A business cannot grow without their customers; therefore, companies work hard to win new customers as well as keep their existing customers. Customer experience is the complete perception of a brand for the customers through several interactions with the company during the journey. It is more feeling orientated than problem orientated. Providing overall good customer experience by a company can lead to building long term relationship with its customers while being good only in one area but struggling in other areas can result in an overall poor experience.
Customer experience is different from customer service as customer service is only one aspect of the whole customer experience. It can often be about one single point, specific department or individual. A company provides support to customers who are having problems while purchasing its products or services. It plays a significant role because the whole customer experience can be strongly affected by customer service interaction. So, businesses should improve their customer experience if they want to scale.
Build a customer-focused Culture:
Building a customer-focused culture purely means making the customer experience a central part of the company’s goals and values. According to seohosting, it is 5 times costlier to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. So, the main goal of the company should be customer satisfaction rather than growth and profits. They should be in constant interaction with their customers at every phase of the journey. Without a customer-focused culture, companies can not really reach strong customer satisfaction levels.
Every employee has an impact on customers not only the customer-facing employees who interact with the customers so often. The key to a culture change is to Involve all employees. Each person in the company needs to understand how their role can influence customers.
For example, Zappos uses a customer-centric approach which has been established into their culture to deliver the best customer service and improve customer experience.
Know who your customers are:
It is obvious that if you don’t know who your customers are, you will never know what they want, and how you can help them achieve it. All customers do not have the same needs and you can discover several different types of customers with different requirements and expectations.
To know who your customers are, employees should recognize the targeted customers and think of the services from their viewpoint. Having a complete understanding of the customers through customer engagement data plays a great role in achieving fundamental business goals. It also empowers delivering improved customer experiences across the board. As said by Teradata, only 41% of companies use customer engagement data to update their marketing strategy.
Mobile customer support:
As an average user spends more than three hours daily, browsing and using their smartphone. So, the biggest brands offer mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites for their users to capture their attention and engage them. Customers can get their queries resolved on their smartphones that really improve customer satisfaction level. Some of the companies don’t focus on their mobile support so resulting in poor customer experience.
In the U.S, 63% of people use their smartphones to search for products and customer support every month.
Live chat support:
Customers had to wait in a long queue while contacting the company through phone calls so, live chat is now the fastest way for customers to contact a company directly from its website in real time. In the beginning, it was available only in retail websites online but nowadays, this is not limited to eCommerce websites. All well-known brands offer live chat support to improve customer experience.
Gartner predicts that about 85 percent of businesses will provide a live chat facility on their websites by 2022.
Social media support:
Social media support can be an influential communication way for a company to develop strong relationships with the customers, earn trust and build brand awareness. It is not only used for finding more followers or increasing sales, but it is also used for customer experience improvement.
Younger customers, who normally do not check emails will particularly expect social messaging to be their way to get in touch with companies, brands, and artists. So, it is important for companies to focus deeply on social media support and manage it well. Facebook has more than 2 billion users and Twitter has more than 330 million users. It shows how people are involved in social media.
An understanding of what other channels are suitable for your customer base:
Earlier, there used to be only one way to contact a company but now the businesses must provide the most suitable communication channels to make it easy for the customers to get in touch. Customers can use text, message, email, forums and any other way easier for them to contact. Some old age people prefer phone calls to contact while younger people use social media. It is believed that no single communication medium fits for all and depends on the customers.
Self serve tools:
Self-service helps the customers to get answers to their questions without the assistance of a representative from the customer service team. The commonly used self-serve tools include FAQs and online discussion forums. Self-serve tools are faster, hence ideal for saving customers’ time. It allows customers to take control of the way they use the service. Self-serve tools are no more a “nice to have” in the website. It is required to provide a positive customer experience.
Customer self-serve tools also help in reducing the load on customer support representatives and earn enhanced customer loyalty and experience. The study conducted by Dimension Data shows that 73 percent of the customers choose to use self-serve tools provided in the company’s website, instead of using phone calls, live chat, and social media for support.
Someone to be responsible for customer experience:
Nearly all the departments of a company do really influence the customer experience. It is not the job of one individual or department. therefore, everyone uses their efforts and enhance things in their own area.
In most companies, the marketing department helps in improving customer experience as a whole. In some cases, the top management work for it. But there is a customer experience manager that makes a connection between the company and the customer. And this person helps in managing customer experience job across all different departments.
The ability to research and gather data:
A survey conducted by Salesforce shows that 57% of the total customers share their personal data with companies to get special offers and discounts. Businesses collect a huge amount of data through many activities. It is important to analyze this data and utilize it for providing personalized services to customers and enhancing the customer experience. This helps a company keep a loyal customer base.
A report published by ICMI said that 69% of customers pay additional money if they are getting great customer service.
Ability to benchmark and evaluate:
The company should be able to collect and gather data trying out different things. Which support service is effective and which one is not. To know answers to all these questions there must be feedback giving the option for the customers. This will help the company to measure the effectiveness of each customer support method.
In today’s technological world and constant access to the internet, every customer wants 24/7 exemplary customer services from a company. So, every company must now try to make better customer service their top priority. It helps the company to take an edge over its competitors.