When you think of your favorite salon or retail chain, what do you think about? As a customer, what is your experience like when you go to your favorite restaurant? How your customers see your business brand and managing the ‘customer experience’ is vital to successful business growth.
What is the ‘Customer Experience’? 🤓
In short, the Customer Experience is the interaction between a customer and your business; how they feel when they see your brand, what their customer service engagements have been like, how they feel about your physical location, and ultimately the final product of a interactive relationship between your business and it’s customers. The Customer Experience matters because it enforces the desire for your customer to continue to come back to you for their needs. However, more importantly, it’s what your customers share with other potential buyers. Word of mouth is vital and nothing turns off a customer from your place of business more than a negative review from a trusted friend or family member.
In Business, First Impressions Matter 👀
How do your customers see your business? What does your packaging look like on the shelves of a store? What sort of impress are your employees making when they interact with your customers? When they go to your website, what sort of experience are they having on it’s pages when they are trying to purchase something or find information? When your customers see your business logo, does it make them feel good?
Every interaction with a customer is a new chance to make a first impression, but it can be said that nothing is more important that the first impression. As a business, you only get a few opportunities to win customers loyalty, and how they perceive you when you meet sets the tone for your entire relationship. Make sure that your first impression is a good one, because it can be lasting throughout the entirety of a relationship.
Connect With Your Customers 🤝
Every successful business knows who their customers are and how their business can best serve them. However, Businesses that have excellent Customer Experience strategies know what their customers are in to and what their skill levels are. When information about ‘the average’ customer is gathered, a personality starts to take shape and the business should be able to see a clearer view of who they are interacting with on a daily basis. This can make it easier to target these specific individuals for your business, help you learn what they are and can help you create a genuine and emotional connection between the customer and the business.
Get a Virtual Voice 🎙
Give your Business a personality with smart wording for a website, a helpful ‘live chat’ attendant, and a realistic social media presence. Text messaging is 3 to 8X more preferred than ‘face-to-face’ communication according to Twilio, and by not giving your customers a place to reach you without having to dial a number limits your ability to serve them and meet their needs. Having a friendly, upbeat person that is good at text communication can leave your customers walking away from a conversation feeling more positive than when they started as well as providing detailed instructions or information for the customer that they can recall later.
Engage Your Customers in Meaningful Ways 🧲
Show your customers that you care about them by interacting in ways that matter to them. Make sure your email marketing is full of information that your customers actually care about and avoid spamming them with messages. Install programs like Waitwhile to manage long lines and help stay on top of appointments. Choose methods and practices that show you value your customers time and help them see your business cares about their experience from beginning to end.
Be Customer Centric and Listen to Feedback 💞
Whether it been from your employee or voice of customer, listen with sincerity to what they say when they tell you about a negative experience with your business. ‘Customer Service’ is fixing the problem at hand, but it’s important to take time after the issue to examine the Customer’s Experience and how the problem happened in the first place. Looking at an issue from the point of view of the people that are actively involved (customer and employee) is key to making efficient processes and ensuring that everyone's needs are met in a reasonable amount of time, done the right way. You can also create Customer Satisfaction Surveys to ensure you receive continuous feedback from your customers and identify areas that are worth improving before they cause bigger issues.
Make a Plan And Start The Change 📝
Now that we’ve established the basics, plan out how you want your customer’s experience to look. Create answers to the questions on your branding, research other key influencer in your industry to see what they’re doing, and find ways to do it even better. Write it out and get all of your employees involved - improving Customer Service should be a part of your company mindset and a business goal. When everyone invests in making the Customer Experience the best it can be, you’ll have no problem watching your business excel.