You might have heard customer experience and customer service used interchangeably, but they are distinctly different elements of your business and each needs its own approach. While customer service refers to a specific interaction or transaction, customer experience is broader. It encapsulates every way in which a customer interacts with your brand, from reading a post on social media to visiting your website and, yes, it includes talking with a customer service representative.
The customer experience is driving preferences, with many consumers reporting that they value it over price and quality when choosing which companies they want to patronize.
If you’re considering ways to improve the customer experience, here are five steps to greatness:
Get to Know Your Customers
It’s impossible to offer a great customer experience if you don’t know what your customers value. You should get to know the demographics of your target audience, as well as why they are the best fit for your brand. Do you solve a problem or improve their lives in some way?
In many cases, the difference between an okay customer experience and a great one is the focus of the company. Is it on your brand and how awesome you are, or is it on your customers and how much you appreciate them? When you are producing content, such as writing a blog or putting together a video script, think about the value your audience will get out of the piece. Create content that helps them in some way.
Once you have a good idea of the preferences of your customers and how your brand aligns with their needs or wants, make sure your team has a clear picture of the kind of customer experience you want to offer. Train employees to celebrate the same values, use the same phrases and key words, and make sure that every way in which your customers experience your brand provides an identical feel and style.
Ask for Feedback
In addition to asking customers how they felt about their experience with your brand, ask your employees how they think the customer experience is playing out. Do they see ways in which you are missing opportunities to improve experiences? Your front-line employees may be able to provide important insights about how policies and practices are impacting customers.
Embrace Continuous Improvement
Designing a great customer experience is never finished; you’re always going to be making adjustments and adding more benefits based on feedback from customers and employees. Have a plan for ongoing meetings or check-in dates where you will determine what changes need to be made to elevate the experience.