In my experience, customer experience is increasingly proving to be a key differentiator; and if your customer experience is subpar, so will your sales numbers.
Successful customer experiences are scalable and can be managed consistently across multiple channels. Your customers’ experience must be unique. And, for it to be successful, it needs to be clearly defined so that each one of your employees understands how to deliver the experience you want to create for your customers.
There is always room for change, especially when it comes to your approach to customer service and the customer experiences you create. As your customers’ needs evolve over time, so will your approach to providing memorable service. If you become complacent and fail to realize the need to constantly change your approach to customer service, you will lose customers to competitors who are willing to continuously change.
Here are 7 tips to continuously improve your customer experience:
1. Connect on an emotional level. While your customers’ transactional needs are important, focusing on their emotional needs will help you create a more personalized experience and develop your relationship with them. This will also help you provide better service.
2. Make the experience scalable. You never know how or when a customer may connect. Therefore, you need to make your experience flexible and scalable across your company. Whether they connect with your company through your website or in person, the experience must be consistent.
3. Make it easy for employees to provide great service. Rules and policies often get in the way of providing memorable customer experiences, and they can handcuff your employees’ ability to resolve issues and provide effective service. Review your rules and regulations and make sure they are not impeding your company’s ability to meet your customers’ needs.
4. Get frontline team members to buy in. If your frontline employees who communicate with your customers on a regular basis do not buy in, the customer experience will fall short. Failure to provide a great experience could also be a sign there are issues with internal processes or perceptions about your customers’ needs. Work with your employees, provide the necessary training and get their feedback to keep them engaged and willing to provide great service.
5. Be consistent. People expect consistent customer service, regardless of how or whom they interact with from your company. Therefore, it’s important to get all levels of your organization involved. Have an internal feedback and review process in place to ensure all team members are on the same page.
6. Don’t make assumptions. Never assume anything about your customers. If you are not sure, ask by requesting feedback. Don’t be afraid to be direct. Ask them what your company can do to create a better customer service experience. Ask them about the changes they would like to see.
7. Test, measure and refine. Your customers’ expectations will change over time and as your relationship with them evolves. It’s important to always be testing, measuring and refining the value of your customer service. Make sure you have the tools in place to measure the strength and effectiveness of the experiences you are providing to your customers.
Continuously changing and improving the experience you provide your customers will help you to better understand their needs, create an emotional connection and develop a deep relationship over time.
About the Author
Bill Hogg is widely recognized as the Performance Excelerator™. This is due to his ability to create profound change and deliver extraordinary results within the most demanding organizations. He works with senior leadership teams to navigate change and transform organizations into high performance, customer-focused cultures that create long-term, profitable relationships with customers and excelerate performance and productivity with leaders and employees.