Businesses have one top goal they should focus on relentlessly — a frictionless customer experience (CX). In fact, CX has never been more critical than it is today when you consider that nearly 50 percent of consumers said they would abandon a company that provides “poor, impersonal or frustrating” customer experiences.
Since no company can afford to lose a wide swath of business, here are some ways you can improve CX to create loyal customers, and hopefully, brand ambassadors.
Train your staff
Make sure your staff understands that customers are the reason you exist and their needs are paramount. “Create a written framework that states your essential principles,” suggests customer service consultant Micah Solomon. A great example he cites is the “credo card” that Ritz-Carlton, a company renowned for its customer experience, gives to all employees to carry in their pockets.
Respond every time
When customers reach out, they expect you to respond — and fast. In fact, brandwatch analytics found that 71 percent of customers who tweeted a question expected an answer within one hour. Of course, that type of response rate can be more challenging for a small business that doesn’t have a dedicated social media team, but it’s still worth prioritizing the speed with which you respond to mentions on social media.
You’ll soon realize the benefits that come from meeting customers’ social media expectations: One survey found that 34 percent of customers are likely to continue to buy from the company when their needs are met, and 43 percent say they are likely to encourage friends and family to buy their products as well.
Use analytics to learn more about your customers
“Companies must collect, analyze, understand — and most importantly use — customer data to learn how to make CX better,” says Daniel Newman, CEO of Broadsuite Media Group, principal analyst at Futurum and author of Building Dragons. It will pay off: A whopping 90 percent of companies that used data analytics saw a shift in their ability to offer better customer experiences.
Use the data to offer personalized service
One of the key benefits of data mining is that you are able to personalize CX and save your customers time by recognizing their interests and preferences. One key way to use analytics is to help customers find more of your products — possibly even products they didn’t know existed — based on purchases previous customers have made online or at your retail store.
Look forward rather than back for the best CX
Analytics are useful for far more than seeing how customers have behaved in the past. By taking what you’ve learned about your customers and their patterns and habits, you can start to predict how customers will respond — and how you can help make their experience better. For example, if you are concerned that your webpages aren’t loading fast enough, your data can show at what point customers abandon the website, so you know the metric you need to work toward.
As Solomon says, “Nothing could be more daunting than to set out to completely transform your company’s customer service and customer experience,” but with the right tools, you’ll see the results you need.