Customer happiness is key for business success. This isn’t just a common-sense statement, but it’s one backed with tangible evidence. Studies show that a totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied one.
When compared to a somewhat dissatisfied customer, the number grows to a whopping 14 times. At the core of this stands your customer experience and service, which companies now know can be a make or break for their business. So, if you’re not sure how to improve on this, we’ve gathered some of our best tips to get yours on point.
1. Use Technology
It’s essential to find a way to balance the need for an immaculate customer experience and not causing chaos in your business. Luckily, there are so many incredible tools that can help you streamline, perfect and automate your processes so that any improvement to your experience can be implemented without any faff.
Mailchimp will help you create beautiful customised emails, while Intercom can make interaction with your website visitors into a piece of cake, with a personalised chat option at the bottom of every page. But it doesn’t just stop there — artificial intelligence means that you can also significantly improve your customer data quality, further keeping them satisfied.
For example, apps like 360Science’s Cortex can integrate with your other data-based systems such as Snowflake to defeat inconsistencies in customer data. This is done “using purpose-built Artificial Intelligence, proprietary phonetic and fuzzy matching algorithms, context-sensitive lexicons, and a contextual scoring engine”.
This will negate a number of frustrating and even costly errors your clients may get, such as wrong names, payment records and addresses, as well as give you the ability to read more unified and useful data from surveys and feedback.
2. Seek Customer Feedback
The best way to improve your customer experience is to ask your clients what they want. It’s almost too obvious to mention, but you’d be surprised how many companies do not seek feedback from their regulars.
According to Hubspot, 42% of businesses aren’t surveying buyers, which means that even by simply posing the question you’ll already be doing better than almost half of your competitors.
A comprehensive study from Northwestern University found that 80% of reviews originate from post-purchase emails, so make sure you have an email service that allows you to automate marketing messages and take advantage of this feature.
Another great way to gather feedback is to set up social media accounts and interact with your audience. Whatever you do, make sure you methodically keep track of your results, analyse them and learn from them. What’s more, show the positive ones on your site and social platforms as testimonials.
This demonstrates how seeking feedback not only helps you learn how to cater your business better to your customers but also increases your credibility, killing two birds with one stone.
3. Improve Your Customer Service Team
Without stellar customer service, you’re going to lose clients. When shoppers have an issue and a company dismisses them, is rude to them, or simply can’t solve their issue quickly and efficiently, they get turned off by it.
Even more so, in the social media age, they might go to Yelp or Twitter and complain about you, which can cause a domino effect of disengagement and bad reviews. So, a dream service team is essential for customer experience.
To achieve this, ensure your employees are satisfied and try to curb the monotony of their roles (rotating their tasks among the team is a good way to do this), while rewarding them for excellent service and giving them a clear progression path.
Remember, good customer service revolves around knowledgeable, empathetic and clear communication, so make these into values and give your team training to boost these qualities.
4. Offer Self-Service Options
Although an exemplary customer service team is crucial, it’s important that you give your clientele enough latitude to try and complete their buying journey without using an agent at all.
We hate to break it to you, but most of your customers hate having to interact with customer service representatives, especially on the phone. 75% of Millennials and Gen Zers (so, anyone born between 1981-2015) find talking on the phone too time consuming and avoid it like the plague.
The best solution is to create simple self-service options and minimise your customers’ need for an exchange with another human. YouTube tutorials, actionable blog posts, and a robust help centre are just a few examples of how this can be done.
Not only will this save you from hiring more customer service employees, but it will increase satisfaction — when a customer can help themselves, they feel prouder and happier.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
The main point in making your customer experience better is to increase client retention. That’s why you should recognise loyalty in a tangible way. When you set up a rewards programme, keep in mind that personalisation is key.
Make sure you give your individual clients what they want, rather than try to find a one-size-fits-all that will leave everyone dissatisfied. Gift cards or discount codes are always better than a specific product, for instance.
But there are even more individualised ways to reward devotion.
Take Feel Unique as an example. The cosmetics retailer allows its returning customers to pick two brands they love when they join its loyalty programme. Products from these brands get an automatic 10% off at checkout. It’s an innovative way to give buyers what they want without making the process too complicated on the business side of things.