A Great Customer Experience (often mistaken as customer service) is every interaction, touchpoint and feeling generated by the client or consumer of a business.
Remember, this starts before you even know they are a customer! Your website, reviews, word of mouth, social media, adverts etc etc. Opinions (and feelings) are being formed of what you do and how you do it.
Customer service is defined as “the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services (a small fraction of the whole experience). If you get the experience right there is arguably little or no requirement for customer service!
And customer experience continues through the sales process: Meetings, materials, communications, clarity of understanding, language used, your premises, payment process, delivery of goods/services. And where it really matters, what they say about you after experiencing your product or service first hand.
Because a great experience will create raving fans, people who actively recommend you to their friends / family / random others posting for recommendations on Facebook!
Generating a large percentage of raving fans within your customer base creates sales – both repeat and upsell to existing customers/clients as well as warm leads and referrals of new business.
- 70% of buying decisions are based on how the customer FEELS they are being treated (source: McKinsey)
- Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 7x as likely to try a new offering and 4x as likely to refer (source: Temkin Group)
- 84% of organisations working on improving customer experience report an increase in revenue (source: Dimension Data)
What are the ‘Easy’ ways to improve customer experience?
It is the responsibility of everyone within your business (not just customer facing team members). A framework that I utilise with my clients is:
Easy to Find – Easy to Use – Easy to Understand – Easy to Trust
Each of these areas are drilled down into channels and processes. They are then further drilled down into small and manageable changes and actions that can be assigned to individuals. Looking at the whole picture can be overwhelming – where to start?!?! If you keep within this framework the culture, activities and results will drive continuous improvement within your business.
Tasks might be such things as:
- making contact information more prominent on your website (Easy to Find)
- reviewing forms/documentation that customers need to complete (Easy to Use)
- creating a one page explainer document about XYZ that can be sent out to customers (Easy to Understand)
- systems used to ensure customers are regularly contacted with status updates (Easy to Trust)
But, the specific activities are will vary from business to business. If you structure your approach with a collaborative and unified goals each team member can be part of the process, without being burdened with a large piece of ‘additional work’.
If you put it in numbers, a business with 10 employees creates an ‘Easy’ plan, and each team member takes 2 small actions to complete in a 3 month period. That equates to 80 customer experience improvements in a 12 month period! (Being part of this process often improves employee engagement as an added bonus!)
So if you’d like to benefit from the numbers quoted earlier in this blog, approach customer experience the ‘Easy’ way.
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