With more and more customers shifting towards online marketing, it has become the need of the hour to provide best customer experience for our client to stay intact in these tides of changing market strategies.
The twist here is that instead of providing the best efforts for customer experience many small and big service providers are still failing to survive in the customer experience market.
According to a survey done by Bain & Company , almost 80% of the companies rate their quality of customer experience to be a superior one whereas, only 8% of customers believe that they are receiving a great customer experience.
Over the years, it has been seen that companies who have implemented better customer experience strategies are performing well in terms of business revenue and lesser customer attrition rate.
Let’s now understand the basics of customer experience and how will be useful for our business.
What is customer experience?
There are two basic elements of a customer experience definition – perception and interaction.
Customer Experience (CX) is emerging as the main differentiator and driver for growth and continuous sustenance in the consumer industry. In other words, customer experience is described as a customer’s perceptions and feelings towards the cumulative effect of interactions with a employees, systems, channels or products of a product/service providing company. In short, customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with a company.
Customer Experience vs Customer Service
Customer service is a part of the whole aspect of customer experience. Customer service can be defined as the support system provided by a company to its customers while purchasing or using its products or services. On the other hand, customer experience is the overall perception of a customer which is created during his journey of purchase or business interaction with a company.
Let’s discuss more on the key difference between customer service and customer experience?
Customer experience is a holistic proactive approach of keeping its customer perception towards the positive side. These can be done by creating customer centric business strategies to not only keep its loyal customers retained, but also creating a valuable brand name to attract many more prospective clients.
Customer Service, on the other hand, is reactive, where once the customers start reporting issues in the product or service, a team of customer service will try and provide probable solutions to the issues.
Service providing companies need to understand that improper customer services from your team which eventually lead to bad customer experience for the clients. A great combination of proactive customer service measures are the best ways to ensure great customer experience and boost overall customer loyalty towards your business.
Importance of Customer Experience
With big market of smartphones and internet connectivity, customers have numerous options in hand to change their product or service agent if they are not satisfied with its customer experience. Today’s customer can switch companies and products very easily which has been an advantage for them but turns out to be a big matter of concerns for many firms. Therefore, organizations are investing in improving customer experience to reap the following benefits of customer experience management –
1. Reinvest on Brand Value
Many customers are driven by brand name and online reviews on customer experience and overall business experience. Hence by providing great customer experience to your existing customer you can just improve your brand name in the market.
2. Reduce Customer Churn
Acquiring a new client costs 7 times more than retaining an existing one. A satisfied customer stays with the company and eventually reduces the overall customer acquisition cost.
3. Customer Testimonials
Long lasting customers are the best brand ambassadors and great advocates for a company. Online marketing strategies with old customers reviews on social media, blogs, web pages etc are great to advertise your business model and earn more business.
4. Boost Revenue
Incremental sales from satisfied customers and positive word of mouth helps the organization to get new business from many prospective clients.
How to Improve Customer Experience with CRM
1. Creating goals
With a proper and deep analysis of your business goal, vision and customer service processes are the key to a successful CX strategy. We should understand our business objectives and set business priorities based on your current business requirements. The main motto of these strategies should be to fulfill these customer experience goals and make customer happy and satisfied with your services. To build a strong strategy for CX facilities, you should have some of these queries soughted :
- Which technology, expertise, tools and processes are needed to implement the new objectives of customer Experience strategy?
- What are the current gaps between customer experience and customer expectations for your products?
- How good is your current internal system to embrace the new process for improving customer experience?
A clear idea of current business scenarios and what changes or gaps needs to be filled will help us to improve our company’s customer experience.
2. Understanding your customers
Customer relationship Management softwares not only collect information about probable leads but also store it in cloud based centralised database which is a great asset for any growing business. Once we have complete data about your customers which can be easily accessible by all stakeholders we can create many productive strategies to improve customer experience.
We should start by understanding customer’s regional and background, personal preferences and inclinations towards our products. After that, we need to understand the details on how the customer’s marketing trends are by tracking him on social media and other information gathering tools, we will have a very clear picture of his preferences and we can start formulating personalised campaigns before reaching out to him with our proposals.
Also, once your sales and marketing team is better equipped to understand the customer’s perception and expectations and are better placed to deliver a seamless, personalized and dynamic experience.
Studies suggest that what we say represents just 7% of the communication experience, whereas how we say it has five times more impact on the recipient. Hence we should completely understand the requirement of our customers and be sensitive towards the customer requirement while projecting our business strategies to them.
3. Channel Flexibility
Most of the online CRM softwares already have omnichannel support for customer support, but creating a productive strategy for these multi channel support system is very important for efficient usage of these technologies. Once we have a basic knowledge of our customers, we should start sending them product information, webpages links, demo and blog information through email and constantly keep in touch with them through phone calls or any other preferred mode of communication for the customer. We should also make sure we have fixed appointments and agenda for the meeting and interaction sessions to consider customer availability and comfort zone. Along with support via email and phone, customers should be given a choice to contact our sales or support team via different channel at specific touch-points of the sales process. Our support system should be well equipped to switch channels for a customer without losing the context of previous customer interactions or compromising on the seamless experience.
Customers should always be facilitated with ticket Ids or token code, so that they have a reference point to communicate through when interacting with different staff members in the customer care section. This will also help support agent to quickly understand any previous discussions of the customer and need not ask them repetitive questions and keep them satisfied with our holistic approach towards their concerns and queries.
4. Be attentive to customer needs and feedbacks
The only way to understand a customer’s dynamic buying journey is to put yourself in their shoes and understand their perception.
This is made possible by advanced techniques like customer journey mapping— a customer experience strategy where businesses create a detailed, graphical representation of the customer journey based on various interactions stages between a customer and your brand before, during, or after sales.
Also, feedbacks are a very important part of improving customer experience for any company. Studies suggest that, if we pay close enough attention, we will hear customers giving us actionable feedback, telling us what exactly they want.
We should use post-interaction, real-time feedback surveys or even follow up with customers over the phone for more details on any specific comment given by customers on our product or services. Furthermore, we should pay attention to what is being said about our company and product on social media, this is where customers are usually the most honest. We should closely monitor social media for our product reviews and tweets and try giving positive resolution or workaround for issues raised by customer on public domain to project a positive attitude of our company’s work culture.
5. Improved customer care and sale team
Customer care department and sales team are the face of our company when dealing with our customers. One of the most efficient ways of improving your customer experience is to continuously train your sales and customer care staff in non-manipulative, strategic selling principles, methods and understandings. It’s suggested that continuous investments in training results in over 50% higher net sales per employee, nearly 40% higher gross profits per employee and a 20% higher ration in market-to-book value.
Also, with more expertise and trained people in your sales team, we can definitely expect more revenue and satisfied customer for the company.
Customer experience is one of the biggest opportunities that businesses have to capture loyal customer and continue doing business with us. There is no limit to what a good customer experience strategy can take us to in regards to customer inflow, higher retention and increased business revenues.