What makes a great customer experienceMarch 26, 2021
So, what makes a customer experience a great one? Before getting into this, we might need to take a step back, that is to see what customer experience is really about, to start with. A common definition is that customer experience is the overall perception customers have of a brand, based on their interactions with it.
Οthers can argue that it’s primarily rooted in customer service and user experience, which tend to influence customer sentiment the most.
Both right, but there could be more to it.
CX certainly influences brand perception, but it’s not just about how customers feel, and while service quality and user experience play a major role in customer satisfaction, they’re not everything, as customer experience doesn’t begin or end with one business function. Rather than the sum of all touchpoints and interactions that occur throughout the customer journey.
‘’Ok then, so, where does customer experience begin and where does it end?’’ you might want to ask.
Everywhere, as each and every department influences customer sentiment, whether they realize it or not, both on the post-, as well as the pre-sale experience, as it sets the tone for everything else. Also, great customer service means following best practices like valuing customers’ time, having a pleasant attitude, and providing knowledge and resources, but that you also take things a step further to exceed — rather than just meet — expectations. And finally, consistency is the key to happy customers, with companies that deliver consistent experiences throughout the customer journey, seeing higher customer satisfaction rates, increased revenue, and decreased overhead.
So how do you get there?
All the steps to a great customer experience
Every brand may be different, but customers generally want and expect the same things. Here are the steps you can take today to improve your customer experience:
- Define your customer experience. Make sure that you will set your standards and your company’s USP's and values early on. Then, check the customer journey to figure out if you have an aligned, consistent message across it, a solid sense of who you say you are, and who customers think you are.
- Listen to the voice of the customer. The only way to succeed is by listening to the voice of the customer and making your assessments based on their feedback. Requesting input from your customers is also a clear proof of concept on how much you value them.
- Find your customer pain points. Based on your customers' feedback, pinpoint those areas that impact their experience along the customer journey.
- Assess your data to make improvements. Now take those pain points...coordinates with the corresponding teams across your organization to find the best possible fixes and prioritize your most significant ones.
- Drive changes smoothly. Yes, you are ready to change everything and amaze your customers with your improvements. Well, maybe you shouldn't; better make incremental but meaningful improvements that you can measure over time. Small, solid steps will show you the way.
- Know your product, make no mistake. Expansive knowledge of your product is an essential customer service skill. Ideally, you should believe in your product, be able to discuss features and insightfully use cases, and show your customers how the product can benefit them — not to mention troubleshoot anything that’s not working right!
- Be positive. A positive attitude is a cornerstone to great customer service. Don’t be afraid to use emojis to convey warmth and good humor or pick up the phone if you find an email or chat conversation getting out of line.
- Find solutions. Don’t restrict your service to a simple fix, go the extra mile and try to solve your customers’ problems and meet their needs and you will win them over for a long time.
- Be responsive. Resolving customer queries as quickly as possible is essential for good customer service. Note the difference between the time it takes you to respond and the speed at which you resolve their problems; customers don’t want to languish in a ticket queue, but they’ll spend as much time as it takes to resolve their issue. You should, too.
- Get personal. Make your customers feel like more than just a ticket number, as they want to interact with a person — not a company. You are not expected to know everything there is on them, but going off script and giving the personal touch when you can is an important way to show your customers you know them and you care.
Customers have endless options and if a company isn’t meeting our needs, it’s pretty easy to find an alternative and this means there’s more opportunity than ever for companies to gain and lose customers rapidly. It’s not about price or product either. Customers are shopping for better experiences—for companies that understand their needs, make their lives easier, and treat them like actual humans. You only have to take all the above steps to build great customer service that keeps your customers loyal to you and your business.