Customer experience covers every step of a buyer decision journey from when a potential customer first comes into contact with your brand to the point they purchase something until the cycle repeats itself when they buy again as a returning client.
Whether your customer is delighted at every part of this journey will weigh heavily on the success rate of your marketing funnel.
Why Customer Experience Matter?
From the point when your digital marketing effort reaches your potential lead to the stage where they interact and get more information on your website before deciding to make the purchase by checking out their cart, the chances of this potential client dropping out from the funnel is, statistically, much higher than they are to make a purchase.
It could be poor UIUX design on your website or a distasteful post on your company's Facebook page that leads to the dropout. It could even be a quick price comparison with your competitors and a better bundle price on the other side that broke the deal.
Ultimately, there are many things that can affect how people think and feel about your brand.
Hence, it is hard for a marketer to second guess the reason and that is why making sure every part of the customer experience (CX) should be carefully planned out and executed.
Essentially, CX is the basic metric that holds everything together. And the transformative aspect of your business matter to people and has the most impact on how people feel about your brand.
But how can you do it well without a big team on every single part of the experience? Here are some simple tips that can help you create an amazing customer experience that will positively impact your business.
#1, Who Are Your Customers?
One of the most important steps in customer experience is to know who your customers are. Understanding your customer holds the key to the success of your marketing funnel since you will know where to pull the right strings to exceed their expectations and needs.
One of the most simple ways to understand your customer is to put yourself in their shoes and to look at your brand from their perspective.
It is right to say nobody should know your products or offerings better than you. As a result, sometimes you could be thinking much more than what is necessary.
For example, a TV manufacturer who takes pride in their TV will start to list very technical details of why their product is better than its competitors. It became so technical that it starts to lose its focus on what matters more to the customer. For example when the brand goes into detail on the model of their processor and speed of their graphics card, instead of just stating how fast is their TV as compared to its peers and how will this affect the overall experience of the user.
At the end of the day, the potential customer does not see why they need to pay 50% more for a TV of similar size and screen resolution and decides to go for the cheaper product.
As a brand, we have to look at our clients and ask does this group really care about. Work on that specific USP and amplify it along every step of the journey to create a strong branding around this USP.
#2, Everyone Should Be Aligned
Strategic goals and objectives are important to keep a business moving in the right direction. The management sets goals and objectives for the company to move forward and if creating a good customer experience is not one that was being highlighted or valued, the culture of providing one will not be cascaded downwards and there will be no emphasis when it matters most.
If the management decides that keeping your customer satisfaction level high by focusing on your customer service is one that is of importance and do the right steps towards making it a priority, the momentum will flow on to the mid-management and ultimately to the ground staff; people who are front-facing the customers and usually at the tail end of the marketing funnel - when making a purchase.
Without any emphasis on customer experience, other KPIs like closing more deals, retaining staff, etc. may override this inadvertently and may be counter-effective to whatever alternate KPIs that the mid-managers have been tasked to achieve.
Customer may buy for one time and decides to not purchase again, or worse, badmouth the brand to their friends when a bad customer experience happened. A negative word of mouth (WOM) is worse than splurging tens of thousands on a physical newspaper ad (yes, we view placing an ad on newspaper now is just a little better as compared to burning money to light up your cigarette).
Everyone in the organisation should be aligned to make sure that customer experience is priority and ground staff should even be empowered to make certain decisions to make sure that the experience is a delightful one for every single customer that walks through the door. A good case study on customer experience will be popular hotpot shop from China Hai Di Lao and how they empower their staff to make a decision when customer experience is concerned.
To see how powerful is a good customer experience to the success of a business, just remember that the owner of Hai Di Lao is not Singapore's richest man for no reason.
#3, Identify the Customer Needs and Use Feedback
Asking the right question and listening to your clients/ground staff earnestly will enable you to identify some needs of customers that may be hiding in your blind spot.
As mentioned previously, empowering your frontline staff to provide some quick solutions to solve simple issues will help you prevent a bad experience/PR. Then from there, gather all these unforeseen problems that have faced and share with the rest of the team on how to get it resolved properly the next time it happens again if it is unpreventable.
Also, conduct customer research when possible to comprehends the intentions behind each individual's purchasing procedure. These bits of knowledge can be utilized to improve the entire CX be it to formulate a possible upgrade on your products or services or to satisfy a specific niche target market's needs.
Research can be done using different methods such as surveys, customer interview, small talks with returning customers, feedbacks, etc. Use this information to decide if they can be used to help you better your CX and, in return, your business.
It never hurts to offer a nice token of appreciation in the form of a returning voucher for those who have done the survey too. Small things build loyalty over time.
#4, Stay in Touch with Your Customers
A good brand always has a group of strong following that forms a formidable community that will rise and sink with the brand. These people usually are the best advocates of your brand and will tell you where to improve yourself even without you asking.
They come in handy too when an unexpected PR fire sprouts out from nowhere on social media.
Hence, it is important to continue engaging and keeping in touch with your customer even after a purchase. One easy way will be through social media where you allow them to follow your page for updates and new offerings. Apart from that, here are some possible avenues to up that community building game a notch:
Monthly email newsletter, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to stay in touch with your customer, you can deliver useful information or special offers to your customer on time by scheduling a monthly email newsletter. Do take note of not sending them too often to avoid spamming their email and causing it to backfire.
Events & workshops, Another great way to engage your customer is to give back. It doesn't have to be taking all the time, sometimes it may pay to give. By conducting relevant and useful events and workshops for your loyal community can build the stickiness and expose your brand to more potential clients when people from your community bring their friends along.
Engaging them on social media, sometimes creating a page and posting stuff on social media is just not enough. Try more engaging posts that will create conversation and engage them by replying or reacting. Reacting to your followers timely always help and it creates a similar kind of positive engagement a client would have when they go to your physical shop and was served promptly and politely.
Over time as most parts of our business have been digitalized, partly hastened due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the entire customer experience of your brand may come mainly from the digital assets you have e.g. website, social media, app.
If you are thinking about really improving your CX, consider taking up a course on UIUX design too as knowing how to execute the entire thinking process from gathering feedbacks to prototyping can benefit your CX game hugely.