It’s no mystery why companies across industries are investing in improving customer experiences. After all, how consumers feel about your brand can impact everything from loyalty to revenue.
For instance, when customers have positive experiences, they’re willing to pay up to a 16% premium for your products or services.
On the flipside, after just one negative interaction, 32% of customers say they will consider no longer doing business with a given company and up to 59% will stop after a handful of bad experiences, according to PwC.
The good news is, there are simple steps your company can take to help improve your customer experience. Here are five best practices to get started.
#1: Understand who your customers are
New customers have different needs than returning ones. Customers at the brink of churning need different support than loyal ones.
That’s why one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand who your customers are.
- Create buyer personas to understand your customers: At a high level, you should know the types of customers (or personas) your company serves—for instance, new parents, first-time home buyers, young professionals, empty-nesters, newlyweds, etc.—to help inform how your business reaches out to and interacts with individuals.
- Collect and track key customer data: At a personal level, you should be collecting information about your customers—such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and a log of their interactions with your brand, such as their purchase history, the customer service issues they’ve reported, and so forth—to personalize their experiences, rather than adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to engaging with customers.
- Map the customer journey: So you can identify opportunities to surprise, delight, and help individuals at key milestones, such as when they first create an account with your company, place their first order, or achieve a new membership or loyalty program status.
#2: “Humanize” your brand
While irrelevant, impersonal experiences are seen as frustrating to most consumers (71%), a similar percent of individuals (80%) say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences, reports Forbes.
Some suggestions for showing the personal side of your brand include expressing how much you appreciate your customers and highlighting the real people who work for your company.
Check out our recent webinar, How to Create a More Humanized Customer Experience, featuring Forrester guest speaker Faith Adams, now available to watch on demand, packed with actionable advice on how brands can increase both loyalty and growth by creating more humanized customer experiences.
#3: Ask for and implement customer feedback
You can’t improve upon problems or issues you’re unaware of. Collecting (and acting upon) customer feedback is one of the most effective ways brands can increase their customer satisfaction (CSAT scores) and improve the customer service experience.
- Start with a simple survey asking customers how satisfied they are
- Once customers submit their CSAT rating, follow up with a question about how their customer service agent performed or where there might be opportunities for improvement
- Share customer feedback with agents directly along with offering real-time coaching so they can learn to self-correct and watch their performance improve
- Make sure your company has service recovery workflows in place to flag and quickly address negative customer feedback as soon as possible
#4: Track your customer and employee KPIs
Keeping track of important customer key performance indicators (KPIs) like CSAT, net promoter score (NPS), and customer effort score (CES) can help your company assess how well you’re meeting customer expectations and highlight opportunities to improve your customer experience.
Similarly, it’s important to keep an eye on employee KPIs, like employee engagement, as companies with engaged employees are more likely to see gains in customer retention and satisfaction, employee productivity and retention, and profits.
#5: Get the basics right every time
Convenience. Not having to wait. Interacting with helpful, friendly staff. These are the top qualities most (80%) U.S. consumers consider to be essential to positive customer experiences, according to PwC. Unsurprisingly, these are also some of the top factors that can help companies improve their CSAT scores.
That’s why it can pay to invest in:
- Offering high-quality products and services
- Ensuring positive customer interactions
- Being timely and responsive
- Having an effective customer resolution process to resolve issues when things don’t go as planned
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.