Never has providing a good customer experience been more important than now. The prevalence of everything digital and the rise of social media have made people more vocal. The voice of the consumer is now stronger: people are actively reading reviews, listening to feedback and taking note of ratings. With people more connected than ever and consumer opinions impacting product sales, companies need to find ways to continuously engage and satisfy their customers.
And while people can talk endlessly about their complaints and bad experiences (unhappy customers are more than likely to complain to more than 15% of their friends), they are a bit more prudent when sharing their good experiences (happy customers relay their satisfaction to only 5% of their friends). Companies are therefore under pressure to consistently deliver delightful customer experiences. Aside from earning good feedback and reviews, companies that provide good experiences ensure continued patronage with higher customer loyalty, making it easier to cross-sell or upsell other products.
Customer experience is defined as the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with and the environments the customer experiences.
Building a consistently good customer experience therefore is more than just providing quality customer service. It is a more proactive approach that entails looking at what customers see, feel and experience when interacting with you through various points. Below are some of the steps you need to take to start building your customer experience plan:
1. Know your ecosystem by mapping out your stakeholders
Your suppliers, distributors, retailers and other partners have a direct impact on your customer’s experience with you. Manufacturers, particularly of higher priced goods, selling products through are highly dependent on the retailers’ employees to close the sale. A negative interaction with a store employee can result in a lost sale. Competitors, media, even government regulations, can also impact customer perceptions of your product.
2. Walk in your customers’ shoes
You need to know your customer: Who are they? What do they do? How old are they? What do they like? How do they use your product? How do they decide what to buy? You need to be able to answer those questions plus more. Identify their personas and find out what it is exactly your product can do for them. Why would they choose your product over others like it?
3. Map out your customer journey
How do your customers find out about you? Where can they find you? What is your digital presence like? Is your website easy for them to navigate? Do you show up in their search results? Can they buy online? Are your products easy to purchase? After they purchase, what is their experience? What is their experience when they talk to your telemarketers? You need to be able to map out all your touchpoints with the customer whether digital or physical from awareness to consideration to purchase to how you keep them loyal to you.