The latest research proves it – customer experience isn’t a flash-in-the-pan trend. It actually underpins any successful business, because if you don’t make a positive impression, your customers can easily turn to your competitors. Without customer experience, there is no customer loyalty.
But many businesses are daunted by the prospect of improving customer experience. It sounds nebulous and hard to quantify. These 5 concrete steps will help you improve your customer experience across the board, so you can attract (and retain) more customers.
1. Engage your customer-facing staff
There’s a reason retail workers are told to smile and make polite conversation with customers – a happy adviser is more likely to result in a happy customer. And customers can sense when staff are truly passionate about their job.
Improving engagement among frontline staff should therefore be a top priority for any organisation that cares about customer experience. When your staff believe in your business and your products and services, your customers will, too. That’s why 35% of organisations are taking steps to improve employee engagement as part of their customer experience strategy.
There is a multitude of ways to boost morale and engagement amongst staff, and every team will respond differently to various initiatives. Whether it’s gamifying targets and objectives, offering frequent feedback, or offering operational training, investing in staff will reward both your business and your customers.
2. Invest in new technology
As with all areas of business, technology is changing the way you can approach customer experience. As such, 32% of companies are looking to invest in new technology to get greater customer insight.
There’s a wide range of software available to improve customer experience, from chatbots to analytics programmes to cross-channel integration systems. Here at Engage Hub, for example, we recently helped MBNA create a powerful customer engagement platform that enables sophisticated interactive messaging and response handling. The platform has allowed MBNA to respond to customer queries quickly, securely and using the channel most appropriate for the customer at any given time.
3. Be consistent
We live in the age of cross-channel communication. Over the course of a customer’s relationship with you, they’ll likely communicate with you via multiple channels including email, website, social media, chatbot, call centre, SMS and more. If the messages across all these channels aren’t consistent, customers will get confused, resulting in an unnecessarily disjointed and frustrating experience.
Consistency doesn’t mean using the same message across all channels, however. Each channel is unique – the style that works on Instagram probably wouldn’t translate well to a customer service email. So tailor your messaging for each platform, but ensure the overall information and underlying tone of voice are consistent.
4. Personalise your customer experience
It’s become common knowledge that customers are more likely to respond to personalisation, but personalisation should go beyond using their name in an email. True personalisation is about communicating with customers in the way they like best, using messaging that you know will resonate with them.
If you don’t already have the kind of data you need to personalise your customer experiences, start collecting it. Salesforce research shows that 57% of customers are happy to share personal details with a company in exchange for offers or discount codes, and 52% are happy to do so in exchange for personalised product recommendations.
5. Connect customer data across departments
Siloes are an all-too-common part of business, and customer experience is no exception. Different departments will hold different information on and insights into customers. If this data isn’t shared between teams, you won’t get maximum benefit from it.
By connecting customer data across departments – from marketing to sales to customer service – you can glean insight into how your customers behave and feel. That then becomes your evidence for enhancing customer journeys, thereby boosting engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.