Every business that succeeds has a great customer experience. No matter your business is running on websites, iOS App or physical. Customers will return to your business if they feel valued and have a positive experience doing business with you. You can’t make this up. They will not only flock to your competitors but also won’t give you another chance.
However, the concept of customer experiences has seen a lot of changes over the past few years. It’s about making the customer journey as simple, seamless, and frictionless as it can. It’s also about using intelligent technology such as customer self-service solutions. To ensure customers receive the support and service they deserve at every touchpoint with your brand.
This article will explain what customer experience means, how it impacts the customer journey and the new digital solutions that can help you improve it.
What’s customer experience?
HubSpot defines Customer Experience as the impression that customers form about your brand throughout the buyer’s journey. This affects their perception of your brand and can impact your bottom line, including revenue.
The customer experience is, in other words, the entire brand experience. The journey your brand creates for customers is key to how they experience your brand, from discovery through checkout to after-purchase. If you do it right, customers will be satisfied and loyal, and your bottom line will benefit. Don’t make it up, and you might be shocked to see customers leave–sometimes for good.
Sometimes, this can be difficult to do. Customers can easily switch between channels in today’s digitally evolving world. It doesn’t matter which channel they are on, what matters is that they have a consistent brand experience.
Why customer experience is so important?
Today’s customer expectations are higher than ever. Knowing how easy it can be for customers to leave your company and go to a competitor. If they don’t find the information they need on your website, or anywhere else along the customer journey is a high priority. So high that positive WOM is estimated to account for around 13% of brand revenues (roughly $6 trillion). It often outperforms other paid advertising performance by a factor of 5x.
A great customer experience is a win-win situation. The bottom line is that happy customers will be more likely to recommend your brand to others. All of this leads to higher lifetime customer value (LTV), and continuous revenue growth opportunities.
Actual negative effects of weak customer service:
Although this may seem obvious, let’s not forget to mention it again just in case. Poor customer service can quickly lead to brand collapse. This can lead to customer churn and lower revenue growth. It also drives negative WOM which in turn funnels more business to your closest competitors. This is not a risk that brands should take.
There is not much room for error. Seventy-seven percent of customers said they had a bad experience with a company and decided to do business elsewhere. 37% of customers will share negative reviews on social media if they have had a bad experience. This, as we know, can quickly escalate into an astronomical amount and cause brands to be in ‘damage control mode’.
Poor customer service can lead to a lot more negative outcomes. If losing customers and, consequently, losing revenue growth opportunities isn’t enough to make you change your strategy. Then there are other options.
Four easy ways to improve customer experience
If you are reading this and have thought, “It is about time we up our customer experience,” then you may also be wondering where to begin. Improving the customer experience for your brand indeed requires some digital transformation. This cannot be overnight. There are some things you can do now to improve your customer experience.
1. Support customers proactively
Many people are unaware that self-service customer solutions extend beyond traditional customer service. These intelligent, AI-driven solutions can be embedded as ‘help widgets” throughout your website. To provide customers with relevant and timely content that answers customer questions long before they even realize they have a question. This Smart Push solution not only shows how proactive support can increase conversion rates by up to 20%, but it also proves that proactive support is possible.
2. Think omnichannel
Today’s customers hop from your website to social media channels to customer service channels, on desktop, mobile, and even in real life.
This is the Omnichannel Customer Journey and it’s now the most popular way consumers interact with brands. This means that brands have to be present on the channels where customers spend their time or money.
But, being on multiple channels does not mean that you have to be there. It’s about creating strong connections between channels. This allows brands to offer seamless, asynchronous, and frictionless customer experiences. That drive engagement and conversions, as well as the potential for revenue growth.
3. Self-service for customers is our focus
Customers value autonomy in the way they interact with brands. Customers prefer to be able to solve their problems, rather than contacting customer service via email, phone, or live chat for further assistance.
Customers can get answers to up to 70% of the most frequently asked questions by using dynamic FAQs and automated customer service chatbots. This reduces the number of customer service requests, which allows customer service agents to spend more time on complex customer issues.
4. Embrace personalization
Nowadays Customers want to feel that they are being taken care of throughout their customer experience. Almost 86% say personalization has a significant impact on their purchasing decisions.
There are many ways to personalize the customer experience, from your email marketing efforts to customer information that customer service agents. Or customer self-service solution providers, such as automated chatbots and customer support agents have access to during a customer interaction.
You might offer customers special offers based on their past purchases. Incentivize follow-up purchases with targeted discount coupons. This will essentially meet customers wherever they are in the relationship with your brand.
It might be a way for customer service agents (or customer self-service solution providers) to track the history of a service request or to access the profile of a customer to view past purchases. This will ensure that the interaction is as painless and quick as possible and leave the customer with a positive resolution.