Ah, mid-year. Time to check in on those 2022 goals you set last winter. You’ll have plenty of reasons why you are where you are, good or bad, and for my money the best predictor of success is how your customers feel about you. Customer experience rankings describe how customers perceive your organization based on their interactions with it — from beginning to end.
How can your ensure customer experience that foster customer ❤️ , turning customers into Lustomers™— your biggest, most loyal fans, the ones who intentionally help your business grow?
Customer experience grows customer ❤️
Experience starts with how your customer is treated, and how they feel throughout the sales process and beyond. Fifty-six percent of consumers say customer service is the most important factor contributing to how they feel about a brand. The experts at Salesforce.com report that 66% of buyers expect their needs to be uniquely catered to by businesses.
For customers to feel the ❤️ , your customer experience game needs to be on point to show that you care. This includes clear communication, listening to feedback, and following through on all promises. These show new customers that they can trust your business to provide better sales and support experiences, and help you keep trusting relationships for the long term. This is vital. Knowing that 65% of a company’s sales come from repeat customers, you must nurture the customers you’ve got until they become Lustomers, with you for the long haul.
Happy customers also share experiences with their networks, driving referrals for additional business to you. They’re the ones who promote you on social media, highlighting a recent interaction, leaving a glowing review, even interacting with other customers.
Negative customer experiences cost ❤️ and $$
Loyalty is an essential feature of customer ❤️ and a central characteristic of Lustomers. These customers are the best kind to have because they are much more likely to make repeat purchases.
If you have 20% loyal customers, they are likely to make up 80% of your business and are much more likely to sample new products and spend more. You’re leaving a whole lot of opportunity on the table if you’re not consistently exploring how to improve your customer loyalty efforts.
Get ready to hit customer experience home runs
Now that you understand how fantastic customer experiences can boost your business, let’s examine strategies to deliver them!
Customer experience spans the entire lifecycle of every customer relationship and is relevant in each stage of the buyer’s journey. What does that mean when it comes to your employees?
It’s easy to understand how sales reps and customer service teams affect customer service, but what about your finance department? How about shipping? Consider this scenario–
A current customer has a great experience with your sales team, but runs into an issue at delivery. Their last-minute change they made to their order wasn’t intercepted in time by the shipping department so the wrong product reached their loading dock. The customer complains to the sales department and informs them the product they received is something they’d never use. The product is successfully exchanged, but the following week the now-happy customer gets a call from the telemarketing team hawking the product they just told their primary salesperson they’d never use. The customer is annoyed at the wasted time and lack of personal knowledge, and their perception of the company becomes more negative.
This communication breakdown between departments (in this case marketing and sales) disrupts the customer experience. According to Khoros, 77% of customers expect your team to be aware of their previous interactions with your company. (Think about your own interactions–wireless companies and cable or satellite TV companies seem to have a deserved reputation for being bad at this.) Your customer’s history must be visible for your entire team so everyone can be on the same page with the kind of care that customer requires — and no one asks the same questions twice.
See my video on this topic. [Link to video tip 8]
Another strategy for maintaining a positive customer experience is to respond to customer issues quickly. The faster you can solve problems the better — customers are more than twice as likely to continue doing business with you if they see you addressing their issues in a speedy fashion.
Bottom line: Clear, effective communication both internally and with customers is key to creating an optimal customer experience.
Communication skills take practice
It’s one thing to understand what is needed to make a great customer experience, it’s a whole other thing to put it into practice throughout your business. As you use the turn of the calendar at mid-year to check in on your business goals and how you will accomplish them, consider reviewing your customer service strategy and what your employees might need to be more successful. This may include hiring an outside expert or consultant or investing in workshops and coaching to help you and your team improve business communication skills.
If you’re ready to turn your team into customer experience champions, 3C Comms can help. Reach out today and together we’ll create the best education and communication plans for your team.