Imagine you visit a restaurant for dinner with your friends or family. The restaurant provides good food at competitive prices. But what if you feel that the staff is unwelcoming and not polite? What if you find nobody to come and take your orders for long, and even after giving the order, you have to wait for a long time for your food to arrive? Would you like to visit again to that restaurant? Of course not! Because the experience provided to you was not up to the mark.
The same is with your customers. If you are able to provide an excellent experience to your customers, they will give you more business, even if your prices are high in the market. Research suggests that 86% of the customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. On the other hand, if you fail to provide a good experience to the customers, it will lead to customer churn.
Customer Experience is a critical part of any business. For any business to be successful, whether big or small, it is essential to provide a satisfying experience to their customers. This article will explore what Customer Experience is, why businesses need a Customer Experience Strategy, and some valuable tips and tricks to improve Customer Experiences in small businesses.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience is all about the customers’ entire journey with an organization or brand. It is everything that affects customers’ perceptions and feelings while they deal with a brand or use its products and services. It includes their feelings about the products, services, interactions, or any other aspect of the business.
Sometimes, small businesses tend to ignore the importance of Customer Experience and do not focus on managing CX. But in reality, whether it is a small business or a large enterprise, and whatever the industry is, it is never a good idea to ignore customer experience. It is the most crucial factor that affects the success of a business.
To ensure that your customers are happy with the experience you provide them, it is essential to manage Customer Experience effectively. For this, you need to make effective strategies. Let’s explore why you need a Customer Experience Strategy to manage Customer Experience and ensure Customer Satisfaction.
Why Do You Need a Customer Experience Strategy?
Every vital process to achieve a goal needs a well-defined strategy. And when we talk about improving customer experience, it should be the topmost priority for any business to grow. Implementing a good strategy in small or medium-sized businesses can help you make them big enterprises.
What is a Customer Experience Strategy?
A Customer Experience Strategy is a process of planning and deciding an actionable approach to improve Customer Experience and enhance Customer Satisfaction.
Let us understand the reasons for the need for a Customer Experience Strategy:
Reasons to Create Customer Experience Strategy
1. Experience matters the most to the customers
The first and foremost reason for creating an effective Customer Experience Strategy is the increasing value of customer experience. Experts suggest that it is overtaking attributes like price and quality and has become the most important consideration for customers to plan purchases.
Having a well-defined strategy lets you provide a better experience to the customers, making them not only do repurchases but also spread good word of mouth about your organization.
2. Better Customer Retention
Making effective CX strategies increases the customer retention rate. When you have a good plan to deal with unhappy customers, you can take timely actions to improve their experience and avoid churn.
3. Better Issue Resolution
Several expected and unexpected issues can occur during a customer journey. But when you have well-defined strategies, you can deal with them effectively. When you pro-actively work on customer issues and help them resolve those issues, it enhances their satisfaction. In fact, by resolving customer issues and complaints timely and effectively, you can convert a negative experience into a positive one.
4. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Customer Experience is the primary factor that affects the satisfaction level of the customers. So when you adopt good strategies and improve the experience, it automatically increases Customer Satisfaction.
Now let’s learn how you can improve Customer Experience in your business.
How to Improve Customer Experience?
Let’s explore some practical ways to improve Customer Experience.
1. Identify your customers
While trying to improve Customer Experience and making strategies for it, you first need to know the audience for whom you want to work. Identify your customers and prospective customers by collecting their demographic information. Organize surveys to ask them about age group, gender, location, interests, tastes and preferences, and more.
This knowledge is beneficial to making appropriate strategies to improve their experience and increase satisfaction. When you know what your customers like and prefer, you will be in a better position to provide their desired experiences.
2. Set Goals for Customer Experience Strategy
To build effective strategies to improve Customer Experience, be clear about what you want to achieve through them. Your goals can be different like increased sales, high profit, best quality, competitive prices, and others depending upon the nature of your business and your target customer base.
For instance, if you have more customers who can pay a high price but cannot compromise on quality, you must focus more on delivering the best quality in the market, even if the cost exceeds expectations. Whereas, if your customers can compromise on quality to some extent but cannot pay high prices, your goal should be to provide products at competitive prices, even if the quality is average.
3. Use Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey Mapping is the process of creating a visual story of a customer’s interaction with your business which is known as a customer journey map. This map helps you know about the various touchpoints in the particular customer’s journey and the route followed by the customer.
This activity helps to know more about the customers and their experiences and provide them with more appropriate services to satisfy them better.
4. Focus on Employee Experience & Engagement
If customers are your most prominent stakeholders, customers are your greatest assets. If you want to satisfy customers and improve their experience, you also need to focus on employee experience and satisfaction. And it’s easy to ensure employee satisfaction in small businesses with limited staff.
It is a fact that satisfied employees feel more engaged and motivated to do their work more efficiently.
5. Build a Customer-Centric approach
Always build and promote a customer-centric approach in your organization. Motivate and train your employees to serve the customers better and achieve the highest levels of Customer Satisfaction. For this, you also need to assign some decision-making authority to your employees who are directly dealing with the customers.
For instance, a customer asks for a small discount, but your employee doesn’t know whether he can approve that small discount or not, and he has to follow a long process to get approval. The customer will not like to spend much time having a small discount and will leave it as it is. The same customer can tend to switch to your competitor if offered a better deal. Whereas, if your customer-facing employees are free to do this small favor, the customer will feel happy and satisfied and is more likely to stay with you for long.
6. Provide Personalized Experiences
Research suggests that 66% of the customers expect businesses to understand their individual needs, and around 80% of the customers prefer to buy from brands that provide personalized experiences. And why not? Everybody in this world is unique and has different choices and preferences.
When you get information about customer demographics and customer journey, utilize this information to provide more personalized experiences to them. Providing a personalized experience is a great way to improve Customer Experience and enhance satisfaction.
7. Build a Customer Feedback System
Customer Feedback is vital information about how your customers regarding their experience with your products, services, and the brand as a whole. Collecting and working on Customer Feedback is the core of Customer Experience Management. Create Customer Feedback Surveys and ask them how they feel about the experience you provide them.
Use good Customer Feedback Software for this purpose, through which you can create and send different types of feedback surveys to your customers through multiple channels.
Startquestion is a platform perfect to create surveys and forms thanks to which you can collect valuable feedback from customers, users, and employees. This online software allows to create surveys from scratch or use ready-made survey templates. Thanks to advanced analyzing and reporting options Startquestion is popular among UX Researchers, CX Managers, and Marketing Specialists.
8. Give Open-ended space to customers to share their feelings
When you create and send a Customer Satisfaction Survey, use some open-ended questions to capture your customers’ true feelings in their own words. Even if you keep it optional, it works. In cases where customers have exceptional experiences like extremely good or terrible experiences, open-ended surveys will let them share their insights.
When you get to know customers’ negative experiences on time, you can work on them to improve their experiences and prevent churn. With this method, you can also prevent your image from being distorted on social media by providing a suitable platform for your customers to vent their feelings.
9. Take Actions On Customer Experience
Taking action on Customer Feedback is as important as collecting feedback in the first place. If you do not take action on feedback, your customers will consider it a waste of time to fill out a survey and share their experiences. The next time, you will not even know why customers are churning as nobody will share their feedback when they know it’s not worth it.
On the other hand, if you take timely and appropriate action on feedback, you will win your customers’ trust and confidence in you and your brand. When you collect customer opinion, take action, and inform the customer about your actions, customers feel happy, heard, and respected. This can even convert a negative experience into a positive one.
10. Focus on After-sales Services
A customer journey doesn’t end with sales. Instead, it is the start of a new phase of the journey. So you cannot just sell your product or subscription to your services and sit behind comfortably. You also have to focus on after-sales services. You need to ensure that the customers are satisfied with the after-sales services. If they get some issues, you give your best to resolve them.
This will showcase your loyalty towards your customers and make them loyal too. It is a great way to provide your customers with a great Customer Experience.
Author: Kaumudi Tiwari
Bio: Experienced Content Writer and Digital Strategist, been in the IT Industry for the last 5+ Years. Associated with the Zonka Feedback. Passionate about writing customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer feedback, and net promoter score.