Want to know the secret to business success? Giving a world class customer experience. While that probably seems obvious, many businesses drop the ball when it comes to customer experience and pay for it dearly. Spending time, energy and money to acquire a customer is only part of the equation, you must invest in strengthening your customer experience.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is every interaction or touch point a consumer has with your brand and how they perceive that experience. This includes interactions with your business in-person, as well as across all channels including social media and your website.
This experience is crafted over time. As a consumer engages with your brand their opinions on how all interactions are carried out will determine their overall experience and perception of your company.
How is customer service different from customer experience?
While creating a positive customer experience involves delivering top-notch customer service, they aren’t the same thing. Customer service involves assisting customers when it comes to your products and services. Customer experience involves creating a positive impression across all channels with the goal of attaining and retaining customers.
Why does customer experience matter?
Customer experience is important because it forms the impression that consumers have of your brand and in turn will impact sales, retention and lifetime value of each customer.
Positive customer experience results in customer loyalty and referrals. It can also play a role in being a differentiator to help set you apart from competition.
Impact of a bad customer experience
When customers have a negative experience with your company, the financial impacts are significant. From loss of revenue to creating a bad reputation your business will suffer.
“Customers now have a platform from which they can amplify and publicize their feedback about a business — positive or negative — for millions of eyes to see.” Forbes
And poor customer experience isn’t limited to bad customer service, customers can also experience frustration when a brand lacks things like a responsive website, accurate hours listed on Google, complicated check out processes, and more.
Impact of a great customer experience
Providing a great customer experience can go a long way in helping you build a strong, successful business. We live in a world of reviews and opinions – both good and bad feedback travel fast – so investing in a world class customer experience will allow you to gain word of mouth traction which is priceless.
In fact, according to Zendesk, 84% of consumers say that customer service is a key factor in deciding to buy from a company. They also found that 79% of consumers ranked reputation as an important attribute when making purchase decisions.
Focusing on world class customer experience is a foolproof strategy to strengthen and grow your business.
A Customer experience story
My friend Andi, owner of Honey Creative, recently moved to a new city and tried a new gym. She hated it! Why? Not because the gym was dirty or she didn’t get a good workout, the customer service was terrible. So what could this business have done better to secure her as a customer? Well head over to her blog post “9 Strategies for Creating a Memorable Client Experience” to hear her tips.
I, myself, ran a gym for over a decade and can tell you without a doubt that delivering a world class customer experience is essential to business success. In the fitness industry many prospective customers feel insecure, nervous and uncomfortable about stepping foot in your business. So it was my goal to make every interaction, in-person and online, one that helped ease my prospects’ anxieties.
Online I focused on having an extensive FAQ, informational videos, testimonials and easy access to call or email questions. In-person I worked hard to create a welcoming culture among my established members to invite all newbies in with open arms. My gym thrived because I was invested heavily in the customer experience.
How to deliver world class customer experience?
Think about businesses you love. I’ll bet they provide you with a world class customer experience. They might welcome you by name, remember something going on in your life, quickly respond to your calls or emails, have an easy to use website, always reply to online reviews, etc. Take a page out of their books and implement similar tactics.
Here’s some tips on delivering a world class customer experience:
- Gather and listen to customer feedback on all platforms
- Respond to all feedback (whether it’s good or bad) in a timely manner
- Stay objective about your business and constantly evaluate areas of improvement
- Preemptively address questions
And head over to “9 Strategies for Creating a Memorable Client Experience” to learn more ways to up your customer experience game.
How to measure customer experience?
Once you implement a strategy to offer world class customer experience, it’s important to see how your efforts are working.
Here’s a few metrics to measure customer experience:
- Customer churn. This is the number of customers leaving a product or service
- Net Promoter Score. This metric measures how likely customers are to recommend your brand.
- Customer Effort Score. This score shows you the level of effort a customer has to put forth to have an issue resolved or question answered.
- Customer Satisfaction Score. This metric measures how satisfied a customer is with your product or service.
Customer experience metrics can be collected by using surveys to get direct feedback. It’s essential that you figure out a system to regularly gather customer feedback so you can track your progress, make improvements as needed and figure out what is and isn’t working.
The truth is many consumers buy crappy products simply because they love a brand, the experience, etc. Having a good product or service will only get you so far, you need to invest in creating a world class customer experience if you want a successful business.
If you need help figuring out where your business needs to focus its customer experience efforts, don’t hesitate to set up a FREE Business Coaching session. We can help you assess your customer journey and come up with a plan to improve the customer experience of your business.