73% of customers say customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Because of that, it’s no surprise that customer experience has become the focus of almost all businesses over the past few years.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Customer experience, or CX, is the summation of every interaction your customer has with your brand.
Many people mix up customer experience and customer service, and while customer service can be a large portion of CX - it does not make up its entirety.
CX includes every interaction a customer has with your company, including their experience with your website, interactions with customer service, ongoing marketing and communication, and the quality of the actual product or service they purchased.
Why Customer Experience Matters - The Importance of CX
Delivering great CX is essential for any business, as it is proven to:
- Increase brand loyalty
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Increase brand recommendations
CX is also not limited to any industry or service type. Subscription services can see better retention, e-commerce sites can get more repeat customers and fewer returns, service industries improve word of mouth referrals and the list goes on and on.
Customers now have more choices and access to information than ever before - and they are using it. Research shows that 91% of people regularly look at online reviews and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends.
By providing a great experience, you significantly improve your chances of receiving positive reviews that can turn into future business.
Here are 9 Ways to Improve Customer Experience
Now that we know why CX is a crucial part of every business, let's make sure you are doing the best you can to provide a positive customer experience.
1. Map Out Your Company’s Customer Journey
Before doing a complete overhaul of your customer experience, you want to first layout every part of it. The best way to do this is by creating a customer journey map.
A customer journey map is an outline of every touchpoint the customer can have with your company. This includes everything from social media interaction to post-purchase customer service. While it may be tempting only to include only pre-sale interactions that result in a sale, it is equally important to measure post-sale touchpoints for long term customer success.
When you have everything laid out, you can easily see how a customer can interact with your company at every stage of the journey and brainstorm strategies to improve it.
2. Personalize Your Communication
One way you can optimize your customer experience is to personalize your communications during their journey. Whether this is through email, in-person, or over text - it is important to add as many personalized messages as possible to create a bond with your customers.
Customers want to feel like they are your priority throughout the buying process.
Doing this at every step of the way is a great way to differentiate you from your competitors.
Creating a personalized customer experience will give your current and potential customers an incredible experience.
3. Provide Dedicated Support Through SMS, Live Chat, and Phone Call
Adding an SMS or live chat feature for questions and support will allow the customer to interact more easily with your team at any point in their journey. In fact, live chat has the best customer satisfaction rate, with 73% of customers reporting that they were satisfied with their experience.
Avochato’s AvoChat feature offers an easy way for your visitors to chat or text your brand directly from your website. It also allows you to manage all of your conversations from one dashboard, making the communication process much easier.
4. Express Empathy to Build an Emotional Connection with Customers
When you are optimizing the customer experience, keep in mind that you are going to interact with people in a wide variety of situations.
You want to be empathetic to your customers’ needs and make sure you are building a personal and emotional connection with them. It is important that you are truly empathetic - customers can tell when you are not being authentic.
- Three times more likely to recommend your product or service
- Three times more likely to re-purchase
- Less likely to shop around
- Less price sensitive
5. Invest in Employee Training
When you are using tools like SMS and live chat, your employees are going to be in direct communication with customers on a daily basis. They need to be properly trained to make sure all questions can be answered and problematic situations can be professionally addressed.
Everybody has had negative experiences with customer service, whether you were transferred endlessly, treated rudely, or your initial agent was not trained well enough to help you. This creates a negative perception that will likely result in a lost customer or worse.
6. Be Active on Social Media to Answer Customers Questions
Your customers may not always go directly to your chat or customer service support line if they need help. Oftentimes, to create a proper CX, your team should be monitoring social media channels to handle any questions, comments, concerns, or compliments (hopefully!).
Twitter has become the de facto complaint box for the modern generation, so it is important to stay on top of it and manage customer social interactions in a professional way.
7. Get Feedback from Customers and Actually Listen
The customer service is not over once the customer’s situation is handled. Getting feedback about what went right and what could be improved is critical for the long term improvement of the customer journey.
If you handled everything the way it was supposed to be handled then you have nothing to worry about! But if something is not up to par, you need to give your customers the chance to give your business feedback on how you can improve.
Once feedback is submitted, your company needs to assess the complaint and take the necessary steps to correct the issue if possible. Customers will provide you with honest feedback, but it is up to your team to implement solutions. If a customer sees a change has been made due to their feedback, it will actually increase the likelihood of long term brand loyalty.
8. Prepare at Least Two Solutions for Each Problem
Having two different ways to help your customers with a problem will come in handy much more often than you think. Oftentimes, you are the customer’s last resort so they will have tried one, two, or many ways to solve the problem before coming to you.
9. Constantly Revisit the Customer Experience and Look for Ways to Improve
When you have everything mapped out properly you can see exactly where issues will be consistently arising, and from that data, you can learn from your mistake and implement solutions that can improve overall customer satisfaction.
Along with the feedback you are receiving from your CX outreach, you can track each issue as they come in and look for patterns. If you identify an abnormally large number of complaints at a given step in the journey, you know you need to update that process.
Your CX experience should be constantly evolving to best meet the needs of your customer.
If you would like to learn more about how texting and live chat can improve the customer experience, reach out to the Avochato team to get a conversation started.