You already know why customer experience is important, but do you know how much of an impact it can have on your brand reputation? Consumers know which companies they associate with good and bad customer experiences, even if they’ve never used them. That means a negative customer experience can be extremely damaging, not only because you’re likely to put off current customers from coming back to your brand, but because other consumers may already know to avoid you, despite never interacting with you.
Being known for providing a good customer experience, however, can improve customer loyalty as well as attract new customers that have heard positive things about your brand. Here are five steps to improving your customer experience.
1. Map out your customer journey
First, you need to fully understand your customer journey and the touchpoints your customers are hitting along the way. This includes everything from your pay-per-click (PPC) ads and social media platforms, to your customer service call centre and email campaigns. Don’t just think about the pre-sale interactions your customers have with your brand, either. Often, it’s the after-sale experience that has the biggest impact on customer loyalty and retention.
Ask members from every single department in your company to contribute to this customer journey map, as they will be best placed to help you identify any pain points, and highlight where processes need to change in order to improve the customer experience.
2. Listen to your customer feedback
If you don’t collect customer feedback already, you need to – it’s going to be impossible to improve the customer experience if you don’t know how your customers feel in the first place! Of course, going through hundreds or even thousands of reviews can be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you, such as Feefo’s Performance Profiling, which automatically identify the key themes within your reviews. This allows you quickly and easily see which stages of your customer experience your customers are most happy and unhappy with.
3. Create a strategy
Once you know where you need to improve, you need to determine how you’re going to do it. Outline the objectives of your customer experience strategy and understand what needs to happen for improvements to be made – for example, perhaps your staff need more training or your website’s user-experience needs to be refined.
When creating a strategy, the most important thing is to get everyone invested and on-board, so make sure every team member can contribute in some way to its success!
4. Be consistent
Customers love it when a company goes above and beyond to deliver an outstanding service, so it may be tempting to focus on creating ‘wow’ moments for your customers, but in reality, you can’t deliver these every time. What customers really want is consistency. They want to know that when they use your service, they’re always going to get exactly what they expected from you, whether that’s buying a new suit or renewing their insurance.
Being consistent across all channels and touchpoints is also important – there’s little point having an amazing sales team if your customer service department isn’t up to scratch. By meeting the customers’ expectations every time they come into contact with you, you’ll build confidence with your customers, making them more likely to remain loyal to your business as well as recommend you to others.
5. Remember, it’s not going to change overnight
Improving your customer experience should be a constant focus for your business, no matter how good you think it is! As your business grows, your customer experience will need to evolve too, as priorities and objectives are likely to change over time.
This means you should be constantly measuring its performance and listening to your customer feedback to ensure you’re making your customers happy. Even companies known for focusing on delivering an amazing customer experience, such as Virgin and Amazon, don’t always get it right, but as long as you can identify where you’re going wrong, you can work towards improving that experience.
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