Great customer experiences – they’re what every individual hopes for when they engage with brands. And, more than that, they’re what today’s empowered consumers expect.
From the moment they first check out your products and services, to each and every subsequent interaction with your company and team members.
Yet, unfortunately, many businesses miss the mark when it comes to delivering exceptional experiences. And that can come at a cost. One most companies simply can’t afford. Especially given that researchers have found strong links between customer experience (CX) and business revenue, with poor experiences in particular having a negative impact on revenue.
The phrase “great experiences” may sound like you need to wine and dine and wow and woo your customers. But the reality is, most of us just want our most basic needs to be met. So what does that involve? Here are the top five steps to take to ensure you’re offering up great customer experiences.
5 Fundamental Parts of a Great Customer Experience
#1: Make completing key transactions, such as purchases, easy
For today’s digital-first consumer, great customer experiences are usually synonymous with seamless user experiences.
That is websites and apps that load fast, are easy to read and navigate, contain helpful information, and are free of annoying pop-ups and forms that ask for too much information up front.
Meet these minimum requirements, and you can prevent customers from bouncing before they’re even able to complete a purchase or other important transaction.
#2: Respond to customer inquiries, comments, and complaints quickly
It’s the social media age, and most customers (75%) who take to popular channels to engage with brands expect a response within the same day, with 44% percent expecting someone to write back to them immediately or within an hour.
These expectations are fairly consistent across other key customer service channels, with most individuals expecting to get assistance immediately via online chat, in person, over the phone, and via apps.
#3: Personalize customer experiences
As we said before, great customer experiences are about meeting your customers’ expectations and needs. Truly successful brands, however, prioritize meeting these needs at the individual level. And that’s where personalization comes in.
Financial services company Fidelity, for one, managed to reduce customer service calls by 5% simply by tracking customer behavior, identifying patterns, and anticipating customer needs in advance, reports Harvard Business Review.
For instance, the company recognized that when customers went to change their address online, a common next step was to call to ask about ordering new checks or purchasing homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. Guiding these specific users to personalized self-service resources is one tactic that helped the company cut back on these inquiries.
In another example from Harvard Business Review, another financial services company trained its team members to assess customer personality traits in the moment and encouraged its agents to engage with individuals tailored to their specific communication style, an approach that has helped the organization reduce repeat calls by 40%.
#4: Collect and act upon customer feedback on an ongoing basis
Brands that capture, analyze, and act upon the voice of the customer have the power to optimize customer service team performance, improve customer experiences, increase customer satisfaction, and drive forward-thinking innovations, such as creating new products customers will love.
Stella Connect client Brooklinen collects real-time customer feedback on an ongoing basis to identify opportunities for improvement and the team attributes its successes in offering new products directly to insights the company has uncovered as a result of listening to its customers.
Another Stella Connect partner, Harry’s launched several new offerings—shave gel, post-shave balm, a razor stand, a grip-enabled handle, and trimmer blade—all thanks to learnings gathered straight from its customer base.
#5: When customer service issues do arise, make it easy for customers to get help
According to research from Unbabel, 30% of customer service leaders want a solution to build meaningful customer relationships and improve customer loyalty worldwide. But building that loyalty is no easy task.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever been told to switch from one customer support channel or agent to another to get a problem resolved or had to repeat the same issue to more than one customer service agent before having their needs addressed, that these very occurrences, which unfortunately happen all too frequently, are not only annoying, but can directly lead to poor customer experiences and outcomes.
According to Harvard Business Review’s reporting on a study of more than 75,000 consumers, these are just some of the top customer service-related problems that can negatively impact customer loyalty.
The same research found that while “delighting” customers doesn’t necessarily increase loyalty, making things easier for them to get their questions answered and problems addressed can have a positive impact on loyalty, while also reducing customer service costs and customer churn.
Learn Today’s Best Practices for Delivering Great Customer Experiences
Ready to take your customer experience to the next level? Download our guide, Understanding the Increased Role of Service Agents in the Modern Customer Experience, for insight into into the modern customer experience, and the role that customer service agents play in ensuring a positive, seamless, and on-brand experience.