We’ve looked at how your customer experience strategy is important to attracting more customers and making more sales. But how exactly do you ensure that your customer experience strategy is successful? In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to manage your customer experience and ensure that your customers are as satisfied as possible.
What is customer experience management?
No customer experience management definition would be complete without first understanding customer experience. As discussed in our recent article, customer experience refers to the interactions a customer has with your brand and their resulting perception after these interactions
Customer experience management (CEM) is all about comparing how your customers perceive your brand after their interactions with it, and how you would like them to perceive it. By comparing these, you know where you stand and can start to make changes to your customer experience in order to improve it.
CRM software can be used to track interactions and touchpoints so that you have all the data you need to analyse your customer experience. This can help you predict future behaviour of your customers and tend to their predicted needs in the most relevant and helpful way possible.
How to develop your customer experience strategy
Your customer experience strategy sets out how you would like your customers to perceive your brand and how you will achieve that. If you don’t yet have one or if you need to refine your customer experience strategy, then here are a few basic steps to follow…
1. Define your aspirations
First of all, think about why you are focusing on your customer experience strategy. Are you looking to make more sales? Retain more customers? Generate more word of mouth? The great thing about a good customer experience is that it can help you achieve all of these things. But maybe you have one or two specific motivations in mind that could help you guide your strategy.
Also, think about what you want for your customers when refining your customer experience. Do you want them to see you as a company with the best customer service? The highest quality products? Or perhaps the most interesting and engaging social media profiles? Customer experience is about all the touchpoints along the customer journey, but, again, you might have a particular focus.
2. Understand your customers
The customer experience is all about your customers, so it’s important that you understand them before you take a step further. You, hopefully, will have performed lots of research into your target customer when starting out your business. Things like buyer personas can really help you to tap into their psyche and understand what motivates them. Get your free buyer persona template here.
Aim to understand what is important to them when it comes to buying a product or service. Do they care about fast delivery? Responsive customer service? Having a wide selection of products to choose from?
This also involves understanding the customer journey. What are the touchpoints your customers experience on this journey? Where and when do your customers interact with you? Are your customers active on a platform that you don’t have a presence on?
3. Tweak the customer journey
Once you understand all of the above, you can start to plan how you will make improvements. Assess each touchpoint of the customer journey – are you meeting your customers’ needs at every stage? If not, then what can you do to change that? You might decide that you could improve the customer experience by upgrading to a more responsive website, training more customer service reps, implementing 24/7 chatbot support, or investing in a mobile app, for example.
As well as specific improvements like these, your customer experience strategy can include overarching principles related to how you want your customer experience to look. These are likely to come from the aspirations you set out in the first step. You may, for example, set out to never keep the customer waiting for too long, whether that’s on your website, in your store, or when expecting a home delivery. Make sure that every employee in your business understands these principles.
How can you improve your customer experience?
With your customer experience strategy in place, it’s time to get down to it and actually make some changes. Here are some ideas to help you improve your customer experience.
Focus on the customer
This one might sound obvious, but it’s something that a lot of businesses think they’re doing when they’re actually not. Some businesses are more focused on the bottom line than the satisfaction of their customers. Start putting the customer and their experience first to see positive changes in your business.
Personalise their experience
Businesses can waste time for themselves and their customers by sending out messages that aren’t relevant. A customer’s experience with your brand can be greatly improved if it is relevant and personalised to them. It means they only see things that are relevant to them and it shows that you care about them as a valued customer.
Reward your customers
Another way to make a customer feel valued is to reward them for buying from you. Freebies are a great way to nurture loyal customers and improve brand affinity. Think about coffee places that give the tenth drink for free, for example. How can you implement this kind of loyalty system in your business? Or it could be in the form of giveaways and contests held through your website or social media.
Streamline the experience
Customers don’t want to have to jump through hoops to buy from you. If the process is too complicated, they might just give up and go elsewhere. Think about the forms and other details users have to complete on your website to register or make a purchase. If they’re too long or confusing, this will put users off. And it might not just be online; go through your customer journey map and identify any areas where the experience could be streamlined for a simpler, more intuitive journey.
If you start to excel at customer experience management, then you’re likely to see your business excel as a whole. Act! Growth Suite is the perfect tool to help you with customer management along with other areas of your business and marketing processes. Contact us to find out more.