Blogs > Customer Experience Strategies
March 24, 2015 Michael Bickerton
Ever wondered why some customers just fell off the map? How can you retain new customers and turn them into loyal ones? Developing some of these customer experience strategies may help you to retain more customers, and stop them from possibly turning to your competitors.
According to research done by Harvard Business Review, they found that companies who skillfully manage and execute customer experience strategies tend to reap enormous rewards. By developing, executing, and improving a proper customer experience strategy, they were able to achieve:
In this blog, I will take you through five customer experience strategies. However, I think we all know about customer service… What about customer experience? Why is it important?
All of these things are especially important to retailers and small business owners alike, who may struggle getting their business out there and getting noticed. Businesses are always concerned about customer service… Here are a few customer experience ideas to consider for your company:
1. The three D’s of customer experiences
According to research done by Bain & Company, it found that only 8% of companies truly deliver excellent customer experience. On the flip side, when surveyed, 80% of companies said they provided a “superior experience” to their customers. That’s quite a difference! What makes those 8% unique? It’s about the three “Ds” – Design, Delivery, and Develop.
Designing the right “experience-focused” value propositions
Companies who deliver excellent customer service tend to divide their customers into segments, and design an experience-focused value proposition for each one. Make sure each segment has an experience tailored to they type of customer they represent! Effective segmentation can make this a fairly simple process, but it’s essential to design content, offers and communications to match each segment’s expectations. Design an effective customer experience from beginning to end to ensure customer satisfaction.
Deliver value to the customer
Highly elite companies will deliver their propositions by focusing the entire company on delivering them. This means that from marketing to sales, supply chain to support, the customer experience is consistent! The focus is on the customer, and everyone must deliver value.
CRM tools are helpful with achieving a consistent value proposition. CRM tools offer a way to collect customer data, and store it all in one place. It also gives multiple departments access to that information. For example, sales people can add information to trigger specific actions, while customer support can look to see which segment a customer is under, then deliver a customer experience, which has been customized to their needs and ensures a consistent customer experience.
There are many tools you can use if you are using a CRM to analyze your current customers and see how well you are delivering your customer service, and more importantly, your customer’s experience.
Develop capabilities and deliver customer satisfaction
The 8% of companies who continue to provide superior customer experience have developed systems that allow them to be successful time and time again. These businesses are examples of how we should be running our own businesses; they innovate and keep on improving their customers’ experience each time. They also have tools that allow them to reach success, and they reach this success by planning, tracking, and executing their strategies.
2. Define the Customer and keep it consistent across all touch points
According to Bernd Schmitt, “customer experience management represents the discipline, methodology and/or process used to comprehensively manage a customer’s cross channel exposure, interaction and transaction with a company, product, brand or service.”
These days, it’s close to impossible to deal with a single person when doing business with a company. Great companies understand that customers, who do business with you, will interact with different departments, and this means different employees. Keeping a consistent customer experience your focus will ensure loyal customers.
A company must have great customer experience in order to create loyal customers. Customer loyalty is now measured a driven by a businesses’ interaction with their customers, and how well they can deliver their wants and needs. Your business should work as one unit – different departments should follow your customer experience plan.
In order to keep customer experience consistent, you must do the following:
3. Base the experience on the individual
Your strategy must start with you recognizing what your ideal customer wants and need, which leads to their overall expectations.
Once you discover what these wants and needs are, you can create an experience that nor only meets, but exceeds their expectations. Take a hand on approach to your customers. Help create a “WOW” experience and take each opportunity to make it a memorable one. A memorable customer experience can foster brand advocates – someone who will tell their experience to friends and family.
4. Create Experiences with real people
People want to deal with people, not just your brand or company. We seek human engagement. Nothing turns off a customer more than receiving a non-personalized email. Make sure that each and every engagement you have with a customer is a personalized experience. This is your opportunity to build a strong relationship with someone, and can build a loyal customer.
Here are a couple of tips from Client Heartbeat, which can help you make your contact with a customer a personalized one:
Personalized emails, from excited employees can help foster a positive customer experience from start to finish.
5. Leverage Technology to enhance customer Experience
Often companies fall into the problem of trying to use technology as a means of creating a customer experience. Ideally, you should design your customer experience, and use technology to help execute it. Start by defining a customer experience, then look into what software you need to make it happen.
For example, CRM tools have already been discussed as a way to keep customer information current and concise for an organization, allowing a consistent customer experience across the company. This can also include programs to send marketing information based on actions on your website. Run a contest and survey your customers to get feed back to measure satisfaction. It’s recommended you also use analytics software to track customers and build profiles.
Hopefully, these tools will help in ensuring you make an impactful customer experience with your customers. Remember, a positive customer experience from start to finish can improve retention, reduce churn and build brand advocates.
Need some ideas? Check out how brands can get customers engaged.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd. March 2015