The idiom ‘word gets around quickly’ has never been truer. A single article or social media upload could spread like wildfire within hours if the magic of internet says it so, making or breaking your brand along the way.
This, and even the traditional word of mouth (these two often times are the same exact thing) means that the customer experience is a critical part of brand building. Get it wrong and growth could be slower (or even kill the business), even if your product or service is equal or better than the competitor’s. To drive this point home, poor customer service is the second most common reason that would make people cut spending, just below pricing.
The problem is, a customer experience program that retain customers are usually template-like, and while effective, does not differentiate your brand from the others.
The edge needed for a more customized strategy can be broken into a few critical pillars, namely:
Specify the Main Objective
It’s difficult to get it all, so determine what is the main business goal concerning CX: improve customers satisfaction, or improve customer retention? Or is to acquire more customers? If unsure of objective, use (negative) customer feedback as a guide on which part of the service which needs to be improved. Once this is specified, then the next move is to have a metric to gauge performance.
Engage and Listen to Customers
Customers are usually more than happy to share their experience; it makes them feel appreciated and important. It doesn’t even need to be a face-to-face interaction as feedback can come from a variety of sources namely voluntary reviews or surveys. Of course, social media is another direct way to gauge how your product or service is rated. From all the data, including the type of customers and clients you have, the more focused the CX strategy will be.
Keep it Simple
A big part of a great service is how little a customer has to interact with a business representative to complete the transaction. Make the experience simple and that’s how a customer can be won over.
A few ways to achieve this simplicity are by:
– Make information complete and easy to find.
– Don’t make customers/clients wait (too long). If wait is unavoidable, inform them, but keep them engaged so they don’t seek options.
– Make checkout seamless. You’ve got the sale, don’t make customers regret it. Upselling and cross-selling are acceptable but keep it at a minimum.
– Train employees to know the product or service well and interact with customers with respect.
Focus on Technology
A lot of times, customer service now starts online. Things to note — keep website relevant and emphasize mobile platform too. Find out what the competitor is doing and always keep up with trends.
The Human Touch
Use technology to help provide a quick personalized service. This includes birthday wishes, recommendations based on past purchases, and updates on promotions. This factor is important for not only an omnichannel business where you interact with the customer even at a physical level, but also for online-only set-ups.