Customers get more attention than ever in the modern business world, with customer experience being the strong point. Reports by American Express, for example, showed that 60 percent of customers didn’t mind paying extra for a better experience. Customer experience even contributes to significant revenue increase, according to several studies.
Investing in experience also keeps the business afloat even during tough times. This is because good experience keeps new and frequent customers from leaving. They are also likely to share positive experiences with others, especially with social media.
Customer Experience VS Customer Service
What is the difference between “customer experience” and “customer service?”
Customer service is the standard practice of communication between the company and the customer. When a customer asks about certain product information or complains about inadequate services, customer service staff helps to solve the problem. The service fulfills the basic goal of customer satisfaction.
Customer experience goes above regular service. It provides a positive experience beyond the basic standard. For example, if a customer complains about the late shipment, customer service makes sure that it arrives quickly. However, if the goods arrive early with a bonus for “loyal customer,” it is a (positive) customer experience.
7 Strategies to Create Customer Experience
Customer experience has become an important focus in modern business. According to a 2011 survey by Bloomberg Businessweek, 80 percent of respondents consider customer experience as their top strategies. Its importance cannot be overstated in the social media era when every customer can easily make or break a business with shared opinion.
Different companies have unique strategies to improve the customer experience. All root on seven key points, which are:
1. Start from a clear vision
The definition of “customer experiences” for different companies are unique. The experience must be in line with company values, visions, and missions. For example, if a household good company emphasizes family values, customer experience must focus on family-related satisfactions.
With a clear vision, a company can create a thorough strategy. The leader can incorporate the vision into specific strategies of each department, and all point to one goal.
2. Study the customer demography
A good company must understand who it sells for. Understanding detailed customers’ demography help companies to know what they want. Companies can also create proper marketing, communication, and service strategies based on specific demography.
A common practice is to create a specific “identity” for each customer group. For example, “Customer A” represents millennial customers, who are tech-savvy and mostly at their productive ages. “Customer B” represents Gen-Z, who are mostly at school and following trends religiously. “Customer C” is the baby boomers, who are financially stable but not tech-savvy.
3. Focus on (Positive) Emotions
Customer experience mostly involves emotions. According to the Journal of Consumer Research, more than 50 percent of customers make purchase decisions based on emotions. Make sure the entire experience, from marketing to purchasing, create positive emotions for the customers.
Companies can create positive emotions by creating personalized services, like extra services provided by Zappos for a bereaved customer. WestJet “Christmas Miracle” campaign presented Christmas surprises for their customers with holiday-themed decorations, individual presents, and charity programs.
4. Don’t miss the feedback
Immediate feedback is important to scrutinize the success of customer experience strategy. A company can use strategies such as urging follow-up emails, conducting phone/message survey, or gathering reports from customer service departments at regional branches.
Companies can also use their social media team to collect online feedback, which is usually more intimate and casual. Customers also love sharing specific stories about the products or services they use, which are crucial to notice unique problems or impacts.
5. Apply strategy framework in training
After gathering enough information to create a strategy framework, a company must implement it for a sustainable program. Incorporate customer experience strategy framework in training module and SOP. Each department gets tailored strategies to apply based on their functions.
Assessment is an important part of this program. Every company must conduct a regular assessment to see the effectiveness of the program. The company must also see the impact of the strategy in actual customer experience.
6. Conduct an annual survey
The annual survey allows department teams and employees to provide thorough feedback after applying a strategy. Twelve months are enough to see the effectiveness of the new strategy, especially when complemented with a customer survey. Employees may share ideas, critics, or contributions based on their experiences.
There are several methods to conduct an annual survey. It can be with internal survey forms, email questionnaires, and social media.
7. Using ROI to measuring success level
“Will you recommend this brand to your friends and family?”
This common question is a part of Net Promoter Score, a standard scale to measure overall customer experience. A company can use it to check the overall customers’ satisfaction and how effective the strategy is.
Experience is a vital part of a company’s success. A company can use these seven general traits to create specific strategies and improve customer experience. Make sure to regularly check the result and effectiveness for the more successful business result.