10 ways to improve your customer experience (CX)
Improving your customer experience (CX) could have a major impact on your bottom line. In fact, a moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues, according to the Temkin Group. This is not a number to balk at as consumers switch brands every day because of poor customer experiences.
If you’re ready to improve your customer experience, check out the 10 tips below.
1. Empower your employees
This may seem backwards, but companies that win at CX start with their employees. People want to buy from a company with friendly employees and empowered employees are happier. Think about it— you’ve been speaking to a customer service agent for 10 minutes and you ask for a discount. The agent then says he needs to approve it with his manager. You’re already tired and just want to be finished with the conversation. It would be much easier if the agent could just approve the discount and take care of you on the spot. You can similarly empower your employees by removing unnecessary barriers that might be blocking them from putting the customer first.
2. Value employee ideas
Employees are on the frontlines interacting with customers and usually have a good understanding of what the customer wants. Employees who feel valued are also more engaged at work and more willing to help customers. According to our latest employee engagement trends research survey, employees are two times as likely to be actively disengaged if they think their manager ignores them, so it’s important to let them know they’re valued by listening to their opinions and ideas.
Show your employees that you value them today by setting up an employee suggestion box (it's free, so you have nothing to lose).
3. Use AI to create breakthrough customer experiences
AI was virtually made for CX experiences. Chatbots are there for customers 24/7, natural language processing allows you to understand what people mean in free-form text messages, and AI has made time to insights faster. Some of the biggest companies are using AI and the trend is only going to increase. Dominos lets customers order pizza through the Domino’s Facebook Messenger bot, and eBay helps customers search the entire eBay marketplace for the best deals out there just like a personal shopper. AI can make life easier for your customers and allow you to get creative with your products.
4. Embrace a mobile-first mindset
With more than 50% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile is now the standard and not cutting edge. Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage in 2016 and companies who develop their products and surveys using a mobile-first approach are more successful. For many consumers, it’s their first interaction with your brand and their expectation is that your mobile site will function as well as a desktop site. Meeting or exceeding those expectations is vital to earning loyal customers.
5. Personalize, personalize, personalize!
Customers today want to feel special with personalized interactions. In fact, 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them, according to Accenture. Here are some ways you can use personalization:
- Use data to personalize survey questions
- Use geolocation technology to personalize based on location
- Offer recommendations based on past purchases
- Personally follow-up to survey responses
- Adapt your website to offer dynamic content
6. Adopt a top-down approach
The best customer-centric organizations start at the top. CX and company leaders must model the importance of customer-centricity and let it trickle down to employees. For example, Walt Disney used to walk around Disneyland Park, observe, and fine tune it. He was maniacally focused on making it a great experience for the customer. Today, the Disney brand is customer-focused because the leaders model it. Customer-focused leaders understand the broader customer story and allocate resources to make the customer a priority.
7. Utilize Customer Journey Mapping
Customer journey mapping visually illustrates customers’ processes, needs, and perceptions throughout their interaction and relationship with your brand. By cross-referencing journey maps with core metrics, you can get a better understanding of your CX and where there are issues and opportunities. You can use journey maps to improve your current customer experience, envision your future customer experience, or drive organizational change.
8. Include open-text feedback in surveys
It’s impossible to ask every customer what they think of your brand, but brands want to have a 1:1 conversation with customers. To do this, you can include open-text questions in your surveys. This is important because you can understand the thoughts and sentiments behind the data and make more informed decisions. Once you have thousands of responses from customers, you can use text analysis software to analyze the responses and find common themes.
9. Improve your customer service
Customer service is the backbone of a great customer experience. People don’t just buy your product because it meets their needs, they buy it because they can get proper customer support is needed. Customers who experience great service buy more and stay loyal to brands for longer. Some ways to improve your customer service include:
- Offer multiple channels for support
- Optimize wait and response times
- Close the loop with customers
- Use benchmark metrics like CSAT and NPS
10. Implement Voice of the Customer programs
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term that describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. It focuses on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement. Creating a program for capturing feedback and acting on those insights will help you create better products, retain customers, and understand your customer’s needs. This is crucial for the success of any CX program.
If you're ready to take your customer experience to the next level, check out Qualtrics CustomerXM. Accelerate your CX with these pre-made market research solutions that allow you to survey your customers fast.
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