The type of customer experience you provide your customers will stay in their minds long after the sale. Positive or negative, it will impact the growth of your business and determine the success or failure of your enterprise.
A study by American Express found that customers tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, compared with 11 people they’ll tell about a positive experience. This spread of negative views about a brand through word of mouth can affect the industry-wide reputation and credibility of a company. Furthermore, positive client testimonials have a great impact on the purchase decision of new potential clients, marking it significant to offer the target market a great customer experience to cherish and pass on to others.
Here are 10 key points to consider when creating a positive customer experience strategy.
1. Make Business Easier
Show your customers they come first with your business by making their transactions and issue resolution as fast and easy as possible. Customers don’t want to work too hard to do business with your company. One way of doing this is by introducing the Customer Effort Score (CES). This performance measurement tool helps identify how much effort a customer has to exert to get his or her requests fulfilled.
2. Maintain High Standards
Make sure everyone on your team is committed to maintaining the highest standard of service. The best way to promote the standard is by leading it – in the way you deal with both employees and customers every single day.
3. Make Them Feel Important
Your customers know you have many other clients, but nevertheless they like it immensely when you make them feel important.
As an example, the team at card game platform Solitaired began offering their personal cell phones in their help responses. When a user complained about a bug in their solitaire games, their customer service team would let their users know that they could reach them at any time at their personal numbers while they address the issue. While no one called, the Solitaired team found the personal touch increased customer satisfaction scores by 18%.
4. Hire the Best Customer Service Reps
Make sure the employees you hire fit right into the culture you plan to or have instilled at your company. If possible, talk to new people about your aims and let them know how you operate your customer service. The more employees you hire who suit your customer orientated culture, the better the customer experience you will be able to provide.
5. Offer Understanding
Even when a customer is wrong, they should know that your business understands their position and wants to do everything possible to make them happy. The first step on the road to understanding is listening. Active listening begins by letting the customer talk without interruption. Once the customer has voiced their request, paraphrase their words back to ensure you heard and understood them correctly. Be sure all of your customer service reps have mastered the art of active listening and use it effectively with customers daily.
6. Respond Promptly
One of the essentials of a good customer service experience is prompt response to all posted inquiries and product issues by the clients. Any company which fails to provide quick response to all client posed questions and problems, runs a high risk of losing to competition within the industry.
Opposed to that, companies which have a properly managed customer service department with trained and experienced professionals, is sure to attract eager clients with their efficient services.
7. Tell the truth
Customers have the right to be told the truth – about your company, your products, and your procedures. It is never right to mislead a customer, even if it is done in the spirit of service. Some companies try to water down certain terms or procedures to make their business appear more customer-friendly. If that new terminology is not backed up with substance, it is just empty words to your customers’ ears.
8. Always Be Patient
While dealing with a variety of customers each day, every customer service associate is sure to have a need to practice self-control and patience. Some customers are actually annoyed and frustrated while others tend to create a fuss over a situation. All these conditions require a representative to deal with them in a patient manner, making them feel valued and important.
Rough handling of the clients or ignoring their needs is not a recipe for a good customer service experience.
9. Remain in Touch
The best way to improve your customer services is to remain connected with your customers. How can you do this? Social media is one way. Make sure you have a presence on the main social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. There are other ways as well, such as email and newsletters. And when your customers do business with you, always be sure to follow up with them later on.
10. Make a Lasting Impression
Studies have shown that a positive last impression can have as much of an impact as a good first impression. Always thank customers for their business and find out what else you can do to help before a customer walks out your door.
By creating and implementing a positive customer experience strategy you can move your business towards success and build satisfied, profitable, long-term customer relationships. Measure, track and optimize your customer experience strategy to find out what works best for you and your customers.