As a marketer, I understand that customer experience is a huge factor in any business. In our company, we may struggle to meet the expectations of our customers and are deeply disappointed if a user admits he or she is dissatisfied with our product. We are always ready to acknowledge our mistakes and take prompt action to deal with them. Similarly, we frequently ask our customers to share their complaints and suggestions about StepShot as we are always open to improvements. One of the biggest roles in improving customer experience is played by customer support guidance.
What is the customer experience?
The meaning of customer experience is how a customer perceives a company and its products. Let’s get a little bit deeper into the details. Business Dictionary provides the following definition for the term:
“Customer experience is the entirety of the interactions a customer has with a company and its products. Understanding the customer experience is an integral part of customer relationship management. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about the company and its offerings”
So, we understand that the interactions of the customer with a company or its products affect his or her perceptions and conclusions. In turn, these perceptions have a strong influence on the future choices of the customer, hence the demand for the company’s products and services. According to a study by Oracle, 74% of executives think that customer experience affects the willingness of a customer to stay loyal to the company he/she does business with.
Why is it so important?
A business can’t survive without clients, that’s why so many companies are focused on how to get new customers and, furthermore, what to do not to lose the existing ones.
In fact, a Bloomberg Businessweek survey has shown us that the main objective of about 80% of companies is to deliver the ideal customer experience as a top strategic objective. And I’m not surprised, since the CEOs of many top companies transform their business around the customer, according to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club.
If you still don’t pay much attention to the experiences your clients gain with your services, it is high time to contribute to the customer experience. The better it is, the more successful your business becomes. So, let’s get straight to our recommendations!
Study your customers
You should listen to what your customers say about your brand, services, support team or website quality. How do you do that? Simply create a short survey after selling a product or making a transaction. For this purpose, customer support agents can communicate with customers, record their complaints and suggestions, and make sure the customer is satisfied. When you get to know the opinions of your customers, you will be in a better position to try to fix the things your customers don’t like. On the other hand, you will try to make those things your clients like even better, and will get tips on how to promote your product or services.
Analyze customer service in your niche
First, it’s important to understand the difference between customer experience and customer service. As we have already mentioned above, customer experience is the interaction between a customer and company, framing their relationship. Customer service is the assistance that a company gives to its customers during the time they are using the company’s service or buying its products.
You may be wondering which is better for great business outcomes: to focus on customer experience or service? Here is our answer – develop a well-judged customer service strategy to improve customer experience. Following McKinsey, companies which are focused on giving an ideal experience to customers through the customer journey increased revenue by 10-15% and customer satisfaction by 20%. So, you need to analyze customer service in your niche to design the ideal customer experience.
How to create a good customer feedback survey
To improve, you should study customer experience in your niche through feedback surveys. You can look through feedback given to your competitors, send a mystery shopper or test the products of your competitors yourself. This will allow you to understand how it works in other companies. You will evaluate their advantages and drawbacks, compare those with yours, and draw conclusions on your further development and business strategies. Similarly, this will help to define the most effective marketing strategy addressing the problems of your target audience.
We suggest you not ask too many questions. When the customers see a long list of questions – they may assume they don’t have time to answer them all. As a result, you can even end up with no feedback. Doesn’t sound good, right? As Barry Schwartz said in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, customers feel overwhelmed with too many questions. It may be better for you to ask one or two open questions but, if it is not what you’re looking for, simply ask yes/no questions or multiple choice questions which can sometimes be easier to answer and more helpful for your business. Feel free to use emails for getting feedback but remember not to spam – it will only annoy your customers. One more recommendation for you: reward your customers with a coupon or discount for completing the survey.
Collect customer feedback through a customer journey
The customer journey is a period in which your customers become aware of your product. Before your potential clients become your real ones, they may not be easy to understand or track. If you are interested in what your potential and existing customers think – simply ask them! It doesn’t matter what you get as a result. You can design the customer journey within your products or services and compare it with the journeys of your competitors’ customers to find out which customer choose whom and why.
For example, one of the best ways to collect feedback is for the customer support team to ask them a question after each step they make on your website:
1. First contact
When a potential customer discovers your website or product for the first time – try to engage him/her into a conversation and get a general opinion.
When visitors watch your videos, read the information about your product – ask them about their needs.
It can happen that a visitor doesn’t order what he/she has in their basket. In this case, asking for feedback is the best way to identify the reasons for abandoning your website.
Ask the customers about their ordering experience – it will help you to optimize your services.
Now it’s time for you to ask customers about their product experience, use of discounts or vouchers, future intentions, and so on. To improve the customer experience at this stage, use StepShot Guides or similar software to develop a powerful customer support knowledge base.
How can I make the customer experience better?
The mistake many companies make is that they consider their services the best. For instance, data from the Bain & Company questionnaire has shown that 80% of asked organizations think they provide an ideal experience but only 8% of them have actually asked their customers and checked if they received a perfect customer experience. In turn, according to Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, more than 51% of USA clients changed company because of a bad customer service experience.
Thus, the first thing to mention is that you should collect customer feedback, since it will help you better understand your customers and improve their experience. In fact, such feedback provides companies with certain benefits. Firstly, you shouldn’t make the mistake of considering customer feedback exclusively a tool used to figure out what is wrong in your company: it is also a good opportunity for you to learn what is positive in your business. Second, positive feedback will help you understand what should be highlighted within your marketing strategy and where the majority of investments should go. As a rule, feedback helps companies to be more cost-effective.
Your customer support team can help not only to collect the feedback but also to deliver it to other departments for troubleshooting and, moreover, make sure that the customer is satisfied with your service.
Tips & tricks for designing the ideal customer experience
If you are still not sure how to provide an ideal customer experience, here are some tips for you:
1. Know what your customers expect from your brand
Companies should understand who their clients are and what they expect to provide the perfect customer experience.
First, simply ask:
Who are my clients?
What issues do they face?
What do they want to get from my company?
In general, from the company they choose, the customers expect simple but, at the same time, quite challenging qualities like quickness, usefulness, and personalization of services. At this point, it’s important to design an effective customer support system to improve customer experience.
2. Reward customers who are loyal to you
By this, I mean that you shouldn’t give perks only to new customers, you also have to think about those who have been contributing to your business for a long time.
3. Endeavor to improve quality
Your service can be very friendly and you can have the most helpful support service – but if you offer low-quality products, your customers will try to find something better. You should continuously improve your product by paying special attention to customer feedback.
4. Use certain software tools
It is very important to understand that the simple principle “time is money” still works. It’s silly to spend a lot of time on routine tasks which can be accomplished in minutes with special-purpose software. Tools such as Mailshake, StepShot Guides, Intercom, or Trello will make your life much easier.
Ready to improve?
Nowadays, there are lots of competing companies which provide similar services. As a result, customers have a huge choice and their demands are increasing every day. Customer experience needs constant development with a great focus on improving the company’s customer experience strategy. So, be prepared and empower your employees to do what your customer wants! Never forget about customer feedback and be sure to provide high-quality support for your customers. To create all the necessary documentation for customer support in an easy-to-follow manner, use StepShot Guides – and your customer experience rates will be much higher, just try it!