Improve Your Customer Experience Journey
To highlight the significance of how important customer experience (CX) is, here's something to note – McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, suggests that brands could see revenues increase as much as 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve by up to 20 percent 1. That’s lucrative insight and one to clearly keep in mind as you move forward.
Your customer is your number one priority, so make their journey an unforgettable experience. This way you’ll deepen and strengthen your relationship with them, they’ll be more inclined to recommend you to others and most importantly they’ll be willing to pay higher prices, while splashing the cash. Keep them happy and they'll be more than happy to support you.
If you’re still wondering why you should invest in customer experience, here are some facts that prove the value of customer experience as per Forbes’s 50 Stats That Prove the Value of Customer Experience 2.
- Companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4–8% higher than competitors in their industries.
- Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.
- 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
- 81% of companies view customer experience as a competitive differentiator.
If you’ve already implemented a customer journey experience into your business plan, then you’re off to a good start. If not, here are some ideas to consider helping you to get started.
Identify your customers, who are they?
Understanding your target market is a necessary step in growing and improving your business. The more you know about your customer, the closer you are to gaining new ones and hopefully the right ones too.
Know who your ideal customers are and focus on customers who will benefit from your product. To get a jumpstart, use your current customer base so that you can seek out the type of customers you want to attract to your business.
Once this is done and you’ve created a tangible list, you can then send them a survey. It could include the following:
- What attracted you to our product?
- Would you recommend this product?
This is the foundation for creating a comprehensive target audience and customer profile. These key areas are important for you to build a strategic roadmap for your company/product. It’s a good steppingstone for getting started.
Create a customer persona
After you have gathered all the information about your customer and analyzed all of it, you can then create a customer profile/persona.
Our ideal customer - Hailey is a 35-year-old Marketing Manager with a household income of $148,7060. She’s married with twin girls, two dogs and lives downtown. Fashion and accessories are essential to her, and she roughly outlays between $3,000–$8,000 annually. She enjoys looking good, which makes her feel confident on the inside. (Simplified example for illustrative purposes only)
Creating this profile is not only handy for your business but insightful too.
Create a customer journey
To make sure your customer has a positive experience with your business, you want to ensure the customer journey is well thought out and every touch point is a memorable one.
While this may sound daunting, it really isn’t. All you’re doing is creating a visual map that illustrates your customers’ interactions with your business. You’re mapping out the entire process, which lets you engage, enhance and fulfill so that your customer can have an enjoyable experience throughout.
- Insights — from your existing customer journey, how to understand it better
- Impact — how to optimize budgets and effort for changes we want to make to the customer experiences
- Issues/opportunities — diagnose the existing customer journey
- Innovation — where you might want to completely change the existing customer experience
The right employees
As you already know, your customer always comes first. So, to ensure their experience is always positive, make sure you have the right people in place. Hire customer-centric staff who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, engaged and can foster meaningful relationships with your clients. Most importantly, make sure they are always attentive to your customer needs, while being true brand ambassadors at the same time.
But that’s only one half of the equation.
You also need to have an onboarding system in place that sets your employees up for success. Knowing they have the tools (learning maps) and support (training and coaching) can help them deliver a seamless experience.
Empower your employees
Various studies have shown that when you empower your employees it can lead to increased work performance, job satisfaction and continued loyalty to your business. In addition, it also conveys a sense of trust and empowers your employees to reach their full potential. This is vital as it is a catalyst for your employees to take the initiative and interact with your clients more frequently, while giving them the confidence to deliver a powerful customer experience.
Another way of empowering them is to be open and honest. Providing regular feedback and positivity can certainly give them a boost.
A recent survey by Gallup found that 67 percent of employees whose managers focused on strengths were fully engaged at work, compared to 31 percent of workers who received feedback centered on their weaknesses 4.
Create a feedback system
It’s one thing to service your customers, it’s another to understand their needs. When you incorporate customer feedback, it gives you valuable insight into their experience, opinions and preferences, which you can then use to your advantage. These little nuggets of information can help you improve or perfect the customer experience. It can also build stronger relations with them, as well as improve your products or services. The most important lesson — it gives you a clear indication of what you’re doing right or wrong.
If you’re looking for customer feedback tools, here’s an article that could be very helpful.
Another way to gather customer feedback is by using email. As email is more direct and personal, you can ask for a more candid response. Make sure your email is clear and don’t add too many questions as you don’t want to overwhelm your customer. For example, ask questions that’ll help you improve your product or service, or perhaps allow you to achieve your goals. Avoid at all costs — loaded questions, will not look good for you. Also, make sure you have customer buy-in/opt-in to get them to participate.
Customer interviews are also great as you’re creating a personal connection and showing that their feedback matters. Take the time to listen so that you can get a clearer grasp of what matters to them. If they have a pressing concern, deal with it then and there.
Always make sure that your customers can get in contact with you, whether it’s via your website, email or phone, offering them a direct line is the best way to stay in touch.
There are numerous ways you can receive feedback and communicate, whatever method you choose, make sure you use it. After all, it’s gold.
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