1. Define Target Customers | 2. Understand Customers | 3. Customer & Employee Feedback | 4. Marketing Towards CS |
5. Reduce Customer Effort | 6. Seamless Experience | 7. What Matters to Customers | 8. Build Relationships | 9. Communication Is Key
The Adobe 2020 Digital Marketing Trends Report has revealed that the #1 most exciting opportunity for companies this year is customer experience.
What’s more, statistics are showing that companies who implement an effective customer experience strategy could experience a 70% increase in revenue in as short a period as 36 months.
Findings such as these indicate that CX is one of the most valuable areas of investment. However, before you dedicate budgets to the improvement of your company’s CX strategy, you first need to get clear on the most impactful strategies to implement.
Otherwise, you might end up leveraging resources but not seeing results.
Fortunately, you are in the perfect place to get started formulating a superior strategy. Read on as we walk you through five essential steps to improving customer experience.
1. CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS
One of the first steps towards designing an effective customer experience strategy is to define your target customers.
Defining your target customer is essential for both branding and marketing. It is also a vital component of a successful customer strategy.
By defining your company’s target customers, you will be able to refine how service agents interact with customers and leads. You will also be able to adjust the tone of communications, and the type of support materials needed.
An effective way to define your target audience is to segment it. Then create customer personas. An example of a persona would be:
“Ellen, age 39, is active, has multiple gyms memberships, and is concerned with healthy aging. She and wants to take the best quality supplements for enhanced longevity. Has extensive knowledge of supplements.”
“Peter, age 27, does home workouts. He is looking for ways to increase muscle gain through supplementation. Has an entry-level knowledge of supplements.”
These types of personas can help customer service teams relate to potential customers and connect to their needs.
2. WORK TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMERS
Every business wants to impress its customers. After all, if customers have a great experience, they will be more loyal. They’ll even spread the word about their good experience and do some marketing for you.
Why is it then that so many customers end up disappointed?
A disconnect between a company’s goals and the true user experience its customers are on the other side of.
Businesses with this problem haven’t done their research. They haven’t invested in the aspects of customer experience management (CEM) that are truly important to customers themselves.
Your efforts should be focused on your best customers. Those that are already most likely to purchase your product or service are your best bet. This is where your efforts should go to.
Research these customers and discover what makes them tick. If you can identify what drives these customers, your marketing efforts will be better rewarded. Only after doing your research should you develop a customer experience strategy and marketing plan to develop a product that is built for your target audience.
Armed with a better understanding of your customers, you can develop every aspect of your marketing and sales campaign around them.
3. FOCUS ON BOTH CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK
According to a study by Bain and Company, 80% of companies consider their customer experience to be excellent. However, only 8% of customers agree.
The takeaway from this is even if you think that you’re doing a good job at delivering a superior customer experience—you might not be.
Therefore, customer feedback is vital for improving your customer experience strategy.
Customer feedback opportunities can be integrated at various stages through the buyer journey. Here are some examples of feedback features that can garner valuable customer feedback:
- Online surveys after checkout
- Rating functions for products
- Review capabilities
- Rating functions and surveys for support interactions
Surveying your customers about their experiences can be a valuable tool. You can monitor social channels and internet reviews for bad experiences. These should be handled promptly and publically to show your customers how much you care.
While responding to public feedback is a great way to show your commitment to positive customer experiences, don’t underestimate the value of anonymous survey feedback. Not only will you uncover issues you didn’t realize you had, but you’ll also have a way to measure your improvements.
To leverage this feedback, the next step is to create action plans around common problem areas.
Another area of feedback that is often neglected, but profoundly insightful, is employee feedback. Employees who are on the ground dealing with customers and dispute resolution may have crucial information about potential roadblocks in the customer journey. They will also be able to report on the business’s ability to deliver outstanding service.
Most companies that collect employee feedback do so once a year. This is not nearly enough. To maximize the potential of employee feedback, companies should look into using tools to facilitate continuous feedback from employees.
This can be done through applications such as project management software, or even social media tools.
Here are the 12 Essential CX KPIs to Track
4. LEARN FROM MARKETING TOWARDS CUSTOMER SERVICE
Reports show that up to 87% of consumers conduct online research before buying a product or service.
This means that by the time they are ready to consider a purchase, they know as much as the marketing agents they might be speaking to.
Traditionally, the role of marketing agents was to outline the benefits of a company’s products or services. Before consumer research became so widespread, this was of benefit to the customer.
However, nowadays, the customer probably does not want to hear, again, why your company’s product/service is the best. Instead, if they are engaging with an agent, they most likely need to have a problem solved.
If this is the case, then the customer requires customer service and almost surely does not want to be marketed to.
For this reason, companies that want to enhance their customer experience strategy may do well to adjust marketing agents’ customer interactions more towards service and away from promotion.
5. WORK TO REDUCE CUSTOMER EFFORT
One of the best practices in improving your customer experience strategy is reducing customer effort.
Ecommerce stats show that 87% of shoppers abandon their carts if the checkout process takes too long or is overly complicated.
There are several ways you can achieve this. For example, one of the marks of effective web forms is an autofill feature.
Besides the checkout process, another area where it’s essential to reduce customer effort is support. When a buyer needs assistance, they don’t want to jump through hoops to get it. Instead of making buyers fill out a contact form, many companies are opting for a live chat feature.
6. ESTABLISH A SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE
If you want to increase customer engagement and elevate your customer experience strategy, you need to establish a seamless experience.
Nowadays, customers can have numerous touchpoints with brands. From social media messages to targetted advertising to organic search, newsletters, and more, you need to ensure that your leads and customers are receiving messages from you that are on-brand and consistent.
One way to do this is to invest in good CCM software. With the right software, you will be able to streamline personalized omnichannel customer communications and retain a high level of consistency.
7. WHAT MATTERS TO CUSTOMERS
It’s easy to guess some of the most important factors that create a good customer experience. Customers want speed and convenience. They also want friendliness. The element of customer service that connects these goals? Human interaction.
The ultimate challenge for businesses in this modern age is making technology work for you without removing the human elements that make a superior customer experience. Technology can streamline and expedite many customer-service-related tasks but do your employees have what they need to deliver a customer experience with a human touch?
Employers have to learn to implement technology in a way that enhances customer experience. How can you use technology to make an experience feel more human when the conventional belief is that technology replaces human interaction?
Customer experience automation software enables enterprises to tend to their customers’ individual needs. By personalizing communications, companies can use automation to get closer to their customers.
8. FOCUS ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
The most important factor for keeping customers – consistency.
Customers want to be loyal to their favorite brands. Companies have the upper hand here if they don’t make mistakes. If you can provide value to your customers without causing frustrations, you’ll have a loyal customer.
Get it wrong and you’ll lose customers. It’s never been easier for customers to access reviews and product information about your competition.
To improve your customer experience strategy, your marketing efforts need to be consistent. Your ads must reach customers via multiple platforms to be successful in 2020. There is a lot of marketing clutter for customers to sift through.
Make your message stand out using outreach efforts with social media, email, newsletters, SMS offers, and more. Marketing isn’t just about advertising anymore. Creating content that is valuable to customers helps frame their experience and build a relationship.
Content that is educational, updates customers on your products and brands, and offers them something more than product information will be rewarded with loyalty. Customers who feel emotionally connected to brands are more likely to be repeat customers.
Reward customer loyalty with exclusive offers and discounts.
You should also reward long term customers. Listen to their feedback and make them feel like they have a say in the direction your business is going. After all, they helped you get to where you are now.
9. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
A good customer experience involves communicating with the customer via their preferred channel. In today’s world, companies must be able to deliver a consistent customer experience across all media channels. These include phone, text, chat, email, social media, and in person.
Customers expect a seamless experience across all these channels. Companies can use software to connect their marketing efforts to their CRM.
And it’s not just about the “how” but also the “when.” Customers want to connect with companies 24/7.
Businesses can use their websites to meet this customer need. Your website should contain valuable content that serves your customers even when you’re not around. You can also use chatbots to quickly answer questions and serve customers.
Explore the Top Trends in Communication for 2020
ARE YOU READY TO UPGRADE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY?
Customer experience is predicted to be the top brand differentiator by the end of 2020.
Are you ready to upgrade your customer experience strategy?
If so, take a look at our customer experience automation solution. Optimizing customer experience can be complex. Automation holds the key to solving some of the typical customer experience issues. Such as data discrepancies, omnichannel communication challenges, customer experience personalization, and reliable CX metrics.
To leverage the power of automation and—nail your customer experience strategy—request a free demo. Contact us today if you have any questions.