In this post, you will read about:
- What Customer Experience is
- How human interaction affects Customer Experience
- Find out the Customer Experience your company delivers
- Benefits of focusing on Customer Experience
- How we do it
At time of writing this article, my age is 32 years and since my childhood, I have consumed hundreds and thousands of products in my daily life, some of these I really loved and some had an okay experience. However, the most interesting thing is, I still remember the shops I used to go for purchasing my school stationery or even the breakfast.
Question is, why I remember only a few of them instead of many others I had an interaction with? One may think it could be because these were the only shops in area (which isn’t true btw) or I remember them because the product they had was always excellent? while these factors are important, one that is most important is ‘how I felt’ while I was in the shop or ‘how did the shopkeeper react’ when I tried to return a product that didn’t meet my expectations?
Yes! I am talking about ‘Customer Experience’
What is this thing called ‘Customer Experience’?
Customer Experience is essentially the ‘feeling’ (good or bad) a customer or potential customer receives after interacting with your business, be it on a physical store, a website, a short meeting in a coffee shop or simply a phone call.
While there are dozens of contributing factors towards ‘customer experience’, like the physical appearance of your business front or the actual product or service you offer or the timings of your business operation, the most important is how ‘effectively’ your customers can get answers to following:
- Do you have what I need?
- How can I get it?
- When can I get it?
These three questions lay down the foundation of Customer Experience but how ‘effectively’ a business delivers them really defines good or not so good customer experience!
Give me an example!
So for instance, when I go to a super store looking for some grocery for my home, the easier it is for me to find what I need, the better the experience would be. This would build foundation of my experience however, to make it really stand out, the appearance of store, how items are organized, how easily information is available as well as having a ‘human help’ while I am shopping would really deliver great experience!
This applies to essentially any situation, think of an online course that teaches how to sell online, there would be a ton of ways to sell online but does it really teach if I can sell through Facebook (this is the first question), what are the pre-requisites of this course and do I qualify for signup? (the second question) and obviously how soon I can get started (the third one). So these questions define if I would be interested in interacting with particular business and then how effectively course is delivered to me, will define my experience with this business.
Does ‘human interaction’ really count and how?
When we talk about customer experience, the first thing that pops up in our head is, experience from ‘human interaction’. This is not 100% what composes customer experience, however, this is still one of the biggest reasons people would love to keep buying from you.
A simplest interaction with a sales person welcoming customers in store or a design manager having complex discussion about technical aspects of an engineering project, builds customer experience. Human interaction is paramount and really defines how someone feels about a business.
How would you feel on a visit to hi-tech shop with lavish setup and great environment but an unfriendly sales person? It might really be your last visit to the shop!
I understand what ‘Customer Experience’ is, now what?
Next thing you need to do is analyze how well your business handles customer experience. It is important for you to identify all touch points for your customers and then find out the value each touch point delivers.
This is more important than ever because of the rising competition and awareness among buyers; businesses now need to deliver the best.
There are several tools and pre-defined tests like NPS, that can help you gauge your customer experience, however, if you want to ‘simply’ know how your customers feel, you should consider these steps:
- List down all touch points for your customers, this could be your physical store or office, your customer service number including phone, email and live chat options, your Facebook or other social media pages as well as your website. This may also include an online webinar or a presentation delivered in a conference or an expo.
- Pass through your touch points as a ‘mystery shopper’ and be your company’s customer. Note down the good or bad experiences you had. Alternatively, try using an unrelated person or a professional to try all the touch points and share their experience. This could be more effective as it will not involve any biasness.
- Gather as much feedback from your customers as possible, this can be a survey presented to existing customers asking about their experience and what improvements they expect. In addition, you can add a survey on your website and social media pages.
- Recently, many online stores have started contacting the ‘abandoned carts’, meaning those customers who added items to cart but never checked out, this is a perfect way of finding out what went wrong and fix it for them as well as for new customers.
- Speak directly with customers (whenever possible) to understand how they felt by using the product or service, this can be a follow up call or email asking their experience and any complaints they have.
What benefits do I get from improving Customer Experience?
While businesses owners and managers have a lot on their plate, it might be tough (especially for small and medium sized businesses) to invest time in reviewing their customer experience strategy unless there is a REAL return of their efforts.
In this closely interconnected world of technology and social awareness, what your customers have to say means a lot for your business. It is not just about getting reviews online, it’s about what people really think about your business. For instance, a business that delivers birthday cake to their customers can easily standout from their competitors, because of the emotional connection.
Good Customer Experience brings loyalty and results in long-term relationship between customer and business.
How we do it?
Since we provide customer support as a service, we have dual responsibility and this is why we have focused our efforts to deliver true value for our clients and their customers.
Here’s how we deliver good customer experience:
- We value our client’s needs and offer services around their needs
- We not only accept feedback but also implement it quickly.
- We train our staff on all aspects of a product or service our customers offer so we can serve their customers effectively.
- We do training within team, with clients, do trial sessions, and do quizzes to ensure we are ready to answer questions quickly and efficiently.
- Our Support Manager and Supervisors work closely with team and help them with regular and uncommon issues.
- We rate our team’s work by reviewing phone calls they have answered as well as live chat & emails they have responded. We score them and offer our team rewards and bonuses based on their scores.
- We believe in prompt communication and use all necessary tools for quick escalation of an issue like Skype, Slack, Whatsapp, direct phone calls and emails.
- We work with flexibility, including 1-2 weeks of free trial of service, assuring their feedback is responded to quickly as well as we offer feedback to clients to help them achieve great customer experience.
We are still learning and making our processes better every day!
Your take from this article?
Briefly, businesses need to focus on delivering best experience for their customers. This not only involves delivering excellent pre and post sales customer service but also getting connected with their customers on a personal level. Simply value their time and preferences and listen to their feedback carefully!
Work to help others and they will eventually help you in return!
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