Five things you can do to improve your CX for $5 or lessby
Improving your customer experiences doesn't have to require vast investment - there are a host of cheap tactics that can deliver quick wins.
"A moderate increase in CX generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues," states a report published by Temkin Group.
“Delivering great experiences reduces the cost to serve customers from what it was previously. Unhappy customers are expensive, after all,” states Harvard Business Review.
“74% of senior executives think that CX impacts customer loyalty,” states a global CX study by Oracle.
Customer experience has been a brand differentiator for a very long time. There is no denying that! The above stats prove it.
However, many believe that to create a successful CX programme you’ll need a huge investment. And that’s not true! Yes, you do need some. But again, why should you invest in something that you are not sure will work?
Thinking the same, one of my good friends, Aileen Day, CX thought leader and founder of Meraki Business Solutions, asked on Twitter "How can you improve CX in $5 or less?" and many CX leaders responded. And there were some really good answers.
So I thought, let’s go ahead and create a comprehensive article to amplify this. And so here are five things you can do to improve your customer experience for $5 or less.
1. Celebrate wins with your employees and leadership
When your employees are happy, they serve the customers better. Your employees are putting in constant effort and time to keep your customers happy! It is your job to acknowledge their efforts and celebrate their wins.
Because when you do that, you assure them, and the entire team that what they are doing is significant and meaningful.
So, spend some time with them. Encourage them when they handle disgruntled customers like a pro. And when they do, appreciate them! No, not in person but in front of everybody. As soon as they reach the office, get up, clap for them, and shout ‘he/she has done a great job. Congratulations!’
Or send a ‘thank you’ note.
Alternatively, if you are working from home, start a meeting with a positive incident. Amplify employees’ good work as much as you can and show them the impact of their work. Start every monthly leadership meeting sharing testimonials which display the positive impact of CX changes on the lives of customers.
Well, this will certainly boost the employees’ morale!
Shep Hyken, customer service and experience expert also gives some great pointers! He says “Employees want to be acknowledged - Give the team members a thank you note. Have a surprise ice cream break. Improve the mood. Have an HR manager (Humor – not Human – Resource) find a fun YouTube video for everyone to watch. Under two minutes. Nice break in the day.”
Which is great, right? Who doesn’t want a thank you, or a break, or some fun time?
And all of this is for free! All you need to do is focus on your employees and share their good work around.
2. Establish accountability
Having a CX metric is not enough. It needs to be measured, monitored, and taken action on! And if you have not assigned any ownership for it, there is not going to be any development. No metric is going to improve on its own!
So define accountability for the outcomes.
Define who will own it, what will they do, how are they going to do it, and what is the vision. Only after this is done, the monitoring, analysis, and improvement part begin.
Sean B Hawkins, customer experience and contact centre manager at Lenovo, rightfully said “Hold stakeholders accountable to address things that impact #CX”.
Because only when someone is held accountable, can things progress!
3. Share customer stories around
Here’s a story...
Max was planning a family vacation so he booked four tickets to Miami for his family. But, the pandemic hit. All the flights were canceled. Desperation, helplessness, and anxiety hit the world. Max lost his job. He was stuck at home with no income and a family to take care of!
He requested a refund from the airlines. The first month went smoothly, he pinged them two-three times. But the next month, the financial crisis struck. He was afraid of the coming days. He had to pay the EMIs, his kids’ school fees, loans, etc. Every day, he called the airlines explaining to them his situation but they always put him on hold for a long time, passed on the calls from one team to another, or gave vague answers to him. He had lost hope in them. He gave up!
His family and friends came together and helped him get through these difficult times. Even the airlines eventually refunded his money after six months. But what was the point? Besides, he promised himself that he is never going to book from the same airlines.
Tell customer stories. At your periodic operational or leadership meeting, start with a story. The discipline of starting with the customer starts to change mindsets.
Did this story move you?
Well, it moved the CX team of the airlines.
So much so that when the CX manager of the airlines came across this incident they reached out to Max, refunded him the amount in double, and sent a personalised apology. Also, they created a process where emergencies like these are handled humanely. And if such similar incidents occur again, they will be prioritised.
Stories connect people together. They help employees be in customer shoes, empathise with the customer, understand their problems, and encourage them to resolve their issues. CX advisor and managing principal of EX4CX, Rick Denton advises, “Stories are free. Tell customer stories. At your team huddles (you have those right?) start with asking about a customer story. At your periodic operational or leadership meeting, start with a story. The discipline of starting with the customer starts to change mindsets.”
That's the power of the stories. They connect people emotionally and are absolutely free.
4. Be the customer of your product/service
When you use your product or service, you realise how many changes are still required, what can be improved, what can be added, what all things are not required, and can be removed. Also, you could help simplify many processes and workflows so that the customers will have to put in minimum effort.
One great idea is to be a customer of your own product and services. Travel their whole journey.
Here’s another story.
The AZ convenience store has thousands of branches all over India. One day, Charlie, its CX manager, went to one of the stores to see how customers feel at these stores. That’s why he did not reveal his identity to anyone.
He picked up a bacon sandwich of the YZ brand and asked the store owner to warm it for him. The owner bluntly said - No. He simply asked why? The owner said that it's a policy that they cant warm any food item of other brands. They can only do it for theirs!
Charlie was furious. He argued a bit saying, should he eat a cold sandwich or leave the story feeling hungry? The owner was adamant and didn't budge! Disappointed, Charlie realised how many customers must have left the store feeling angry, hungry, and disappointed. He quickly worked on these policies. Now, whatever food items the customers wanted warm, they’ll have it!
This is why you should be the customer of your own products or services. Travel the path that your customers take and you might uncover things like this.
These are the kind of gaps you’ll find when you travel through their journey. So, before asking your customers to try your product or service, do it yourself.
5. Leverage free CX tools
It has always been said that investment is required for a CX programme!
Yes, that’s true. CX software and tools are required for a successful CX programme. But not all companies can afford to spend money on those.
So, how to resolve your customers’ issues without spending any money on tools? Go for the free software or the ones that give unlimited free trials. And trust me, there are plenty!
Talking about the same, Jeremy Watkin, CX leader and director of CX and support at Numberbarm shares a number of tools that can help you create an efficient CX programme. He says “We become so enamored with #CX tech that costs $$$. I'm drawn to free tools like Slack and Zendesk integration via MaestroQA to celebrate positive feedback, Loom for recording and sharing videos with customers, and CXAccelerator and #CXQOTD for incredible networking!” Elsewhere, Aileen Day adds that she loves Canva for creating engaging comms and thank you letters to clients!
So, why not grab these awesome free tools and get going?
That’s not it! There are plenty of other ways to improve your CX for $5 or for free. But you need to take a step forward.
There is so much more to customer experience than this. It needs consistency, nurturing, and time. But the result it’ll provide will take your business to the next level! It will boost customer loyalty, increase revenue, and improve retention.
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