facebook groups, take the time to learn about the public perception of your industry. You can then use this information to create opportunities to better serve your customers.
For example, if your research shows the public believes your services or products are expensive, start a “price match guarantee” to overcome this reputation.
You can gain some key insight in this area by visiting social media pages within your industry and reviewing the comments section. Not only is it free, but users tend to be brutally honest on social media!
Consider: Where can you seek out feedback about your industry or competitors?
Crafting Your Mission
Another aspect of a customers experience is how the individual feels to be there. This is often a result of your branding, the messaging you send, and the space you have created to operate in.
For example, if you have crafted a company mission that prioritises caring for the environment, your customer may feel proud of their choice to support a business that gives back. Ensuring your online and offline operations also highlight and align with this will create a philanthropic association within your customer experience.
Consider: How can you align your customer experience with your company mission?
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
I get it, your business is your baby. Which can make it hard to admit when it’s not delivering in certain areas. To avoid being stuck in a state of denial, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What goals do I have for enhancing my customer’s experience?
- What are my customer’s needs? What are their wants? How can I deliver both?
- Which portion of the experience deserves the most concentration right now?
- How can I best utilise my staff to enhance the overall customer experience?
Remember, being clear and honest with yourself and your team is where you will find the most opportunities to grow.
Whether it’s through an over the phone survey or simply reading the comments on your Facebook business page, embracing any and all forms of feedback will only help you improve and grow your business. Customers that take the time to provide feedback are customers that want to make a change.
This means giving adequate attention to each response, and not waiting for a problem to be brought up several times before addressing it. Simple changes could bring the added value your business needs for customers to choose you over your competitor.
Consider: What feedback have you received recently that highlights a opportunity for improvement?
One error many business owners make is only focusing on the customer service side of a customers experience. The truth is, everyone from your sales team to your receptionist and even your automated software will affect your customer’s overall experience. Which is why it’s important to focus on each team member and their role in exuding brand values and delivering a great customer experience.
Implementing company-wide training initiatives is a great way to start. Secret shoppers can also bring insight into where customer service can be improved.
You can host seminars, use online training, or simply schedule one on one sit downs to offer a unique training experience to your teams. The important thing to remember is that you want to highlight the natural talents and skills of each employee. This way, you’ll be able to place each employee where they shine, enhancing your customer’s experience.
At the end of the day, if you have a solid company culture in place, this process becomes much easier.
Consider: What information your team might need to improve the customer experience in your business.
Your company culture plays a major role in making your team want to provide quality service. As tricky as it may seem, your customer can feel when someone genuinely cares about their experience and when they are just “doing their job”.
You can create employee dedication to your customers by modelling the care and attention you would like them to mimic. Your employees will show more passion for customer service when they feel they are a valuable part of a team, not a replaceable part.
Spend time implementing a strong company culture that values each member and you’ll see the same manifest within your customer experience. When a customer offers a shining review of an employee, share it with the team to encourage others.
Consider: How can you improve your company culture to improve your customer’s experience?
Encouraging personalisation throughout your customer’s journey with your company makes your customer feel welcome and at home. When they feel at home they are more likely to continue doing business with you and recommend you to others.
Implement processes for your team to remember specific details about your customers, and activate personalisation in online or automated systems to help build personal connection with your clients.
Consider: Where you could you add extra personal touches to your marketing and operations?
Staying On Top of it All
Once you have set your customer experience strategy into action, your concentration should be on delivering consistent results.
As your business evolves, there will be new opportunities to enhance your customer’s experience. Something as simple as a new app or website tool can also enhance your customer’s experience, so pay attention to opportunities in the tech world.
This also means you’ll need to review and revise your customer experience strategy from time to time so that your business continues to perform well in the eyes of its customers.
Giving Your Customers the Memorable Experience they Deserve
Crafting the perfect customer service experience can be a game changer for your business. Not only will it enhance customer loyalty but it will also increase the likelihood of word-of-mouth advertising.
If the multiple moving parts of creating your customer experience strategy seem overwhelming, fear not. We’re here to help. With the right insight in place, you can create a customer experience that helps your business stand out. Contact us to discuss further.