Every business talks about the importance of customer experience, and for good reason. In a world where customers often go into a shop knowing exactly what they want to buy if they have not ordered it online already, competing on offering a great customer experience is now a more effective means of winning and repeatedly engaging customers than price or product quality.
But as McKinsey notes, there is a lot more to customer experience than asking workers to smile or filling out their orders efficiently. When a customer pays a bill or decides to buy something, the entire process is a journey with important moments that can affect a customer’s opinion of a company. A company truly committed towards a strong customer experience approach needs to design a process where from beginning to end, a customer can feel like the company truly cares about their needs and desires.
Creating that process can be a challenge and often requires a step back to reexamine your company. Here are a few tips which can help.
- Happy Employees, Happy Customers
The first step to give customers a great experience is to stop the foolish mantra of “the customer is always right.” Your company can design the best customer experience ideas in the world, but it is your employees who will implement said ideas. If the employees are convinced that the company will never trust them and will always trust the customer instead, they are not going to be happy. If they are not happy, they will not provide a good experience.
Shutting down that mantra is the first step, but the basic idea is to understand that in order to provide a good customer experience, you have to provide a good employee experience. Listen to their suggestions, provide friendly, open spaces for them to interact with another, and be positive. A business which wants customers to trust them needs to show they are capable of trusting others.
- Data Matters
The Harvard Business Review has some excellent tips for building a strong customer design which emphasizes breaking down both your business and your customers into segments so that you can figure exactly what the customer needs and how to build the best experience.
But in order to get the most out of this breaking down process, your business needs to know how to manage data. Data is the lifeblood of building a customer experience strategy, as only through data can you figure out what approaches work and do not work with your particular business. Collect data with employee and customer surveys and technology to give your business the best information. This is how Eddie Madan, CEO of Edkent Media, implements the web design of his clients.
At the same time, do not forget the human element as customers will still crave human contact and experiences. Encourage workers to be positive, creative, and go above and beyond to help customers.
- Touchpoints are not everything
Customer experience design often emphasizes the importance of touchpoints, or the moments when a customer and company are talking, as the prime moments to build a strong customer experience in the customer journey. That is not good enough. If a customer has frustrations using your product regularly, a bright smile at the store or a receptive answer from a call center is not going to make up for it.
This means that companies should not just wait until the customer has a problem with their product to interact with them. A customer with a problem is already in a bad mood and will look for any excuse to declare that they have had a bad experience and look elsewhere. Instead, businesses need to be proactive and regularly interact with the customer, assuring them that they will always be there to solve their problems.
Constant communication is critical towards building a good customer experience.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As head of social media strategy, Alex is directly responsible for the customer experience and long term engagement with the brand. He believes this can only be achieved through a methodical approach to processing customer feedback and conducting A/B testing during all campaigns. This way, the marketing strategy team can grow from one campaign to the next.
Outside business, Alex is a keen videographer and music producer, living and working in Brighton, UK.