At a time when customers have higher expectations than ever, satisfying their demands has become a critical business challenge.
Consumer desires have evolved in correlation with technological advancements. Now, your customers expect expedient service, instant access to important information, and friendly customer support. These are the basics — customer experience 101.
On the flipside, the impact of a negative customer experience can deal a serious blow to your brand image and bottom line, especially considering how powerfully online reviews influence customer decisions.
The digital era has elevated the importance of the customer experience
, meaning it’s crucial to avoid mistakes that threaten to destroy your company’s reputation. That’s why businesses are continually innovating their approach to improving the customer journey
To help you achieve a stellar customer experience, here are some key principles that will drive you to succeed.
Welcome to your customer experience 101.
Create a seamless experience
It’s common for customers to communicate with organizations through multiple channels, but this shouldn’t dilute the quality of their experience or make it feel disjointed.
There will be multiple methods of contact — like social media, online chat, and call centers — and customers will expect consistency across the board.
Syncing these channels and ensuring a seamless customer journey can be challenging, but it’s possible through the smart use of technology and analyzing customer data
The quantity of meaningful data you can extract from customer engagement
can be the difference between success and failure.
Based on demographic information, customer trends in the market, and the behaviors customers take during their journey, you can develop an accurate view of how your customers interact with your business. You also have the opportunity to gather feedback and ask them directly.
Promote your “north star”
Your “north star” is the main value component that drives your business. It should be understood loud and clear internally, as well as to your customers.
Once you clarify your north star, you can create your strategy and metrics for measuring success. This is critical to graduating from customer experience 101.
If you’re just starting to concentrate on the customer experience, you’re probably in the ‘amateurs’ category. You are in the early stages of formulating your customer experience initiatives. ‘Professionals’ are slightly more advanced with their standards, but still lacking a comprehensive strategy. ‘Elites’ are the most advanced level and have a visionary approach to delivering impressive customer experiences across various channels.
By clearly defining your north star and using it to anchor your customer experience strategy, you can quickly traverse from amateur to elite, and see the results you’re looking for.
Another positive result of this process is embedding a customer experience culture
into your company’s DNA. A customer-first philosophy means providing value to your customers and always striving to improve their experience is a top priority.
Don’t let new technology limit customer choice
In a competitive digital landscape, companies need to demonstrate the intelligent use of technology in order to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers.
Adopting smart tools, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and automation
can help make the customer journey more efficient, but these forms of technology must be implemented thoughtfully.
Modern methods of interaction should not completely replace conventional, in-person contact. In fact, many consumers believe
companies are losing touch with the human element.
Rather than boxing yourself in, it’s important to embrace a combination of new and old methods. Choosing one over the other can limit customers’ choice in how they interact with your brand and could impair the customer experience. Never neglect the importance of human-to-human communication.