This post was originally published on CX Expert. It has been updated to reflect current market trends and new research.
What do you understand by customer experience?
My understanding of customer experience is the customer’s cumulative attitude and feelings towards the interactions and quality of services provided by the supplier or the supplier’s employees.
Customer care determines how a customer perceives the brand. To create a good customer experience, a business owner should ask themselves, “What do my customers want?” All successful companies and business owners ask themselves this question.
A business owner should take the following points into consideration to improve their customer experience:-
Customers go through a system of mini-experiences that add up together to form what they refer to as customer experience of a given company or business during their interactions with a company or business. Companies need to observe and view the world as their customers. This helps companies to reorganize themselves around the needs of the customers.
Customer experience has to be designed by shaping all the interactions into desired sequences. This will involve creating and establishing the company cultures and the introduction of new approaches that of course blend well with modern technological advancement.
The first two points involve establishing a system of customer care. They basically are writing the customer care constitution of the company in question. Now, sometimes just writing the constitution is not the hardest part, implementing it is. Getting your employees to provide the good customer experience that you intend for your customers is not something you wake up and do but takes time, probably years, to get cemented and becomes a culture in your business.
Let’s take an example so you see what I’m talking about.
I have a friend that bought a laptop. The laptop came installed with the Windows 8 operating system. He didn’t want Windows 8 though, he wanted Windows 10. He didn’t think it was a big deal though, he would get Windows 10 and install it himself, so he thought.
Unfortunately, when he tried installing windows 8 on the laptop, he got an error message. It turns out the laptop wasn’t compatible with windows 10. He tried contacting the store and every time they presented him with a series of emails explaining to him on how he should go about it and every time, it didn’t work.
He personally took the laptop to the store and the response was exactly the same. Nobody at the store was willing to take it upon themselves and install the OS for him instead, they just kept telling him what he should do.
He was so frustrated and really felt the customer experience of the store was of very poor quality. Meanwhile, the employees at the store felt they were offering the best customer experience considering how eager they were at asking him to submit his reviews on customer satisfaction.
Their attitude was that the customer should bear the burden of ensuring the product they bought was working properly and to their satisfaction. The store was losing customers for placing the burden of customer satisfaction and good results on the customer instead of considering the three points I stated initially to rewire their company and create a good customer experience culture.
Good customer experience is supposed to make it easier for a customer to purchase your product, not harder. In the modern world, almost every product you offer is being offered by many other businesses and companies and individuals. The competition is high. Customers are looking for the slightest hurdles, and that will justify their moving from you to another supplier. The options are too many. Don’t let a basic thing like Customer experience keep customers away from your business. Master the three points or customer experience, observe, shape, perform.
The customer is always right, and any change that needs to happen should be done by the businessperson.
What the Business Should Do To Improve CX
Be Likeable to Your Customers.
This involves making it easier for the customer and not easier for you. Don’t come up with terms and conditions that are favorable to you at the expense of the customer. Observe and shape the areas where you receive complaints from the customers. It is important that in your observe phase, you involve the customer. You can get their views through having suggestion boxes and giving them voluntary questionnaires to fill after interaction with them.
Develop a Fan Culture
An important part of CX is the culture of the business.
A customer buys your product at their own convenience, but a fan will go through hurdles and obstacles just to buy your product. Fans will keep you afloat even in the hard times.
Getting fans is not an easy task though. This could result in a complete overhaul of your business. The overhaul should be done with the customer as the centerpiece – the transformation should be such that everything else revolves around the customer. Your research should ask the right questions – especially those whose answers you don’t like to hear – they are normally the most transformative. Focus on what the customer wants and feels other than the quantitative “how many ………….. how much ……… .” Type of questions.
The customer is always right – even when s/he is wrong.
In the modern era of social media, this is not just a buzzword to get business owners to do better. This is actually a do or die thing – you only need a few dissatisfied customers on social media complaining about your poor handling of customers and boom! Your business is in shatters.
However, a good CX can save you from this. Having the majority of your customers happy about not just your product but also how they were handled by you or your employees could earn you more than you bargained for. Customers are not going to be so happy if you insist on having them cater for themselves during interactions with your business. This burden shouldn’t be born by your customers but you.
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