“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but, people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou.
If you’re a human, this quote should make sense to you (unless of course you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator), and it especially should if you’re a business owner.
Sit back for a moment, and think about it. Why on earth do you possibly think you started a business? Why on earth do you wake up every morning, hustle every day, month in, month out? What is the purpose?
You might answer sales, or revenue, but it’s likely to be related money.
So, how do you generate sales? By getting people to buy your stuff. So, en principe, the very existence and survival of your business depends upon your Customer, you see what I mean.
And it’s as plain as a pikestaff that you must look after the single most important resource of your company in its entirety, in order to scale your business and earn yourself some recognition and reputation.
By now, I believe the right side of your brain would have understood the importance. Now for the left side of your brain, here are some numbers.
- According to an Oracle Survey, 75% executives said customers’ brand advocacy is directly linked to and impacted by Customer Experience (CX).
- In a study conducted by American Express, it was found that 85% of participants were willing to pay more for a better CX.
- A 2020 Digital Marketing report on trends by Econsultancy & Adobe indicates that businesses factor out CX as the single most exciting opportunity for them in the upcoming year.
Have I successfully triggered your entire brain? Cool! Now, the question is, do you indeed look after your customer and create an unforgettable, exuberant and magical experience for them, which will make them loyal to you for ever and ever?
Chances are, you think you do, but substantially, you don’t do as good as you think you do.
Overwhelmed? Oh dagnabit. Relax. That’s why we’re here for you. For better transparency & categorical understanding, I’ll divide my thoughts into 2 parts. The first will deal with a more generic and a business outlook and the second will focus on a more personal outlook, as in what a customer would desire from a business. Let me apprise you though, miss part 2 at your own risk!
PART 1 : A business outlook.
Here are some tips to improve your customer Experience (CX):
1) Understand your customers.
If you’re a business, you’re familiar with User Personas.
Study and understand your customers inside out and identify the areas where you have a great opportunity to absolutely nail the experience for your them.
By studying your end consumers better, you can accurately identify their likes, dislikes, interests & pain points. This improves your targeted marketing strategies and strengthens your sales pitch for your products / services.
2) Customer service is not Customer experience.
Quelle surprise! Myth busted – Customer service is just a part of the offering.
Customer service is the what you provide when a customer actually interacts With you, which might be over a phone call, or a chat assistant on your website.
On the other hand, customer experience outright accounts for the entire experience a user follows from the time he / she first interacts with your product/company (for example, an Ad or an email), to the time they buy your offerings, and until the time they possess your offering.
Most importantly, this also encapsulates what they feel and are made to feel while and after using your service.
3) Create dedicated goals & teams for CX & treat your employees accordingly.
Make a list of goals & objectives as to what exactly you desire your customers to experience upon their first interaction with you and as to how can you create a unforgettable, elegant and an amazing experience, which is different from all your competitors.
Bring in people designed for this job and create a dedicated team for this mission. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes - think of what impeccable experience you would desire from a company to make you feel special and work towards building that.
And remember that your employees are your customers as well. Treat them well, as they’re more likely to replicate the same behaviour towards your external customers (sometimes I think I’m a psychologist myself).
4) Run the extra mile.
There are 2 main reasons people don’t buy from you. First, they ain’t interested in your product. Second, they didn’t have a good experience buying from you.
While you can’t completely control the first reason, because you can’t sell to everybody, what you can absolutely control is the experience you offer to them.
If they don’t buy from you, they will buy from your competitors. Hence, make sure you run the extra mile, as in, put in the extra effort to create a great experience for your users, because, more often than not, this experience would determine if they come back to you or ditch your competitors.
Part 2 - A personal outlook.
YOU’LL WISH YOU HAD KNOWN THIS EARLIER.
There are things that turn off your customers more than anything else, and these are the things that you always unknowingly do.
1) Understand your Customer’s perspective & their real needs.
Nobody likes handing out their hard earned money to someone quite easily. And once they do, they’ll demand a bang for their buck.
Hence, don’t be frustrated or overwhelmed by them quite frequently reaching out to you. They feel they’re entitled to their service because they have paid you for it. Be thoughtful & polite in these scenarios. You don’t want to shut them down immediately.
If you carefully listen to what they’ve to say in its entirety, you’ll get an in-depth understanding of the root cause of their problems.
Hence, be patient, a great listener, and then analyse what you can or cannot do for their request. You’ll realise that by doing this, more often than not, the battle is already half won.
2) Simple & little things matter the most.
Customers don’t usually desire an uncharacteristically, uncanny or out of the box deed from you. They might wish to have something out of the world, but folks are mature enough to understand that it may not be practically possible.
But, you don’t need to go that far, if you could do some simple deeds for them, you really make yourself stand out from the rest.
It might be things as little as a small handwritten thank you letter, a birthday card, or a personalised email.
In this fast paced & hectic world, most of us are stressed, frustrated and exasperated by the end of the day. A small thank you or an email that really puts a smile to the face is all one would ever wish for.
If you do that, believe me, you put yourself Into a very special position in terms of loyalty and trust. They’ll be more loyal to you than ever.
Who doesn’t like feeling good after frustrating times? This is one of the easiest yet one of the most effective techniques to skyrocket your customer satisfaction and to take your CX a few notches higher, which is higher than anything your customer has ever experienced.
A simple human touch is more than magical!
3) Never, I repeat, never give false hopes.
The last thing a customer wants at the end of a their day is false hopes or claims that can’t be fulfilled. Don’t claim things you can’t quite indeed do. This can really put your customer off.
Think of it this way, your Wi-Fi is dead today. You call the company, they claim they’ll fix it tomorrow. You call tomorrow morning, they claim they’ll fix it by the evening. You call in the evening, they claim to surely fix it the next day and it goes on for a couple of more days. In the 21st century, internet is really, really important. Imagine their plight, they’ve had a tiring day, and at the end of it, they don’t have an access to the internet. Because of this they miss their important emails and appointment notifications for the next day, and your false claims continue to ruin their successive days.
It’s much better to be honest and tell the truth at once, instead of beating around the bush, buying time and keeping them hanging by the thread.
A person who accurately knows when his / her Wi-Fi would be fixed will sleep better than someone who hopes it would be definitely fixed someday.
Be direct, and it may annoy for a short while, keep them hanging, and they’ll remember to move to a competitor, a big damage to your CX.
Signing off, remember, a hint of goodness for your customer in their adversarial times will do a world of good for them and ultimately, you. But, a hint of falsehood or deceit in such times will ruin your image forever.
Hence, at the end, Keep It Simple.