5 Tips That Help Create a Customer Experience Strategy
Posted on August 9, 2018 by Danny Leffel
Nearly every decision you make in your business will affect the customer experience, and that, in turn, will impact everything from customer satisfaction to your retention. It even influences how much customers are willing to spend on your products or services. In fact, two-thirds of those surveyed by American Express in 2014 indicated they would be willing to spend 14 percent more with a company that offers excellent service.
The bottom line is this: If you want your business to succeed, you need a comprehensive customer strategy.
What Is Customer Experience?
Every interaction a customer has with your business — from walking into your restaurant to making a purchase or contacting customer support — influences their opinion about your business. Taken together, these interactions make up the “customer experience” (CX).
Although the terms “customer service” and “customer experience” are closely related, they are not synonymous. Customer service is an important part of the customer experience, but it’s only one part. Customers will notice the atmosphere and cleanliness of your restaurant, the location and layout of your store, and the speed and navigability of your website. They will form opinions about the quality of your products or services, and they might follow your company’s posts on social media. All of these things and more are part of the customer journey and should be addressed in your CX management strategy.
Start building your own customer experience strategy with the following tips.
1. Craft a Customer-Centric Vision
Your attempts at CX innovation are more likely to succeed if you have a clear vision of what kind of experience you want to offer your customers. If your business already has a set of core values or guiding principles, let those shape your CX strategy. Your goal could be making customers feel like family or always going above and beyond to meet their needs. Incorporate a customer-focused approach into every aspect of your business, from the way employees greet customers to the materials or ingredients you use.
As part of this holistic strategy, marketing should work its way from the inside out. Proper internal branding will help get your employees on board and bring your customer experience vision to life. To that end, use the Crew app to communicate your CX plans to your team members. The Crew app gives companies and frontline employees a new way to communicate, stay engaged and be more successful as well as keep track of important announcements, knowing who reads what and when.
2. Look for Emotional Connections
Professionalism is important, but don’t let it smother one of your team’s most valuable assets: their humanity. Hire employees who genuinely care about your customers, and empower them to treat customers like real people rather than numbers. When customers share personal stories, you have a chance to make an emotional connection and leave a deeper impression. Getting customers to associate your business with a positive emotion can increase their loyalty, inspire referrals, and influence other positive business results.
3. Actively Seek Customer Feedback
What better way to foster customer centricity and a superior CX than to ask customers for feedback? You can do this through short customer surveys or comment cards. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews online or ask for feedback in person. Find out what your customers appreciate most about your business and what they think you could do better, then show that you value customer feedback by adjusting your CX accordingly.
4. Get Employees Involved
Almost as important as customer voice is employee feedback. Both brand-new and seasoned employees can offer valuable insight, so give them a chance to speak up regularly. It’s wise to take your employee’s suggestions into account when you create customer experience strategies for your business since they are the ones who interact with your customers on a daily basis.
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5. Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
Customer intelligence is the process of gathering information about your customers — and it’s a crucial step in developing successful CX strategies. Learning more about your customers makes it easier to anticipate and meet their needs. You will be better equipped to write content your customers find useful, recommend other products they might enjoy, and customize special offers to draw their attention. You can also make more informed decisions about everything from prices and hours to paint colors and seating arrangements.
In the age of Amazon, customer expectations are rising, and your business needs to be ready to meet and exceed them. Remember the 14 percent figure from the American Express survey? The same fraction of respondents were willing to pay 9 percent more for excellent service in 2010 and 13 percent in 2012. This upward trend has continued, with more than two-thirds of consumers willing to spend an average of 16 percent more in 2017.
Happy customers are loyal customers — and happy customers don’t happen by accident. Rather, they are the result of positive experiences fostered by an effective CX strategy. Follow the tips above to start your customer experience transformation today.