There’s much buzz around customer experience heading into the new year. And with good reason: a customer who has positive experiences with a business is more likely to become loyal. And this leads to additional revenue.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience is the quality of all the interactions a customer has with a company and its products and services. It encompasses the entire customer journey—beginning with the first point of contact and ending with feedback channels. A positive CX can spark a devoted customer base. But a negative experience can influence potential clients before they even have contact with your company. For instance, how often have bad reviews from friends affected your opinion? On the other hand, think about how a friend’s excellent customer experience shaped your view.
A positive customer experience is essential: it builds brand loyalty. And loyal customers refer your product and services to friends or leave positive reviews that can earn new clients. Here are a few ideas to help improve customer experience in 2020.
Create an emotional connection. Positive emotions are the heart of customer loyalty. A brand builds a powerful emotional bond when it delivers superior service and meets clients’ needs—and especially when going beyond customer expectations. Customers that are surprised by pleasant experiences from a company are more likely to become loyal. For example, WestJet is well known for surprising its customers during the Christmas season. They’ve shocked customers with Christmas gifts on the luggage carousel. And they’ve also surprised them with their missed loved ones. These experiences create emotional connections and go viral—potentially gaining more loyal customers.
Provide multiple channels for customer feedback. And then take customer concerns seriously. To ensure your customer experience strategy is working, look at customer problems and issues from their point of view. And from here, solve issues in a way that eliminates customer effort. Regular customer satisfaction surveys will give you an idea of your customers’ experience with your product and services. You can also create a forum for your clients to request new services or features that make your products more useful. It allows customers to offer suggestions proactively. And if something comes up frequently, it’s worth looking into.
Simplify and speed up interactions. Think of the last time you went to a store to get a sale item only to find it in an overstuffed and unorganized rack at the back of the store. When customers can’t easily find what they are looking for, it’s not only frustrating; it wastes their time. In our busy world, wasting people’s time is akin to taking their money. Offer a clear and organized experience. Address any customer issues and resolve them as smoothly as possible.
Be transparent. Have you ever tried to opt-out of a service, but not been able to do it easily? Or then tried to contact customer service, but no straightforward way was available? You don’t want to confuse customers with unorganized information. You also don’t want to trick your customers into using your products or services. Customers that feel misled or frustrated are not likely to recommend a product—and may leave negative reviews.
Give customers self-service tools. Many customers prefer to have the opportunity to do things on their own. Self-service tools work well in situations where customers want fast experiences. Support information posted online for customers to find and use themselves, like FAQs and video tutorials, are useful. So are self-serve cashier kiosks at grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. Giving customers self-service tools allows for efficiency and speed.
Exploring how you can make your clients’ lives better can give you plenty of material for providing a fantastic customer experience in 2020.