It’s no surprise why customer experience is in vogue. Businesses struggle on how to improve the customer experience as it is becoming one of the key differentiators for any brand. Hence increasing client experience should be the prime focus to make your brand stand out.
According to Forbes, “Customer experience is today’s business benchmark.” It is becoming the new norm for brands. It’s never been more important to put your customers first.
One of the first things that you can do to have a solid customer experience strategy is to enhance client experience across all the touchpoints. Consumers expect a positive experience, not just a transactional relationship, with the brands. As a business, you should deliver a delightful customer experience to make your business stand out from its competitors.
Why is improving customer experience important for businesses?
Positive customer experience is vital for your business success because satisfied customers convert to be loyal ones who help in boosting revenue. While it may seem like extra effort to focus solely on customer experience, it is worth it.
The value of focusing on improving CX is high due to the important customer journey questions asked and the below reasons.
Boost sales conversions
HBR study found out that customers who had previous best experience spent 140% more compared to those who have a bad experience. Having a satisfying brand experience results in higher customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Increase customer loyalty
Acquiring a new customer costs 7 times more than maintaining an existing one. Hence, creating a good experience delights your customers and ensures that they will keep doing business with you in the future. A superior experience becomes a valued asset for any type of business.
Higher client retention
Delivering prompt service boosts customer satisfaction and encourages them to retain with your business. With an increase in customer experience, customer support issues reduce significantly. Satisfied customers choose to be associated with a brand for a lifetime.
15 techniques to improve customer experience
The customer experience (CX) journey starts from the point they interact with your business, whether it is through the website, referral, or an advertisement. As a business, it is essential to take every possible measure for a delightful customer service experience.
Here is a list of techniques for businesses to implement for optimum results.
- Build an omni channel plan for better customer experience
- Deliver superior customer service
- Train your customer-facing teams effectively
- Leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Create self-service options for better customer experience
- Implement customer feedback to enhance the client experience
- Take social proof seriously to improve customer experience
- Keep your brand messaging clear
- Engage with your customers across their life cycle
- Make customers part of your company’s success
- Empower your team to go an extra mile
- Implement customer loyalty programs
- Optimize your customer journey
- Build a customer centric culture
- Make use of customer analytics
Let us discuss proven techniques to improve customer experience.
1. Build an omni channel strategy for better customer experience
Building an omnichannel strategy is very important to help businesses provide crucial insights into customer interactions and their behavior across their life cycle. The strategy includes multiple channels for sales, customer support, and marketing. 9 out of 10 consumers expect an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
Customers expect that every interaction with your business should be a similar experience. It means it should not be siloed. Having a seamless journey across all channels, both online and offline is the key to provide a consistent omnichannel customer experience.
Omnichannel CX strategy focuses on delivering a cohesive customer service experience irrespective of the channel used customers to reach out to your business.
Here is how an omnichannel communication strategy helps to improve customer journey.
- The strategy empowers customers to connect with the brand through their preferred channels by making a smooth transition in the same interaction.
- It helps to understand your customer journey better and collect insights and take action to improve various aspects of your business. It streamlines customer interactions under one platform for better team productivity to improve customer experience.
2. Deliver superior customer service
Customer service should be customer focused – not company focused. In order to enhance client experience, you need to evaluate every moment your customer interacts with your company.
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
Good customer service levels up customer satisfaction. Happy customers create positive word of mouth about you. One of the best ways to adopt an excellent customer engagement strategy to provide real time support.
By using digital customer engagement tools, you can make conversation interactive and increase client experience.
Here is how to improve customer experience by using digital engagement tools.
- You can instantly engage with customers with live chat and respond to their queries. Connecting with customers right away reduces the number of issues and improves the resolution time.
- For any complex issues, you can collaborate with customers in real time with co-browsing and reduce the number of touchpoints, thus improving first contact resolution (FRT).
- You can personalize conversations by using video chat solutions. It helps to identify the complex technical issues faster and provide effective solutions.
3. Train your customer facing teams to increase customer experience
Your customer-facing teams are the first people customers will interact with. They act as a lasting first impression of your brand or business.
As a business, you should have a defined standard for your customer interaction levels, and processes in place that can help your teams to maintain the level. But what exactly should it include?
Conducting regular training programs can help your sales, support, and marketing team to deliver flawless assistance. 88% of high-performing businesses are making significant investments in agent training compared to only 57% of underperformers. Great customer service experience hinges on the key points:
Your teams should have an understanding of your business and products as it is at the core of while dealing with customers. Conducting intensive product training helps in imparting authentic information related to your products & services. More importantly, giving product knowledge is one of the best ways of motivating customer service employees.
It can help businesses in the following ways:
- It helps to understand your customer needs faster and the solutions to offer.
- It builds confidence in dealing with customers by promptly responding to their queries.
- With strong product knowledge, you can deal with customer complaints effectively.
Fostering effective communication skills should be an integral part of the company’s values. Training the team with customer service etiquette. like patience, empathy helps to promote your brand to future customers and build a strong relationship. It can help your business in the following ways:
- It helps to learn the customer problem better and enable you to deliver faster support.
- The number of touchpoints is significantly reduced.
- When you assist customers in real time, it helps in reducing the sales cycle and increase sales conversions.
- You can personalize conversations, which can build trust and customer loyalty.
4. Leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken over largely in order to deliver an improved customer experience. Deploying chatbots can help businesses to enhance their customer service experience strategy and achieve faster growth.
Chatbots can save up to 30% in customer support costs and can help businesses by speeding up response time and answering up to 80% FAQs”. Bots are the best way to meet customer requests in real time. It reduces the customer frustration of being in long queues to get answers.
Here is how to enhance customer experience by deploying AI chatbots.
- Chatbots engage customers 24×7 to answer their simple queries even when your support team is busy or not available. Getting prompt answers helps customers not being on hold or queueing.
- With bots as the primary customer contact, can easily collect basic customer details such as name, email, etc. that further analysis.
- Bots are easily scalable during busy hours and deliver quality support without missing out on any conversations.
However, you cannot leave everything to AI. If there is a complex query there should be smooth handover to the human agent for effective resolution. Thus, you increase client experience with the chatbot managing the FAQs and live agents handling complex conversations.
5. Create self service options for better customer experience
Undoubtedly, it is vital to have a dedicated customer support team. But being reactive to your customers’ needs can only get you so far. The solution? Give them the means to become proactive.
Customers need to be able to find answers to their questions on their own. In fact, 70% of customers expect a company’s website to include self-service options such as support content, walkthrough videos, case studies, etc.
Self-service provides a few perks that traditional customer support simply cannot offer thus providing an improved customer experience. Here is how self service options can be better customer experience ideas.
- Self-service portal saves time and helps clients locate the information that they need more quickly by using information from past problems.
- It expands customer’s knowledge and gives them the tools they require for solving other similar issues in the future.
- Intuitive self-service options strengthens the brand reputation by creating positive client interactions.
Key takeaway: Treat your customers with the respect they deserve, by giving them the self-service tools necessary to serve themselves.
6. Implement customer feedback to enhance client experience
Appeasing customers is one of the key objectives of every business. But the question arises how would you know that your efforts are getting you expected results?
If you as a business are able to understand what is your customers’ perception of your brand, you can provide them an improved customer experience. Collecting, analyzing, and implementing the feedback should be the process for improving customer experience.
Choosing the right communication channels can connect with your customers and help to gather actionable feedback. With channels like live chat, in-app, or chatbots, you can ask for customer feedback just after every conversation. It helps to understand the customer experience and satisfaction level.
How to improve customer experience by implementing customer feedback?
- With feedback & opinions, you ensure that the end product will meet customer expectations, solve their problems, and fulfill their needs.
- While collecting feedback, you actually show that their opinions are valuable, which makes them feel attached to your business.
- Listening to customers’ comments help in accessing client satisfaction and provide opportunities for sales conversions.
7. Take social proof seriously to improve customer experience
The concept of social proof suggests when customers see others have enjoyed your products or services and they feel more comfortable making decisions about your brand. Social proof can be in the form of customer reviews, testimonials, star ratings, case studies, celebrity endorsements, and much more.
Customer testimonials and reviews are a worldwide norm. They trust the honest opinion of your customers way more than your marketing content. 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family, and 91% occasionally or regularly check online reviews before making a purchase.
How customer testimonials can be great customer experience techniques?
- By showing the number of current customers, subscribers, reviewers, and more, businesses make it easier for customers to see what other people think.
- It helps businesses to establish a level of trust with new customers and reinforce their own credibility as a brand.
Using reviews is a powerful customer service and marketing tool to improve customer experience. To a greater extent, it influences buyer behavior as it shows the perception of customers who have used the product. It also gives customers a reason to trust your company.
8. Keep your brand messaging clear
One of the ways to improve customer experience is to check on your brand message. Clear brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition and language used in your copies.
If your messaging copies are not clear visitors might get confused and might decline. Hence, it is imperative that you know your target audience and set messaging accordingly. Some tips you can follow to keep your messaging clear. Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Communicate what services or products your company sells.
- Ensure that the value proposition is able to convey what you do or what you sell, can positively impact their lives.
- Keep the prime focus of your brand messaging both your brand’s purpose and value, but the trick is to do so in a way that focuses on customer needs or pain points.
For improving client experience, be customer-centric in approach. View your brand from the outside in. They convey who you are and what you stand for.
Keyways how clear brand messaging can increase customer experience
- It helps your audience to get the right information about the product you are selling.
- The brand message makes customers relate to your brand because it is persuasive and sticky.
- Create short messages that focus on customers not just profits.
Pro tip: Brand messages have the ability to make or break your campaign. Hence, it is the most important quality to keep your message simple and effective.
9. Engage with your customers across their life cycle
It’s no secret that engaging customers across the whole lifecycle are crucial to achieving increased sales and enhancing customer experience. Get the visualization of the customer lifecycle chart.
The six main stages of customer lifecycle are:
- Awareness: It is the first stage when customers become aware of the existence of your brand, product, or service.
- Engagement: Customers consider what others are saying about your business and how you respond to service requests or complaints.
- Evaluation: Before making a decision, they compare and research. Offering digital self-service options can help customers evaluate products.
- Purchase: It is when customers have made their decision. Providing help to customers at this point is critical.
- Product experience: Delivering a good quality product ensures success at this stage by providing exceptional support.
- Advocacy: It is the final stage in the customer life cycle. You can continue to provide consistent support and to convert them into your brand advocates.
When talking about the customer lifecycle, we need to consider the main stages that take a buyer from the first acquaintance with your product or service through purchase, loyalty, and retention.
The key benefits of engaging customers across their journey are:
- You can increase the lifetime value by improving customer experience across all the stages of their journey.
- The marketing efforts achieve a higher return on investment (RoI) and maximum value for your brand.
- Improve your conversion rates by focusing on customer retention and increase overall sales for your business.
10. Make customers part of your company’s success
As we all know successful businesses are the ones with satisfied customers. One of the most important parts of building strong customer relationships is to make them part of your community or social events.
Customers feel valued and honored when you include them as your team and give the credit for your success. It is a big thing for them. Not always monetary favors are appreciated. You can acknowledge their positive contribution to the company’s growth in the following ways.
- Reward your loyal customers – Give customers a reason to recommend you to friends by offering them discounts or free gifts in return for every new customer they introduce to your business.
- Giving them early access – You can provide early access to the newly launched product to make them feel special.
- Offer discounts for high-spending customers – Offer price reductions to customers when they reach a particular spending target.
11. Empower your team to go an extra mile
Outstanding customer experience is one that keeps customers coming back while spreading the word about their experience. One of the ways to make sure your customers are completely satisfied is to give your employees the resources and authority to deliver on the promise of excellent service.
When customers have problems, it becomes even more important. Empowering your employees to do what is best for the customer will avoid negative experiences.
How to increase customer experience by employee empowerment?
- Organizations must listen to their employees and address their problems and needs.
- Implanting a shared purpose in frontline workers, rather than implementing behavioral rules, will boost employee motivation.
- Responsibility should be assigned to frontline workers, in order to support creativity and innovative thinking.
12. Implement customer loyalty programs
As simple as it is – offer great customer service, and you are guaranteed customers for life. Lifetime customers also mean an increase in referrals, hence customer loyalty is very important.
A good customer loyalty program can generate significant benefits in recurring revenue for your business by improving customer experience.
For crafting customer loyalty programs the most important step is to identify your regular customers by analyzing their annual purchase, what, and how frequently they buy. Then prepare the loyalty programs by assessing your customers’ level of satisfaction via surveys, interviews, and monitoring customer comments.
In order to increase customer experience and RoI, businesses have taken to expanding their loyalty rewards to incorporate social and behavioral actions, like referral rewards and points for user-generated content, also providing customers a more personalized experience.
Let’s take the example of Sephora, the leading beauty brand globally.
They launched a tri-tiered “Beauty Insider” program to offer customers more lavish rewards and gifts. They give customers a product try-on with a virtual assistant, to help them find the perfect product for their skin type. Personalizing customer experience makes customers feel like they are part of your brand or community.
13. Optimize your customer journey
Considering the entire customer journey is very important for enhancing customer experiences. McKinsey’s research suggests that customer journeys are significantly more strongly correlated with business outcomes than are touchpoints.
It means once defining the customer journey, you have to map the whole journey to clearly understand the end-to-end experiences with consumers. This will help how were the interactions at each touchpoint, identify the gaps or improvement areas
How focusing on customer journey improves customer experience?
- Identifying the problems within them, focusing on the customer journey offers new opportunities to create a great customer experience.
- It enables customer support teams to plan strategies to reduce friction, enhance business relationships, and increase growth.
- Customer journeys are “30% to 40% more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction and business outcomes.
14. Build a customer-centric culture
Being customer-centric means developing a focal point towards delivering a positive experience throughout the customer journey. When you focus on increasing customer experience, it drives repeat customers and increases loyalty.
Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer.
How can you improve customer experience by being customer-focused?
When you put your customers at the core of your business, you can collect a lot of useful data that can give a 360-degree view of the customers.
- You can use the data to understand customer behavior and interests.
- Then identify the best opportunities to offer products or services to the right customers. This can help to enhance the customer experience.
15. Make use of customer analytics
Research shows that “90% of business managers believe analytics has the ability to improve sales.
Providing a great customer experience is hard and tying it to tangible business outcomes is even more difficult. In order to quantify customer experience, you first need to create a single view of the customers as they interact with your brand across channels and over time.
To achieve this unified view and deliver personalized customer experiences, making use of customer analytics is a must for a behavioral driven engagement.
With the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, businesses can easily collect customer analytics. By using the power of analytics, you can measure detailed behavioral, demographic, and other customer experience metrics in real-time.
Final thoughts on improving customer experience
It is clear by now that improved customer experience provides great opportunities that directly impact your topline performance. With the right CX strategy in place, it not only helps to improve customer experience but also make your organization customer-centric with long term benefits.
Hence, whether you are a small business or large enterprise focusing on improving customer experience will long a very long way.